Made it to Gili Air


\"164_6445-4.JPG\"Clear blue waters, white-sand palm-fringed beaches, and undeveloped, Gili Air has all the qualities of a perfect island. It’s a good thing too, because stepping off the small wooden boat onto Gili Air’s beach was the last step of a 27-hour journey. We boarded a ferry at 7:30 am yesterday morning and of course it didn’t leave until 10:30. It wasn’t until seven hours later that we disembarked at the port of Sape on Sumbawa. From Sape, we took a hour and half bus ride to Bima, where we boarded an overnight bus which would cross Sumbawa, take a ferry across to Lombok, and then drive across Lombok and deposit us at Mataram. That whole part was not as bad as it sounds. Well, the ferry ride was pretty smoky and sweltering as we crossed a windless sea, but otherwise it was better than it sounds since we booked our travel from Labuanbajo to Mataram on one ticket. Although it costs a little more to book all the segments of our trip in advance, it lessened the headache of having to think during the journey and allowed us to avoid negotiating at every change of transportation. Plus, its what even the locals do, I figured it must be worth it. From Mataram, we took a 40 minute bemo ride to Bangsal harbor, where we walked the last 100 meters to the harborfront to buy a ticket and wait for the small boat to fill up. Twenty minutes later, we stepped off onto Gili Air. It’s a beautiful, undeveloped island and good place to relax for a few days after our recent jaunt across somewhat less comfortable parts of Indonesia.

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