Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Annoying Sea Turtles in the Gili Islands

From Bali you can take a two hour boat ride to a small archipelago of three islands named the Gili Islands.  These islands look like the perfect tropical getaways that you see on travel shows.  If you were to be successful in a million dollar bank robbery, this is where you would go to hide from any international crime stoppers.  The Gili Islands are undeveloped and untouched from any resorts or travel packages.  In fact, nothing with a motor is allowed on the islands.  To travel any significant distance on the islands' dirt roads your options are to rent a bike or hire a guy with a donkey with a cart attached.

We arrived on Caroline's birthday and stayed for four days.  If it wasn't for limited time we could have easily lost track of what day it was and spent a couple of weeks there.  Basically we did what you do when you're on a small tropical island.  We slept, laid on the beach, ate, drank (a lot), and swam in the ocean.  However, the real highlight was the snorkeling.  Twice we hired our own private glass bottom boat to drive us around the three islands all day and stop at great snorkeling sites.  Our driver and guide smoked a fat doobie on our first day of snorkeling, and on the second day there were no joints but he did inform us that he had just finished a psychedelic mushroom milkshake right before he jumped behind the wheel to take us in to the ocean.  So it goes in the Gili Islands.
Birthday Shots!

The snorkeling was spectacular!  I had never done snorkeling like this.  I didn't know it could be so amazing.  The Gili Islands are surrounded by beautiful coral reefs.  When ever anyone saw a sea turtle they would scream "Turtle!" to anyone with in a mile and we would all swim as fast as we could to catch a glimpse.  Then we would play the game "See Who Can Pet the Sea Turtle."  This would last until the turtle out smarted us and dove to depths too deep for oxygen breathing warm blooded mammals.  We also encountered a school of jellyfish, a couple puffer fish, a scary looking eel, varieties of tropical fish, and remnants of steel from a sunken ship.  I want to go back to the Gili Islands with no time constraints, lose track of the days, and worry about whether I should be using SPF 8 or SPF 15.  Even though we had to leave the Gili Islands, I couldn't complain too much because the next stop was Bali. 
Baby Sea Turtles at a Conservation Center

Kerri swims under the glass bottom boat!

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