Day 11 and 12.
We woke up in Paddang bai, packed up our stuff, settled the remaining bill with the owners of Lemon House home-stay and left. As we were walking out of the door, preparing for the 70+ steps down, 2 men in green uniform appeared. They had just clambered up the steps from the Ferry office. We had booked previously our space on the Ferry, going from Paddang Bai, one stop and Gilli T and then on to Gilli Air; but we were not expecting assistance! They explained that they would provide our transport to the ferry, which was completely ideal as I was not so game to walk in the sun with the backpacks again! The whole way down the stairs I envisaged the medium sized cab or mini van, perhaps with a few other tourists inside, with blacked out windows and air con.
WELL, when we did reach the bottom of the steps, for the last time- we were greeted with 2 motorbikes! They each hopped on one and encouraged Mikhail and I to jump on too. My rider was rather skinny and I was worried if he’d be able to handle me on the back +backpack and no helmets! We zoomed off through the little streets quickly, Miks bike in front of mine. When suddenly my guy veers off to the left round a sharp bend, nearly tipping the bike! WHERE ARE WE GOING? I shouted, “THE OFFICE” he responded. Miks was no where to be seen and I was scared! Images of the film “Taken” running through my mind. How could we have been so irresponsible? We did however, arrive at the office. Where I waited patiently and confused for fifteen minuets for Miky, whilst the 10 or so workers there grabbed and pulled at my backpack and wheeled it on to a cart and out of sight. Finally M arrived, looking flustered and panicked, a misunderstanding had meant that he went off to the bank without me. But drama, averted, we were ok and quickly went off to the ferry with about 50 other tourists. The ferry was big, and air-conditioned with karaoke and a sun deck. We were told the first leg of the journey to Gilli T would take 45 mins, and I managed to sleep the whole way (despite the roaring karaoke tunes)
When we arrived at Gilli T, we decided to sit on the top deck and just make sure out bags didn’t get thrown off, when we were satisfied everything was under control we sheepishly walked down the iron ladder to the lower deck. I had reached the bottom when I hear and almighty CLANGGG, look up and poor Miks is arse over tit in a tangled, deformed shape! he managed to organize himself and quickly rush in and sit down. He had split open his knee, and had several other little cuts and bruises appearing. We whopped out our first aid kit and tended to his injuries. After about another 20 mins we had arrived at Gilli Air, a quiet island, with no motorized vehicles at all. We grabbed our stuff, clambered down the makeshift gangway and boarded a horse and cart which took us directly to the Kaluka Bungalows. A spacious bungalow, with and outdoor bathroom, A/C and right on the beach. We got ourselves some bicycles and headed out for lunch. Tuna sashimi and mahi-mahi burgers, with a couple of mojitios. IDEAL. By the time we had arrived back at our bungalow it was dark. We had watched the full moon rise from a little bar and seen many locals, wading around in the low tide with torches. We went to investigated, wearing our flip flops we walked around in the shallow waters with our torches. STARFISH, CRABS, LOBSTERS, SEA URCHINS, STONE FISH, SEA SLUGS, SEA WORMS, CORAL, FISH, OCTOPI, SQUID are amongst the things we saw with our little torch beam! One big starfish even clambered his way across my foot. The locals were grabbing whatever they could see with a net and taking it in for the “fresh seafood mix” … fresh indeed!
The next morning we jumped on our bikes early, after eating breakfast by the beach under some pretty monstrous spiders in the trees above. Literally the more your eyes focused, the more you would notice! When a luminous green grass hopper the size of my foot was obstructing my way. I was cycling out of the little paths in the bungalow and onto the main street. I wanted to take out my camera to record him jump but managed to fall over with bike on top of me, with a sharp metal point impailing and scraping open my leg. A little open gash, but very deep and definitely in need of stitches. Luckily nurse miky packed sterri strips so he washed and tended to my poorly leg. I don’t want anymore ugly scars on my legs (or anywhere else for that matter) so Im doing my absolute best not to re-split the cut. Thus meaning I spent our first full day on Gilli air…. in bed and not snorkeling on turtle beach. poo poo. We did however walk along the beach and watch the sun set. We picked up several astonishing treasures along the way. Sea shells and dead coral, clams as big as my head, dead sea urchins and watched the purple sun disappear to another place. We saw a young local boy make a boat out of polystyrenes and dead coral and watched in float along the shallow rock pools!
LOVE TO ALLby