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Gili Islands were disappointing end to Lee's winter journey

The Gilis were supposed to be a tropical paradise but I was disappointed; the coral was limited and in bad shape, there was lots of trash in the water and on the beach, and there wasn't much to do

The Gilis were supposed to be a tropical paradise but I was disappointed; the coral was limited and in bad shape, there was lots of trash in the water and on the beach, and there wasn't much to do

Our snorkeling trip was a cheap way to see all 3 of the Gili islands; we agreed that the snorkeling wasn't as good here as it was on Nusa Lembongan

Our snorkeling trip was a cheap way to see all 3 of the Gili islands; we agreed that the snorkeling wasn't as good here as it was on Nusa Lembongan

Gili Air is just one of Indonesia's 13,708 islands; Gili Air is named after the Indonesian word air which means water (that seems really odd)

Gili Air is just one of Indonesia's 13,708 islands; Gili Air is named after the Indonesian word air which means water (that seems really odd)

White-spotted pufferfish; Gili Air is the closest of the Gilis to Lombok and can be reached in about 20 minutes by local boat or just 5 minutes by speedboat

White-spotted pufferfish; Gili Air is the closest of the Gilis to Lombok and can be reached in about 20 minutes by local boat or just 5 minutes by speedboat

The Gilis are known for their large population of green sea turtles; Gili Air is the most populated of the 3 islands with 1500 local residents

The Gilis are known for their large population of green sea turtles; Gili Air is the most populated of the 3 islands with 1500 local residents

Lee is in the center of 48 life-sized statues (they were cast from actual people) symbolizing life and continuity that are just off the west coast of Gili Meno; they are designed to create a future home to corals and sponges

Lee is in the center of 48 life-sized statues (they were cast from actual people) symbolizing life and continuity that are just off the west coast of Gili Meno; they are designed to create a future home to corals and sponges

Squid; a popular activity on Gili Air is taking an Indonesian cooking class which I persuaded Lee to do (Lee found good restaurants on the island and loved the cheap prices)

Squid; a popular activity on Gili Air is taking an Indonesian cooking class which I persuaded Lee to do (Lee found good restaurants on the island and loved the cheap prices)

This guide from our snorkeling tour easily dove down to take photos of the turtle for someone on the boat; I thought the guide was intrusive but the turtle, surprisingly, didn't flee

This guide from our snorkeling tour easily dove down to take photos of the turtle for someone on the boat; I thought the guide was intrusive but the turtle, surprisingly, didn't flee

Giant mottled eel; I saw two reef sharks during my stay - one snorkeling off Gili Air and the other while riding the glass bottom snorkeling boat

Giant mottled eel; I saw two reef sharks during my stay - one snorkeling off Gili Air and the other while riding the glass bottom snorkeling boat

This was the view from our hut on a sunny day; the best snorkeling on the island was on the east side (where we were) with the NE and SE corners being the best spots

This was the view from our hut on a sunny day; the best snorkeling on the island was on the east side (where we were) with the NE and SE corners being the best spots

This is the shore road that ran in front of our hotel; there are no paved roads on the island with the only transport options being horse-drawn carts, electric scooters, bicycles and walking

This is the shore road that ran in front of our hotel; there are no paved roads on the island with the only transport options being horse-drawn carts, electric scooters, bicycles and walking

Don't think we always had sunshine!; there are no big hotels on Gili Air - most properties just have a few bungalows with homestays also popular

Don't think we always had sunshine!; there are no big hotels on Gili Air - most properties just have a few bungalows with homestays also popular

Scrawled filefish; the water visibility differed greatly day to day and beach to beach so you just had to swim until you found a good area

Scrawled filefish; the water visibility differed greatly day to day and beach to beach so you just had to swim until you found a good area

Everywhere on the island you're encouraged to take a snorkel trip to visit the waters of all 3 islands; it was a good deal since it only cost $7 for 10am-2:30pm (lunch not included)

Everywhere on the island you're encouraged to take a snorkel trip to visit the waters of all 3 islands; it was a good deal since it only cost $7 for 10am-2:30pm (lunch not included)

Bigeye barracuda; Lee found a gym that he liked as well as places that offered good yoga classes and massages at very affordable prices

Bigeye barracuda; Lee found a gym that he liked as well as places that offered good yoga classes and massages at very affordable prices

There are no supermarkets on Gili Air, just small mini-marts selling sodas and chips; most of the help on the island is young men who come over from Lombok

There are no supermarkets on Gili Air, just small mini-marts selling sodas and chips; most of the help on the island is young men who come over from Lombok

I was not keen on riding in this horse-drawn cart but the guy at the hotel didn't trust giving us directions for where our snorkel tour would start

I was not keen on riding in this horse-drawn cart but the guy at the hotel didn't trust giving us directions for where our snorkel tour would start

Humphead bannerfish; you can walk around Gili Air in a little over a hour (it's about the size of Memorial Park) but navigating the many dirt paths criss-crossing the island can get confusing

Humphead bannerfish; you can walk around Gili Air in a little over a hour (it's about the size of Memorial Park) but navigating the many dirt paths criss-crossing the island can get confusing

Titan triggerfish; the tourism brochure says the Gilis are 3 perfect tropical islands sitting in the sparkling ocean which just isn't the case (have they not noticed all the trash?)

Titan triggerfish; the tourism brochure says the Gilis are 3 perfect tropical islands sitting in the sparkling ocean which just isn't the case (have they not noticed all the trash?)

There was an abundance of colorful beach bars on Gili Air that had an Austin vibe to them; the islands are suffering from the lack of Chinese visitors due to Indonesia currently banning anyone from China due to the coronavirus

There was an abundance of colorful beach bars on Gili Air that had an Austin vibe to them; the islands are suffering from the lack of Chinese visitors due to Indonesia currently banning anyone from China due to the coronavirus

Yellowbar parrotfish; just like the Nusas, you could not drink the tap water on the Gilis but the hotel furnished plenty of bottled water

Yellowbar parrotfish; just like the Nusas, you could not drink the tap water on the Gilis but the hotel furnished plenty of bottled water

Blackeye thicklip wrasse; the Gilis are predominantly Muslim and we would hear the calls to prayer but the mosques weren't near enough to disrupt sleep

Blackeye thicklip wrasse; the Gilis are predominantly Muslim and we would hear the calls to prayer but the mosques weren't near enough to disrupt sleep

We had one nice sunny afternoon; the Gilis are popular for people wanting to get certified to scuba dive since it is relatively cheap here

We had one nice sunny afternoon; the Gilis are popular for people wanting to get certified to scuba dive since it is relatively cheap here

Orangeband surgeonfish; in hindsight, I think we would have enjoyed exploring the islands of Bali or Lombok more than staying on Gili Air

Orangeband surgeonfish; in hindsight, I think we would have enjoyed exploring the islands of Bali or Lombok more than staying on Gili Air

Posted by VagabondCowboy 22:12

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