After diving in the Komodo Nationalpark we took a flight from Labuan Bajo to Lombok with stopover in Bali.
We spent one night in Mataram because our flight arrived late afternoon and there were no more boats leaving to Gili Air. We took a driver from the airport to our hotel “Idoop” and ordered him also for the next morning to bring us to the north where the boat leaves to the small island. Gili (Small Island) Air (Water). We didn’t see a lot of Mataram and also didn’t leave in the evening. We ordered some food to our room and went to bed. Here isn’t a lot to do in Mataram as soon as it gets dark. There are no street lights and all the city is dark.
The next morning we were picked up at 9 o’clock and arrived the harbor at 10. We paid 300000 Rupees for the transport Airport – Mataram and Mataram to the harbor. After arriving we bought 2 tickets for the local boar which was 22000 Rupees together (1.50€). It was a short trip of 20 minutes but not very comfortable as there were a lot of people and food and many other things on a small boat.
After arriving we took a horse car to our place “GoodTimes Bungalow” which was a recommendation from Eddi and Sandra who we met on our liveaboard in Labuan Bajo. The horse car has a fixed price of 50000 Rupees per person, it doesn’t matter how far you go. In fact there is nothing far on this island. It is one kilometer long and the same wide and there is no transportation with gasoline. Some electronic scooters drive around but ther rest is with horses or bicycle.
GoodTimes Bungalow is a nice place with orange pool and run by a Norwegian family with 3 kids. They opened the place 3 months ago in January 2016. The bungalows are nice and spacious with a big bathroom which is open on the top.
First we planned to stay there for just a few nights but ended up 10 in the end, also because of the very lovely family! There is an incredible amount of good restaurants in this small island, it is quite and good for Scuba Diving.
We were told that there are the 3 lies of Gili Air:
- I leave tomorrow
- No Bintang today
- I love you
One evening they did cocktail degustation / training at the GoodTimes Bungalow and we were invited to try a lot of different cocktails! And on our last evening there the owner served some very good dried sheep meat, like jamón ibérico but with different taste, homemade from the parents of the owner.
After all this days it was then time to leave back to Bali and we went there by speed ferry. It takes 1.5 hours by boat and another 1.5 hours by van down to Kuta. The van is included in the price of 170000 Rupees each. The family brought us to the pier and is was an emotional moment to leave as we already felt like a part of them. They waited with us for the ferry which of course was late.
1.5 hours after the planned time the ferry arrived and we left to the last stop in Indonesia: Kuta on Bali.
Some Restaurants in Gili Ari
- Mowie’s: Amazing sunset as it is located on the west side of the island and the sun goes down behind a volcano on Bali. Tuna sashimi and a Pizza like bread are very good and also the place is made very beautiful.
- Classico: A pizzeria with wood oven and they make some perfect pizzas. Also they have good wine for a fair price.
- Shark Bites: Nice restaurant owned by an Austrian guy. The burgers there are amazing! A little bit pricey but food and cocktails are delicious and they have good music! The owner wears shirts from Pennywise and other bands like that, has tattoos and a beard 😉
- Mexican Kitchen: Good Mexican food as the name says.
- Pura Vida: Good Spanish tapas. The Croquetas were so delicious!
- Caballitos del mar: Good food and nice location. A little pricey.
- Warung Sari: Local food just around the corner of Good Times Bungalows. Sari and her husband are very nice people and the have good local food. Very cheap.