Paradise Found on Gili Air

Where do we start with the Gilis? I guess the beginning is as good a place as any. We took a three hour boat ride from Bali, through some scenic waters and saw some beautiful islands. None of this was as beautiful as where we were heading though – Gili Air. The Gili Islands, meaning “little islands” in Indonesian, consist of three tropical islands off the coast of Lombok, near Bali, and we had planned to explore them all. Gili Air was our first stop and it is basically as close to paradise as either of us have been. There are around 150 locals living on the island, and as it wasn’t peak season, only around 100 tourists, with not a single motorised vehicle allowed. As it was so busy, we stayed on the quiet, serene side of the island in what can only be described as a luxury beach villa. We decided to splash out on the room a bit, as a belated birthday treat for Katie.
Our beautiful beach villa!

During the day we explored the island (or slept!) , soaked up its beauty and got a feel of how the local people lived and tended their land. To get around the island, we rented bicycles and discovered how difficult riding in sand is. While cycling around we saw how the locals use wells to get their water and solar panels for their (24 hour) electricity. A true tropical paradise!
"No motors allowed" means that horse and cart or 
bicycle are the quickest ways to get around.
The forementioned solar panels.
The aforementioned beauty.
I also did a bit of snorkelling, which was ace!
These trees had really weird roots...
...and even weirder fruit! What is it?!
Hermann the hermit crab.
Every night we watched the sunset either from our room or by stepping out and walking 5 meters onto the beach. After the slight disappointment of Bali in terms of relaxation, we had finally found somewhere to call home for a while. Seven sunsets later, we reluctantly moved on.
And here are the 7 sunsets...
This was our bedroom view.
Costs (per person)
Return boat to the Gilis from Sanur = 500,000 IDR (£34, $51)
Beach Villa with A/C = 250,000 IDR (£17, $25)
Peace and relaxation = priceless