Are you still on this island?

February 3, 2013 by Karen

Are you still on this island?

‘The Gili Islands, NO cars ! NO motorbikes ! NO worries. . . . !

Arcing away from the northwest corner of Lombok, are three idyllic atolls, where the sand is still powdery white, the water a clear sparkling turquoise, and the sunsets over Bali’s volcano Mt. Agung in the west simply spectacular.’

http://www.gili-paradise.com/

We loved the feel of Gili Air the moment we arrived. It was so nice to be somewhere peaceful without touts and car horns. The views were pretty spectacular as well.

With no motorised transport, horse drawn carriages called cidomos were very popular with locals and unsuspecting tourists!
We spent our first four nights at Biba Beach Resort run by two cat loving Italians.
“Would you like to check in?”
“No, I’ll just sleep here thanks!”
The weather got a little wild and we had to sit right at the back of their amazing wood fire pizza restaurant.
A friend joined us for breakfast!
We found a great spot for a cappuccino. They were a lot cheaper than the cat-poo-cinno (local slang for a coffee made from Kopi Lewak beans) Nick tried in Ubud.
The view from Scallywags, our coffee spot.
One of the days we were there the Mandi Sapar bathing ritual was performed where the whole village came down to the beach to cast away bad luck from the island. This is not an Islamic festival or even Sewak but was bought to the island by Sulawesi’s Bugis people, believed to be the first inhabitants on the islands.

We hired bikes and enjoyed exploring the island.

Do you want to buy a bracelet?

We started our 8 day True Nature Yoga and Meditation Retreat at H2O Yoga. We loved every minute of it and would recommend the centre to all.

The gorgeous yoga circle

Roof of the yoga circle
The handstand wall!
The shared bungalows
Bindu in the Zen centre
A nice place to relax in the garden
Surya the resident cat/ Princess
She enjoyed sneaking up on you in meditation and would often plop herself on your lap.
We ate our breakfast and dinner in silence each day and were encouraged to eat mindfully, tasting and being grateful for every mouthful. This was our evening table setting.
Each day we snorkelled in a different location on the island and parked ourselves at a different cafe.
Each afternoon we would head down to the beach for a sunset activity and meditation.
Doing some Chi Kung moves in the water while we waited for the others to arrive.

Over the eight days we saw some spectacular sunsets!

The retreat ended and we had to say goodbye to most of the group.
With Sigrid and the Russian honeymooners, Mischa and Dennis.
With Karen and Ron
With Sigrid, our lovely new friend from Belgium also taking a year out to travel with her boyfriend.
The two beautiful, fashionistas of the retreat, Emma and Nathalie!
We stayed for one more night and returned to Biba beach resort for dinner on the last night.
“Are you still on this island?” was the first thing the waiter said to me as I arrived!
We dragged ourselves off the island the following day and went over to Kuta Lombok. It was beautiful but we missed Gili Air and just wated to do more yoga. After two nights at Seger Reef Homestay we booked our trip back to Gili Air.
Kuta, Lombok
We returned to our gorgeous Banana Cottages for another four nights.
And headed down to H2O for some more yoga.
Back at the Zen centre a certain someone was glad to see us again!
The last supper with the wonderful Amy, yoga teacher extraordinaire and all round sweetheart!
It was finally time to leave the island. With Guru Rich and the beautiful Amanda!
Waiting for our fast boat to whisk us back to Bali.
Being on Gili Air really taught us to slow down. We want to finish with this lovely poem that was on the coffee table at the H2O yoga centre.
Slow Dance

Have you ever watched kids on a merry go round?

Or listened to the rain slapping on the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight?

Or gazed at the sun into fading night?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast.

Time is short the music won’t last.

 

Do you run through each day on the fly?

When you ask “how are you?,” do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed?

With the next 100 chores running through your head?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast.

Time is short the music won’t last.

 

Ever told a child, we’ll do it tomorrow?

And in your haste, not seen his/her sorrow?

Ever lost touch and let a friendship die?

Because you never had time to call and say hi.

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast.

Time is short the music won’t last.

 

When you run so fast to get somewhere,

You miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,

It is like an unopened gift thrown away.

 

Life is not a race

Do take it slower

Hear the music

Before the song is over.

 

Comments

  1. Angela Lauder says:

    love the poem guys – thanks for sharing – very timely!

  2. Your pictures are amazing!! I’d almost forgotten how beautiful the beaches and sunsets are in Bali/Lombok. I never made it to Gili Air (I don’t remember which Gili I stayed on, but it was so small there were no roads at all). But I think I’ll have to go to Gili Air, if only for the cats! They looks so gorgeous ^^

  3. Anonymous says:

    So glad that you re both having such an amazing time! Lovely to see your faces againxx

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply to Angela Lauder Cancel reply