Gili Air

No cars or motorcycles, just humans and ponies. And cats, lots of cats, many born with stubby half-tails. Gili Air (which means “water island” in Indonesian) is the smallest of the Gili Islands, a group of idyllic little lumps of sand between Bali and Lombok, Indonesia.

Gili Air-20We were lucky enough to spend 16 days wandering around this miniature paradise. Being the rainy season, there were even fewer tourists on the island than usual. It also didn’t rain all day every day, and the rolling clouds provided frequent and much needed sun breaks for Jane’s skin.

Gili Air-32The days were spent relaxing, reading, snorkeling, and swimming. The water was the most improbable-looking shade of aquamarine, and a beautiful backdrop for the many schools of tropical fish darting around in their coral homes. We were also lucky enough to see a friendly sea turtle while snorkeling in shallow water, and we swam with it for a while as small fish nibbled bits of algae from its neck (unfortunately, photo unavailable). Also, aquatic ponies:

Gili Air-17Most nights were fairly cloudy, but the ones that weren’t provided some incredible views of a gorgeous full moon and more constallations than we’ve ever seen before.

Gili Air-3Gili Air was a gem of a place, and we had a great time getting to know our vacation-neighbors while eating a beachfront breakfast every morning. The day of Jane’s 26th birthday, we went to H2O Yoga for a luxurious hour and a half of open-air yoga and stretching, and had mango-dark chocolate ice cream cones for the walk back.Gili Air-39We finished up the day with a flower-covered cake from our friends at Star Bar, a strawberry daiquiri, and some hermit crab races courtesy of our 13-year-old neighbor Celeste. The next morning we headed out early for a few days on the island of Lombok before starting our journey to the city of Ha Noi, Vietnam.