Nate and I have spent the past week in paradise. Imagine a place where you can see the most stars you have ever seen, watch a sunset and sunrise from the same spot on the beach, and swim in crystal clear turquoise water each day. It's amazing and exactly what we've been looking for. It's the first place we have completely relaxed. We never know what day it is and it doesn't even matter.
Our first night here (after a long 12 hour travel consisting of 2 boat rides, one 5 hr ferry ride and 2 bus rides) was a bit overwhelming. We found a place to stay and then went out looking for some dinner. We ended up in honeymoon land with loads of beautiful resorts and very classy restaurants. Not only are we not on our honeymoon, but we are straight up backpackers! We managed to find something within our budget and the next day found a backpacker's paradise: cheap, delicious, night market food! We were not over-joyed with our room so we walked around the island our first day here and found a quiet, remote room where we wake up to the waves each morning. Our place is over 50 years old and hasn't been touched once since it was built. It is by far the most run down place on the island and that we've ever stayed, but it gives us exactly what we want. For $8 each a night with breakfast included and a beach, it's paradise to us...
We have yet to meet any other Americans on the Gili Islands (or anywhere, really) but there are tons of Europeans. You never have to really wonder where people are from here. If a woman is topless on the beach (even in an Islamic area), she's European. Otherwise, probably Australian. Nate and I sometimes stand out on the beach, as he is probably the one and only man with body hair and I am one of few girls who did not hit the tanning bed for months before this vacation. Also, I don't have a thong bathing suit... there are some very interesting styles here and it's great for people watching :)
After spending a week straight in the sun (yes, mom, I reapply spf all day long!), Nate and I have some nice tans going. I did get my first burn of the trip when we went snorkeling the other day. I must have had a slight wedgy and did not realize it at the time. After two beautiful snorkeling trips, I had a crisp tush but only on one side. It's a new look here for the Gilis ;)
We are not sure when we are leaving here or what our next destination will be, but I will be sure to keep you update. Also, pictures are hopefully being uploaded soon. Stay tuned!
'til next time,
Al and Nate