Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Gili Trawangan - Chapter 2

During this new chapter I took to the seas and did some diving. I did my first dive on the morning of the day that Devyn and Chandler were leaving me. I awoke at 8.30, got myself and my luggage down to Aquadiction and signed up for the dive at 10am – a 30 metre Deep Turbo. It was just me, a Korean girl and our divemaster, Catherine who was from France, as we were the only advanced people in the group, everyone else was just going to 18 metres, check us out! So we geared up, Catherine gave us the info on the dive and then we headed out to sea on a Banca boat – nice to see them again, hadn’t seen one since the Philippines! The only thing I was scared about was doing a seated back-roll entry into the ocean as I hadn’t done one before, I’d only really done a giant stride or a face-plant (can’t really call it a James Bond!) But I managed it successfully and then we began our descent...and I immediately started to panic again!

The breathing totally took me by surprise again and I hyperventilated during the first 30 secs of my descent, I just couldn’t get used to it again and it’d only been a 2/3 week break! Then I was fine...and then my ears started playing up – I couldn’t equalise properly! Arghhh, but after about 5mins of going up and down, once I got below 20m they were fine. We saw some super cool things, like sea snakes, starfish, clownfish, puffer fish, cuttle fish, angel fish etc. We even saw a turtle again! We were down at 30m for about 15-20mins and then we ascended to around 20-25m for the last 30mins and got shallower as we went up towards the shore, so that by the time we were ready to ascend we’d been floating around at 5m for long enough to not have to do our safety stop. Upon the ascent, I had a small nose bleed, but I think that was due to mask squeeze. It was strange diving in such strong currents though – you were pushed with the tides and used more air trying to swim against the current, so we went with the current most of the time.

When I got back from saying goodbye to Devyn and Chandler I immediately met everyone in my dorm room and we all decided to head out for dinner together, so we went to a pizza place down the street from us and had pizza and beer. It was me, Mark (UK), Lindsay (Canada), Nils, Stina and another girl I can’t remember the name of? (Sweden). We then all decided to go out so I let Shannon know we’d be over to Gili Hostels rooftop bar in about an hour. And we did the usual, drank at Gili hostel, where the lads met us (Chris, Jay, Si and James), played some drinking games there, then headed to Sama Sama, Irish bar and then Surf Bar (the after 2am bar).

Me and Chris spent most of the night together, chatting and dancing with Jay, the lads went home early but 3 of us stayed a little longer with Shannon. Me and Chris chatted on the beach for a while and then went home. Shannon went home with her Italian Stallions, Lindsay and Mark got some weed and were creeped out by people on the beach. Lindsay wore the ‘Traveling dress’ that evening – it was a dress Devyn bought in Phi Phi but no longer wanted, so she gave it to me with a condition that it get worn in new places and photographed...and boy did it get some action on Gili T that week!

The next day we had a hungover breakfast our our new local – the Thai restaurant round the corner - lounged at the beach, the guys came and joined us later and just generally had a good time. This is all we did really on our last week, just chilled at the beach by Gili T Hostel and Aquadiction, frolicking in the sea, gossiping, having fun and taking pictures! But it was an awesome week of meeting new people, making lasting new friendships and having some quality lie and fry times and some hilarious nights out.

My 2nd and 3rd dives were the day after so I had an earlyish night, after a lovely sophisticated meal with all the lads, Lindsay and Shannon at Beach House Resort. Then I was joined by James on the morning dive site at Meno Wall. He was only open water qualified so he went down with another group, but it was just me and Catherine doing the advanced, we got down to 27.5m. On this dive we saw Pigmy seashorses – very rare and hard to see as they are teeny tiny (smaller than your baby fingernail), so it was AMAZING to see them! We also saw tons of Nemo families, 5 turtles, starfish, lion fish etc. The Meno wall was amazing, it was a huge sheer drop of coral, all the way down to just over 30m and it went all the way down the side of Gili Meno shoreline.

We were dropped against the tide first, and Catherine wasn’t happy as we’d have to swim against the current and would have less time down due to air consumption, so we came back up and she signalled the boat over for a re-drop. So we held onto the side of the boat whilst it pulled us further along the coast so we’d be swimming with the current. And when we resurfaced, we’d swam pretty damn far! The entire length of the island!

Me and James then met the lads for lunch and then I went back for my afternoon dive at 2pm. Lindsay, Mark, Nils and another girl in the dorm, Lindsey from the UK had all signed up for an introductory dive for this one so we were all on the same boat together. I was teamed up with a new divemaster, Namy, a local, and two other girls from the UK who were advanced qualified. This was a dive at Shark Point, just a little further off Gili T from Sunset Point. It was where you could potentially see White Tip Reef Sharks...and we did! We saw two of them – one was absolutely massive!! We also saw turtles again – turtles on every dive, so lucky! One of the girls who had asked for an extra large air tank as she often ran out of air...ran out of air! So she had to do a buddy air-share with the divemaster, which meant we didn’t have as long down there but it was pretty awesome during the time we did get down.

Then after, me, Mark, Lindsay and Nils all went and met Shannon at the beach for a bit before getting ready for another night out, we ate at the night market to start eating cheaper. The guys joined us at Sama for a bit but then left, I went home early that night.

Our last night out together was the best one, we headed for one final sunset, which was a spectacular one, unfortunately Lindsay and Mark had burned it hard the night before so it was just Shannon, Lindsey and Tammi (2 new girls in the room who we’d gone out with a few times since and were lovely girls) and the lads, who we now knew as the Inbetweeners 4some.

We started at Sama Sama, moved onto Irish Bar where we managed to get headsets for the last 2hrs and danced on tables. Then instead of going to Surf Bar, the Inbetweeners suggested we go back to their room and drink/party there for a bit. We couldn’t find Shannon anywhere so Lindsey, Tammi and I all went back with the lads, getting a lift on their bikes part the way, until our bums hurt and we really didn’t want to get back on as we feared for our safety. Lindsey left us at Aquadiction as she had a dive the next morning. So we went back to the lads room and basically just stayed up playing drinking games, singing, being stupid. I recorded some FAB works of art on video by ‘mistake’. Then everyone left!! And it was just me and Chris in the room, we didn’t know what had happened but we decided we may as well go to bed.

The next morning (or afternoon) they all stumbled into the room, after having all slept (fully clothed) in the one bed in James’ room, with Tammi! Lol!! Turns out Tammi had used her magical powers of persuasion on getting the guys to leave their room, to give me and Chris some ‘alone time’! Haha. I had a text from Shannon that night – who is normally the go-to for gossip of her eventful nights, turned out she’d hit the sack early and had gone home with...a pot noodle! Lol

That day was spent monging on the beach. Then that evening we all went for a final meal at the night market (me and the lads were leaving for Kuta tomorrow) and some of us just had a film night at Aquadictions lounge bar, before saying our sad farewells! And that my friends was the end of the 2nd and epic chapter of my time in the Gili Islands. Tomorrow it’s off to Kuta for one night, before heading to Singapore! I will miss the Gili T Crew sooooo much, it’s been epic!!

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