Guest Post by: Lizard 100 Blog
The Indonesian archipelago stretches across a significant distance in East Asia. Tiny islands suspended like jewels on an ocean of a thousand aquamarine shades. The exotic names conjure up images of tropical paradise. Bali, Lombok, Jakarta, Padangbai. Up until recently I’ve always considered myself more tourist than traveller. An agent would design a trip for me and paid up in advance we’d follow their instructions carefully, but this time I was determined to do it myself. How hard could it be? I found some good value flights and selected some dates. The destination? The Gili islands. Three tiny specks on the Indonesian map. An idyllic destination so small you can walk around them. So small there’s no cars, only pony and trap or bicycle.
This trip was going to be a personal adventure, ably assisted by my husband. The journey was long. We visited Abu Dhabi along the way, a location so contrastingly dry and dusty that it was hard to think of our final destination in the ocean from there.
After three flights and a fast boat ride we arrived. As a traveller now, I was pleased that we arrived on a beach where jumping onto the sand was the method to alight. Immediate contact with the water and the fine golden granules between my toes. Our purpose on this trip was to get further into this ocean space. As true adventurers we found a specific and unusual way to do this. But more of that later. Check out the dining room! Breakfast, lunch and dinner served along this beach every day!
The dive centre we visited sits on Gili Air, the quieter of the Islands which has a large local community. All travel on these Islands focusses on the coastal path and charming bungalows cling to the inland side while restaurants take the beach. Even in high season it’s peaceful and though there’s a constant trickle of gap-year backpackers looking for accommodation, it’s a good level of busy. This trip we wanted to find something different. And we were going to be lucky. What better way to enjoy the sea than free-diving? Free of equipment and heavy gear. I’ve always enjoyed snorkelling, to visit creatures and spaces on a single breath.
But there was an even better option. A free-diving course was open for participants. Adventurers this way please! After two days of focus on breathing and technique, I was able to access the ocean in a unique way. A single breath took me to twenty metres (more than sixty feet) and back.
The diving expression ‘in the blue’ captures this moment perfectly. Surrounded by beautiful iridescent water. Flowing and shimmering around me. It was a perfect turquoise moment! The Gili Islands a truly unique experience that I hope to repeat soon.
My name is Liz of Lizard 100 blog . For a long time I’ve considered myself part mermaid and am most happy when in the sea. I’ve been a scuba diver for seventeen years and if I get the chance to explore a diving destination I’m very excited. This year we’ve made a trip to Indonesia for the first time. Here’s me in my hammock on the beach.