During my three week stay in Indonesia, nearing the end of my Southeast Asia adventure, I ventured out to the Gili Islands (off the tip of Lombok). My bro Chris spent nearly a month on these islands – there are three in total; Gili Air, Gili Meno & Gili Trawangan (aka Gili T) and he couldn’t stop raving about the Bohemian’esque culture that was in the air there – so I booked accommodations on the largest island that is Gili T at (another of his reco’s); Blue Marlin Dive Resort. As I am bougie, I booked their largest suite which sits atop the Dive office – it’s a loft setting, tons of windows for natural light, a spiral staircase the leads down to your own private washroom complete with an open concept shower – ahhh the life and for $55USD/night – you couldn’t go wrong.
So check this out – here I am settling in to my new digs, when I head downstairs to the Dive shop/office to inquire about a Discovery Dive – it’s when you are unsure about going for your PADI license – so you sign up for this 2 hour in class/in pool ice breaker then head out into the ocean for a 40ft max dive. The beauty is that if you are indeed going for your PADI, you take the same initial class/dive etc. Okay – so I am in the dive office and low & behold the kids I met at Single Fin (in Uluwatu) are there too!!! My South African and Swedish friends – talk about timing. There was this one girl – Isabelle (who I may add comes back into my life in future posts) – from Gothenburg Sweden who I became fast friends with. Her two travelmates were a little younger than she and after some time travelling together, they just weren’t seeing the trip through a single pair of eyes – btw, word to the wise – YOU can’t just up and travel with anyone – it could be your worst nightmare.
Isabelle tells me that she is afraid of the ocean and is a little apprehensive about signing up for the Discovery Dive and I exclaim ‘Me too!!!’ – now we get a little more in depth than that, but I can’t remember verbatim but we make a pact to do the Discovery Dive together. A little background on me and water – I have all my badges up to Lifesaver but I got them when I was really young (parents keeping the kid off these streets lol – put him in swimming lessons, foreverrrrr!!!)…any way, and call it what you want – I have flown to so many places in my life that many were spent flying over water and then there would be insane turbulence and I would freak the fuck out, anxiety attack if you will. Any way, that freaked me out about water. So much so, that when I went into something as innocent as a swimming pool, I was holding onto the edge, wtf?! Moral of this story (which isn’t done) – have a fear – slap it in the face and just do it (another future post will show what a hypocrite I am in terms of facing fears, baby steps I tell ya!). Any way, we do the class – we go out to the ocean – badda bing, badda boom – Discovery Dive complete, not without hiccups but my mentality was this – did I really want to die 40ft below in the ocean or was I going to suck it up and swim it out? I’m typing this so you know the answer!
I was only in Gili T for a couple of night, I had to hop a boat back to Bali and catch my flight the next day back to Toronto. The night of our successful dive – btw, Isabelle decided to do the full PADI, she had the days in her favour and success, my girl did it, made proud of her. Ok so – in our crew or Discoveriers, lol, was a dude named Manuel (from Munich Germany) and this other kid – can’t remember his name – sweet American boy who was living in Jakarta…so we go out partying that night – we meet up with friends of Manuel’s that were travelling with him and had a blast…too much of a blast. We all made these big plans to go to Sweden from Midsommar (Summer solstice) and Germany and all those false (or even true) promises to make these friendships last past these few magical days in Paradise.
Word to the wise – if you are leaving the next day, don’t go out and party the night before. First off, it’s hot as balls outside, there is very little shade…I met this Guardian Angel named Pippa from London UK who I met by fluke while waiting for my boat back to the mainland, this girl helped me out with electrolytes, good conversation and great pep talks reminding that I was gonna make it and defeat this life deafening hangover…it totally helped – I have tried to search for her – I had given her my business card but forgot to take her info – do you know how many Pippa’s are in the UK – gah!
Upon returning to the mainland – I said my final goodbye’s to Ronny & his buddy Tony and was on my way back to Canada. I know I said I wouldn’t return to Bali unless I was making my way to Komodo but to be honest – to spend time with Ronny or my SA crew – I’d elongate my stay – it would be worth it and an honour.
Special shouts go out to Lisa & Stephen Fanali – another set of gems from Perth, Australia…Chris and I had a lovely time with them in Legian!