20 mars 2018

Nyepi: week-end to Gili Islands

Nyepi, here, represents the New Year. Now, we are in 1940 !

This year, Nyepi (also called Silent Day) happened in March 17th. In the tradition, it’s the day where the population stay at home to remind the bad spirits: no one leave the house, the inhabitants must use few lights and don’t make noise, to convince the demons the city is peaceful and deserted. It’s also a moment of prayer. The day before Nyepi, there is a parade during which Ogoh-Ogoh are placed in visible areas, as big intersections, street corners… Ogoh-Ogoh is a huge, scary statue made in paper mashed by the students of the village, put on a wooden base. The goal of these statues is to scare the demons, to convince them to leave. The day after the Silent Day, the population brings the Ogoh-Ogoh to the beach and burns them.

During this celebration, all the volunteers leaved Bali because there is nothing to do for all the week-end. So, we decided to go on Gili Islands, precisely in Gili Trawangan. In fact, the Gili Islands are made of three little Islands: Gili Trawangan (the biggest), Gili Meno and Gili Air. These three islands are part of Lombok, another island (bigger) next to Bali. We choose to go on Gili Trawangan because once again, it’s the place to be.

We leaved Slukat on Thursday morning, went to Padangbai (in the East of Bali) to take the fast boat: approximately two hours. We enjoyed the view on the deck of the boat, realizing how are the landscapes when you’re traveling between the islands of the hugest archipelago of the world. We finally arrived in such a beautiful island: transparent sea, a lot of palm trees and coconut palms… We dropped off our things in our hostel, and we directly went to the sea. 

On Friday, we planned five hours of snorkelling: we leaved the morning at 10 and came back at 3pm. We made 3 stops during the trip. In the first one, we could see some fish, like Dory in Nemo and we had the opportunity to see one turtle. During the second step, the “Turtle point”, we saw a lot of turtles, but the sea was deeper, so we couldn’t see them closer. Then, we made a stop in Gili Meno to have a meal before the third and last step. The last step was the most beautiful in my opinion, there was a lot of fish, all kind of fish, you could swim between them and see corals. It was my first snorkelling experience and I adored it, it was wonderful.

On Saturday, we took time to relax, to enjoy the beach and we did paddle. We all thought it would be difficult, but after few minutes it was okay, we could stand up, and enjoy the sea, the sun, laugh together. It was also a first experience and I loved it.

Sunday was quite a funny day. We had to take the fast boat at 3pm but when we went for the check-in, the company told us that because of Nyepi, the fast boat is cancelled so we should take a slow boat until Lombok, then take a bus to Kuta’s port, and finally take a ferry to Bali. That’s take initially eight hours.

So, we waited for the slow boat, we arrived in Lombok and we waited again for the bus. At that moment, we saw a big black cloud in the sky. We were sure it will be a tropical storm: it was. It started raining five minutes before the bus arrive, so we had to run under the rain to be in the bus, I never been that wet. Finally, in the bus, we had one hour to join the port. It took two hours, because we run out of gas, in the middle of nowhere. We were really upset at that point of the situation. Nevertheless, we arrived in the port to take the ferry. The ferry took five hours to join Bali, it was in the middle of the night, we were a bit scared. Finally, in Bali, a driver came pick us and we arrived at 5am in Slukat.



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