Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text:
To leave. To breathe. To dream. Away from the hustle and bustle of the world... Head for Gili Asahan, a small and peaceful Indonesian island, in the southwest of Lombok.
Need for islands
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 Sekotong Bay, in the southwest of Lombok, the neighboring island of Bali.
In Lombok, we talk sasak and the word "gili" (pronounced "guili") means "island". The most famous of the foreign travelers - and the most frequented - are the northwest ones: Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno. I have already been there, about ten years ago, when they were still relatively unvisited (at least not like today). But this time, they will not 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 trip...
Travelling light (without my knowledge)
When I set foot on the small beach of blond sand of Gili Asahan, it is still time for the "selamat siang" in Indonesia - the mid-day "good morning", which stretches from 11am to 3pm.
For all luggage, I only have my "cabin" bag and a plastic bag containing two-three colorful clothes and a beach sarong, bought in a hurry for a few rupees in the middle of the night, in Bali, near the airport, in a huge tourist horror store: the Krisna, open 24 hours a day. This will be my holiday change for a day or two. My big bag with wheels stayed in Dubai. He missed the connection!
I'm not so much upset as I am amused. I'm rather amused by this new situation, because it's the very first time in my life as a traveler (for the last twenty years) that I don't get my checked luggage back at the arrival... And it's the first time in a long time that I travel so light!
Then it's a two-hour drive to Sekotong, in southwest Lombok. Then a fifteen minutes boat ride to Gili Asahan.
Gili Asahan is part of an archipelago of beautiful and little known islands in the bay of Sekotong: Gili Layar, Gili Gede, Gili Rengit, Gili Nanggu... There are a few rare tourist accommodations, fishing villages at the foot of the hills, herds of cows and goats on the go, nice coral reefs and, above all, a very peaceful atmosphere, which enchanted me upon arrival.
So I will wait, to dive, until my bag arrives (the day after tomorrow). All my equipment is inside... At the moment, I don't care. I am 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 blissfully, not in the least disturbed by the clucking of the geckos.