21 Hours of Flying Solo
I had 3 flights to get to Indonesia and to be honest it wouldn’t have been that bad if I hadn’t of been ridiculously hungover. I was a bit nervous, it was the first time I flew solo or had even been solo the entire time of our year long trip. Ricky was always the organiser so I arrived at the airport 3.5 hours early just to make sure I didn’t get lost. I made friends almost instantly while waiting in the queue. Two Australians that I wish I got their details, ended up spending most of the time with them until the flight. Look at pack I got on the plane!!
My first flight was Sofia to Istanbul (easy 1.5 hours), then Istanbul to Jakarta (average 10.5 hours) then Jakarta to Denpasar (1.5 hours). I had 3 hours in-between each flight and that was more than enough time to get to each terminal. I organised a transfer because I arrived in Bali at about 1:30am and it was the best decision I made. It was expensive (like 20USD) but it didn’t matter. My hostel was at The Amazing Cabin and it was pretty nice.
Coffee, Haircut & Skype Interviews
I woke up about 7 hours later and managed to find a breakfast spot near the hairdressers in Legian (Luxe Hair Bali). I had my first Nasi Goreng and a coffee before it was time for my appointment. The prices were close to what they are in Perth (I paid $40 for a cut and wash). The ladies were really nice I think the owner is from New Zealand and the lady who cut my hair was from NSW.
After that I rushed back to my Hostel in time for my Skype interview. Because we were on the last leg of our trip I had started applying for jobs back in Perth and they asked to have a chat over Skype. I was so nervous that the internet connection would cut out but it managed to stay stable for a solid 15minutes!
That night I caught up with my English friend, Nat, and we went out to dinner at Warung Damar (Opposite Waterbom Park) and again, had Nasi Goreng.
Gili T Transfer & Daily Homestay
I took the fast boat to Gili T the next morning. I had read all the horror reviews about the transfer and it wasn’t that bad. I paid about $60AUD for a return ticket and I was happy. I know that you can get cheaper tickets, but I knew they were picking me up from my hostel and dropping me off again. I got picked up at about 7am and got to Gili T around 2pm. I booked a bed in a three bedroom dorm at Daily Homestay which was only 200m from the beach. That night I went out to dinner with an Aussie guy I met on the bus and ended up making friends with an Australian couple too. After dinner the Australian couple and I went to the Irish pub for a bit and then we called it a night.
Yoga @ The Yoga Place
The reason for Gili T was for Yoga! Oh and scuba diving, but my sinus was playing up so unfortunately I couldn’t dive. The Yoga Place was about a 2 minute walk away from my hostel so it only made sense to practice there. I did a total of 5 classes ($30 pass) and stayed on the island from Tuesday to Saturday. I did Hatha/Vinyasa and Yin. On my last night I did 2 yoga classes and because it was a Friday night legitimately no-one showed up. I was pretty happy to have 2 private classes with the instructor. She asked me if I would be interested in a different type of a yoga called ‘Kundalini‘ which was really powerful. I’m not really into the spiritual side to Yoga (Well, I am, but not at a high level) but she showed me a lot of new breathing techniques and I was really sore the next day!
Beaches & The ‘Iconic Swing’
I was at the beach most days, reading my book and attempted to get tanned. You really only have to walk a little bit around the island to find a good beach spot. I asked some locals and they said the south side of the island is better than the north.
One afternoon I did a trek to the infamous sunset swing and it was a really odd scene. I walked up to the massive queue and saw girl after girl stand on the swing getting photos taken. All this time I thought this spot was a hidden, peaceful gem but it was really crowded. A few girls nearby the beach were saying that they cycled there at like 5am to get a more secluded photo. I didn’t get any photos of myself on the swing, but I think these will do!
Pituq Cafe & Food Night Markets
I think I visited Pituq Cafe about 3 times while I was on the Island. They are a vegetarian/vegan cafe and all the food is organic (and surprisingly cheap!). You have to get there early as it gets really busy. I tried lots of stuff, but I loved their coconut milk macchiato.
I ate at the night markets twice, super cheap around $2 for dinner (Veggie options). You can add meat or seafood, but I didn’t know which one wouldn’t be dodgy, so I didn’t risk it. You can buy a beer and sit down or get it to takeaway – doesn’t matter!
Tips for Gili T
ATMs; I only took cash with me to the island. A few people I spoke to said that they had their cards swallowed by the machines there.
Accommodation; make sure your somewhat near the main strip, only because there aren’t many street lights and I saw some places that were miles away.
Food I missed; Pizzeria Regina!!! If you go to Gili T, make sure you make a reservation at this amazing Italian restaurant. The pizza chef is Italian.
Scuba Diving; Go with either Manta Dive or Blue Marlin dive; they are the best.
Massages & Shopping; DON’T BOTHER. I had a beach massage and it was so shit. Shopping (even the markets) are extremely overpriced. I was told to get out of a market stall because I wouldn’t pay more than $10AUD on a Bali dress.
Gili T Fast Boat; Book in advance or buy your return ticket once you’re on the island it doesn’t really matter. Always try to book the morning boat out if you can (unless the weather is shitty). Most of the boats are the same, but a good idea is to watch them coming in during the afternoon and see which boat you want to go on first before booking. I think I went with Warung or something like that, they were fine.