Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text:
Go. Breathe. Dream. Away from the hustle and bustle of the world ... Head to Gili Asahan, a small peaceful Indonesian island, in the southwest of Lombok.
July 4, 2015. I finally set foot on the island whose name I have memorized like a mantra for weeks: Gili Asahan. It is located in the bay of Sekotong, in the south-west of Lombok, the neighbouring island of Bali.
In Lombok, we talk sasak and the word "gili" (pronounced "gili") means "island". The best known of the foreign visitors - and the most visited - are those from the northwest: Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno. I've been there before, about ten years ago, when they were still relatively uncrowded (at least not like today). But this time, they won't be part of my itinerary.
I need islands, but in quiet mode. I want to be a little away from the tourist flow to start this new Indonesian journey ...
Traveling lightly (unbeknownst to you)
When I set foot on the small golden sand beach of Gili Asahan, it's still time for "selamat siang" in Indonesia - the midday "hello", which runs from 11am to 3pm.
For any luggage, I have only my "cabin" bag and a plastic bag containing two or three colourful clothes and a beach sarong, bought in haste for a few rupees in the middle of the night, in Bali, near the airport, in a huge tourist horror shop: the Krisna, open 24 hours a day. It will be my change of holiday-maker for a day or two. My big bag with wheels stayed in Dubai. He missed the connection!
I'm not that upset. Rather amused by this unprecedented situation, because it's the very first time in my life as a traveller (in about twenty years) that I don't get my hold luggage back on arrival... And it's the first time in a long time that I've travelled so light!
It was therefore without the need to check baggage that I took a domestic flight, early in the morning for Lombok, on Lion Air (the famous Indonesian company with prayer book I already mentioned here). Sublime view on the Agung volcano which dominates Bali. A big half-hour flight.
It will take about two hours to reach Sekotong, southwest of Lombok. Then fifteen minutes by boat to Gili Asahan.
Gili Asahan is part of an archipelago of superb and little known islands in Sekotong Bay: Gili Layar, Gili Gede, Gili Rengit, Gili Nanggu... There are some rare tourist accommodations, fishing villages at the foot of the hills, herds of cows and goats on the prowl, nice coral beds and, above all, a very peaceful atmosphere, which enchants me from the moment I arrive.
So I will wait for my bag to arrive (the day after tomorrow). All my equipment is in it... I don't care at the moment. I'm so happy to be here, on this small Indonesian island, far from everything!
Time suspends its flight. My first sunset is sumptuous. I discover, at night, billions of stars. And I fall asleep smugly, not the least bit disturbed by the giggles of geckos.