After a Sekotong breakfast over looking the water with Gili Gede in the distance, it was time to get over there by kayak.
Having got kayak burn in Thailand a couple of years ago; Danielle, Beca and Charlene got it too; I wasn’t going to make the same mistake again, so cream on, t-shirt on and off I went. Just before I left I was chatting to an Aussie lady who had kayaked the other way earlier and suggested a parking spot on a little beach for when I arrived. She had come over to my place to get away from her three kids and husband whom she had left on their boat moored at Gili Gede. Turns out they bought a boat in Melbourne last year, sailed here which took eight months. Flew back to Melbourne then have flown back here two weeks ago to sail around for five months. Was chatting to them both when I returned and their rationale for doing the trip was to give their kids a great childhood that they didn’t have. The kids are about 7 (twins) and 10. They’ve hung out here for a few hours and are great kids who are clearly having the time of their lives.
Anyway I digress. Off I paddled to Gili Gede. Parked up and went on a five hour adventure round the island. It was pretty much me and locals. I saw four other tourists staying at some bungalows at the opposite side of the island but that was it.
My kayak parking space. Tied it to a tree so it didn’t float away in case the tide came in.
The people are clearly very poor but mostly pretty smiley, and I saw a couple of well old ladies.
Generally they all have some chickens, goats and cows, that are all very healthy looking – I guess this is down to the lush vegetation. They are clearly self sufficient but its only a quick boat ride to the mainland should they need anything. There are tons of kids around – many of whom high fived me!! The kids, and adults alike, were transfixed by my freckles – although I had my shoulders covered most of the time, just out of respect, as it is a Muslim area and currently Ramadan – so also kept my water in my bag and drank when people weren’t around.
For most of my walk it was just me and maybe some livestock. The water is clear as you like and there are lots of tiny little white beaches at every turn.
There is some sign of development but not a great deal. I think it is a bit of a day trip place with a few bungalows here and there for tourist accomodation but not much at all. I hope it stays this way, but I doubt it.
Got chatting to a local guy who I bought a drink from at Tamarind Bungalows, the place I saw four tourists and with the toilet with a tree un inside, and he said just a couple of years ago there was no tourism there but it is slowly arriving. He was mocked by his family for studying tourism but he said it is slowly paying off!!
I took stacks of photos but just a selection below with a few comments, but most dont need much explanation:
Of course there’s a football pitch in the middle of the island.
Spot the fisherman perched on a post.
I had to climb over a few rocks to get round the island.
I didn’t just stick to the edge of the island as tempting as it was with the many many little beaches. I criss crossed here and there too. Here are some inland pics:
Strolled through another cow field.
Saw some brand new chickens and goats in additon to gazillions of grown up ones.
I think we know who is in charge here!
Looked like whitebait or similar being dried in the sun.
Had a delicious lunch at a deserted restaurant called hula hoop. Just me there again!
Stopped for a wee in a toilet with a tree in the middle!
As i came to the end of my walk I could see my kayak but how to get there?? Its in the orange circle…
Down a few steps, over some rocks and a spot of wading I made it!
Head wind for my row home but wasnt too bad!