A week of the simple life – because island life is so eeeaaasssyyyyy – On Gilli (meaning small island) Trawangan, Lombok, Indonesia:
We’ve settled into a shady spot on the beach, watching the crystal clear water in shades of aquamarine, turquoise and moonlight blue gently lapping at the sand, the jingle from the bells of a horse drawn carriage passing by behind us every now and then ….. otherwise just the soft hum of island life surrounds us.
This is the sort of place where one could easily lose themselves, disappear for eternities and completely forget about time. Forget about the world that exists outside of island life and enjoy the pure pleasures of the simple things.
Walks along the beaches that dreams are made of, fresh young coconuts to drink and sweet pineapples so juicy it’s hard to contain the succulent waters in your mouth. Gentle swims in the ocean so clear and pristine you can see your own toes sparkling in the depths. Freshly caught seafood and produce at every twist and turn. It’s an easy existence. the sun is strong and the shade comforting.
It’s Ramadan in this Muslim part of Indonesia and the only partially built mosque has started back on its call to prayer – various voices taking their turns blasting over the beach in a soothing rhythmical manner. We giggle as one of the songs of prayers sounds like ooh la la ooh la la ooh la la ooh la la ooh la la ooh la la and sing along.
Life has taken on a considerably slower pace and my sister and I adjust immediately – we are island girls at heart anyway, we are made for this kind of life – we agree simultaneously.
We cycle around the island which takes about two hours including pushing our bikes through the sandy depths on some parts of the single path that goes round the island, and the pit stop by a little grass hut for a freshly cut up pineapple devoured in juicy mouthfuls as we gaze across the stunning ocean – shimmering, dancing before us.
Most late afternoons we wander down to the Sunset Bar and meet up with friends we’ve gathered on the island, chat about our day, about each other and watch as the sun gracefully takes a bow and makes its exist for the day. This is followed by a visit to the night food market where we hungrily choose some fresh seafood to be grilled before our eyes. It comes out on wicker basket plates lined with banana leaf and piled high with rice, vegetables and sauces to accompany the delicious ‘fruits of the sea’. The arrival of food is accompanied by moments of utter silence around the long tables stretched across the market place as we delight in our meals.
Bar Gilli has enormous, comfortable bean bags and free wifi when you purchase something from their menu so on occasion we relax there during the midday sun and sip on fresh watermelon juices as we update ourselves and each other on the goings on in the rest of the world with our iPhones. It’s an incredible sensation to be so detached physically and yet still bound emotionally through technology to those that you connect with in daily life.
At some point it’s my 30th birthday and we celebrate with cycling around the island like we own it, with flowers in our hair and in the evening with Pina Coladas, sashimi, lobster, garlic butter sauce and decadent chocolate souffle at the famed Ko Ko Mo restaurant owned by an Australian chef. This birthday is the main incentive for this little getaway to Indonesia – the day passes much the same as the others – languidly, leisurely, peacefully, happily. Everything that one could want in paradise.
Birthdays tend to carry an expectation to suddenly feel different – changed somehow – perhaps older, wiser, time worn? I feel none of those except in the days following I become aware of a sense of having arrived. Like I’ve finally made it.
Our final days are met with some trepidation, having fallen in love with the island, the local people, the way of life. We have spent afternoons daydreaming of spending our existence on this tropical isle with various business ventures, each more comical than the last. We have laughed and giggled for hours as we always do, digressing every minute thought that comes to our heads, sharing tears from sad stories and enjoying our peaceful existence. Ah! Island life! It’s so easy and it’s hard to say goodbye!
Around here, we do things a little differently...
Sign up to join the 10,000+ subscribers to my popular love-drenched notes sent directly to your inbox.
You're signing up to receive emails from Vienda Maria