Gili Meno

by - 20:44

I am so longing for a quiet day at the endless, empty beaches of Gili Meno. This island was one of the nicest experience i made, during my stay on Gili Islands. To be honest i had the choice between Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno, since i did not have enought days left to visit both and i am more than happy for my decision to go to Gili Meno.
I took the boat in the very early morning from Gili Air. The Island hopping is depending on the season and weather a lot. Usually there are 2 or 3 boats going around in the morning and coming back in the early afternoon before 4, since it turns dark quite early and it can get very windy in the later hours. Better check for the boats at Gili Air Harbour or ask local people, they know best.  
Island hopping is very cheap, around 200.000IDR (14€) for both ways, but prices can variate as well, depeding if you know people, who know people.
The boats are pretty small and other than the big speed boats that are usually landing on piers (if available), those are to be entered from the beach, so better prepare to get wet feet, and if the sea is rough you can go swimming directly.
Travel time between Gili Air and Gili Meno was approx 20min, although they look so close to each other, it takes a while to travel between them. Since the currents can be quite extreme, especially around season changes, the small boats with their tiny motors need their time. Don't worry, the people really know how to handle them, although their sailing/driving style, does not seem to be particulary  safe.
Once i landed on Gili Meno i felt like walking in a dream. Everything was so beautiful, that it got really blurry in front of my eyes and i felt some tears coming up, because i had so many emotions i couldn't handle. Gili Air was definitly the best place to stay for a longer time, but Gili Meno is the perfect island escape for a daytrip or a short time, if you want to calm down and relax.
You can walk around the whole island on one day, in seeing everything and taking your time to embrace the place. I started heading north when i arrived and just walked on the sandy path, always facing the chrystal clear blue water to my right side. There are a lot of hotels and retreats close by the beach, still no beach is private, so you can keep walking straight always by the water. Since i arrived on Gili Meno around 10am the sun was aready up and walking for half an hour already exhausted me to be honest. There are nearly no trees or shadows to shelter from the burning sun, so i stopped at a Bar in the north and had a fresh young coconut to energize again. I took a book with me on that day, because i planned to have some beach hours as well and read for a while.
Around lunchtime i decided to leave and walk a bit more, to find a new place along the coast to eat.
View on Gili Trawangan from Gili Meno
When i arrived on the western side of Gili Meno, i found the most amazing beach bar, i had ever seen. Everything was decorated with shells and corals from the sea, made of bamboo and it looked like a hidden pirate island here.
It is nearby the place where the boats to Gili Trawangan leave, so one can also see the other island very good on a clear day.
Anyway i ate a fantastic Nasi Goreng in that place, after 10 days, i still loved it, since everyone prepares it a bit different, it's never the same. 
So after lunch i had a few hours left for the beach, but i was also quite scared to not get the boat back to Gili Air at around 4. If you walk around Gili Meno you can nearly always still see Gili Air, even if you are already halfway around, so i started panicking, because i went for 2 hours and still did not get around what it seemed half of the island. I tried to hurry up a bit and get to the other side again, to be close to the harbour, before taking a spot on the beach. Luckily i found the nicest beach on Gili Meno, which was quite crowded (around 10people) but very easy and nice to get into the water. The side facing Gili Trawangan is full of corals and really hard to get into, while the side facing Gili Air is just sandy and clear water, no urchids!
While sipping on a fresh pitahaya smoothie and reading my book, i found my inner peace at the beaches of Gili Meno. Every half an hour at least, i bathed in the amazing sea and cooled myself a bit, since the water is around 28°c.
There is not so much to see on Gili Meno, the population is really small and the only real attraction is the Turtle Sanctuary, which i actually could not find. There were a lot of posters advertising you to set free a turtle for around 15€, but it never said any direction where to go. There are no roads on Gili Meno and only some horse carriages one can take to get around, or bikes. The true benefit of this island is your own retreat and loading your batteries again.
If i would ever recommend a place for a honeymoon, it would be this!

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