Time stands still when the water under your feet and the sky above your head is crystal clear. Distant from the commotion of the city lies a little paradise waiting to be explored. We all dream about living in a place far away from the technological gambit to breathe some free air and perhaps feel a little disconnected only to reconnect with oneself. Just kilometres away from Bali rests a small world living in utter peace and minimal worries.Knocking on the gates of heaven is an island so small that makes you feel overwhelmed with the insignificance of our own existence.
Welcome to the divine island of Gili Trawangan!
Drenched in sweat and soaked by heat, I felt a pan of coolness hit me as soon as I set my first step on the white sanded beach in Gili Trawangan. You know the vibe you get as soon as you land on something you’ve been waiting and working for? Or when the utility graph is at the peak! A sudden relief hits your soul and makes you feel lighter and brighter by the minute. Yes, exactly that feeling as if you are under a hot shower after a tiresome day! I instantly knew that the next two days in Gili will be nothing short of magical.
The island runs in a 7 km radius (yes, that small!) and to witness sunset or sunrise, one has to travel to the opposite sides of the land. The majorly attractive point about Gili is that it exists in a world of its own, there are no motor vehicles but only bicycles and tongas to commute. Fascinating isn’t it? A world where we find it difficult to move an inch without using the advancements of mechanical evolution, there exists a society totally void of it!
On my first day in Gili, I promised myself to kick the tiredness that was drowning me and explore the stellar island on my own. I started cycling my way through rough patches and irregular terrains as the GPS technology was not so efficient in the area (no surprises here). As I made my way through the ups and downs on the road hardly able to balance a phone in my hand for directions, the lopsided route and my willingness to not run into a tree, I landed at the egress of Swarga! Twenty minutes into the future, I found myself feeling like an achievement had been unlocked and I had been abundantly rewarded by mother nature for the little push I gave myself.
For a moment I want you to close your eyes and imagine a scenery when you say the words ‘heaven’ or ‘heavenly’ or . Now take a look at the picture below and correct me if I am wrong in saying that this is what nirvana would look like!
The sunset point in Gili is far better than the sunrise point. Plus, it is always a traveller’s feast when he/she arrives at a location where the beauty cannot be poetically justified. Seeing the sand and the setting sun I quirked up like a little kid in a candy shop. I parked my bike at the nearest tree and started walking till the sun ultimately bid goodbye for the day. As I kept walking through the beach, I felt elated as the setting sun lay its final showdown for the day, making me feel weightless with each step dunked in sand. The moment was sublime.
I am no Oscar Wilde but I wanted to give this breathtaking place, a piece of my heart.
I walked forward till the horizon with my feet soaked in the beach, I looked around to inhale all the beauty as far as I could see.
White and black horses running wild in the sea, bathing, eating and running free.
The technicolour palette of the changing sky and the cool breeze of the ocean that makes you want to fly.
I found a spot to enjoy the scene in front but could not feel at peace with the kids swinging in the sea under the setting sun.
I felt a thrill to get on with them and let my mind elude because we as humans need a child in us to let loose.
The calm water retreating every now and then swept away the thoughts of weariness and refilled my mind with nothing but pure happiness.
For I knew, I had lost my heart to a place that was irreplaceable by destinations I had yet to make.
The lords of the oceans and sky had been kind enough to offer me the best of both worlds. On one hand I was awed by an angelic sunset and the other was a gothic beauty which was least expected. I did not wanted to miss sunset on day two as well. Well, it’s not surprise if I would trade everything I have for enchanting sunsets all around the globe! I was taken by surprise (yet again) by this abode of charm, Gili.
In nature we find peace, in nature we find turmoil and in nature we find everything beautiful. The sky wrapped in turbulent clouds, the fading sun, the rocky shoreline and the impeccable reflection of the sky above came with the exotic adieu to the day. It surely feels like heaven inside when you’re rolling in such a thunder, have a look!
I visited Gili while the Nyepi Day was being celebrated in Bali. The island was filled with enthusiastic party-goers who escaped the silent night in Bali and filled the streets in Gili with joy and fire. Away from the conundrum of the tipsy crowd, I was in search of a mellow spot. I walked at night through the calm beach looking for an area to breathe. Sitting for an hour and staring into total darkness I saw thundering lights roaring right above the island of Bali. It is true, the fruit of patience is sweet. Minutes later began the celebratory fireworks that were like the sweet icing on the cake!
Those two days in Gili are inscribed in my heart forever. We owe ourselves some detours and explorations to gain a little perspective and fun anecdotes. The idea is to explore, narrate and experience what is still unknown.
How/ When/ What about Gili:
We stayed at Kaleydo Villas in Gili Trawangan where the hosts were humble and friendly. The accommodation was clean and one of the best on the mini island. (Find more pictures in the album below)
There was three Gili Islands- Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno. Gili Trawangan is the most visited and there are speed boats that can take one to the other islands.
Book tickets beforehand to Gili from Bali. The boat transfer administrations are inefficient and reach well in before time.
Carry minimal luggage for faster transfers and also because there are no vehicles on the island.
NEVER MISS THE SUNSET IN GILI.
Stroll down the long road (there is only one) at night for food and nightlife.
There are not many currency exchange booths, so be prepared before arriving at Gili.