Art, Culture, and Ocean Conservation . . .

Gili Tranwangan

Welcome to Gili Tranwangan-(literally translates to dreaming) a land that has crystal blue waters, jingly miniature pony taxi’s, and no cars. An old sea town where most structures hold the undeniable history of going a few feet underwater at some point -as most doors don’t close warped by the moisture and all paint on the walls below your knees is crumbling- but most the restaurants and cafe’s don’t have walls anyway. A village full of charm and wonder off the coast of Lombok, Indonesia.

Dining bungalows a few feet from the shore provide cool shade in the hot sun and the days seem to lap over you like the tide on your toes.

Second day here getting school’d by mama ocean excited about spending the next 4 days under water working on my Mermaid skills. Currently sitting by the crystal blue ocean at the foot of misty volcanoes drinking coconuts with flowers in them surrounded by dragonflies- pretty deluxe.

Sunset bike ride delivered the gift of low tide- allowing us to walk out on ghost coral bed ocean floor for about 75 yards discovering THOUSANDS of live brittle Starfish!! They were so cute and they were everywhere!!!! So cute with their lil Velcro legs sticking and unsticking together- some of them staulking and sliding across the lil puddles of ocean like an octopus or Poisiden. Climbing into shells and peaking out waiting for their next meal to swim by.

Sitting on the ocean with the warm night breeze blowing over us. Red snapper caught today cooked whole was our scrumptious dinner. Candles flicker in the wind and a cute old man busts out sick melodies on the didgeredoo, the rain stick and this smaller circular breathing instrument with a high pitch- then he grabs some poi and starts doing under the leg tosses lolol. Teaching us tricks in the middle of the dirt road.

Bali had many dogs, Gili has cats- there is a cat for every table it seems lol. Lil cats all over the place- and roosters.

The interior of the island is very poor, barebones, houses and raised shacks where multiple generations of families live sans furniture, neatly tucked away. It’s a stark difference To the touristy seashore just a few meters away. . . And for most remains totally unseen and unknown.

Snorkeling in front of our bungalow on the north part of the island is spectacular!! Tons of angelfish, damselfish, big turtles, I even saw a ray one day- it was so great- that we actually decided to get our scuba certification so we could go deeper and we actually completed today. Yesterday I spent 5 hours under water and today we had two beautiful dives! We saw lionfish, moray eels, barracudas, clownfish, large blue seastars, huge green turtles, hawksbill turtles, stonefish, sweetlips- the oriental sweetlips looks like a lichenstein painting all stripey and polkadotted, pufferfish, and some triggerfish that remind me of drag queens. Lol. Our next dive is an adventure night dive and works towards getting our advanced open water scuba certification. I hear that there is so much bioluminescent sea life that every time you tread the water it looks like you are surrounded by faeries!!!!!!!! And I found this out AFTER I signed up- sooo cool.

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