I stayed in Kuta a few more days after Matt left, spent one day surfing but it was not as fun without a friend and another day figuring out where in Indonesia I was going next. Indonesia is made up of thousands of islands which make for many dive spots and surf spots. I chose a group of islands called the Gilis with the largest island being Gili Trawangan. Awesome dive spots, not too expensive to get to from Kuta but a much different atmosphere than Kuta drew me into Gili Trawangan. I was also going to be there around the Christmas and wanted a place with other travelers. Of course I found the cheapest, slowest way possible, a van ride from Kuta to a port on Bali, a ferry from Bali to Lombock, another van from Lombock’s main port to a smaller one of the northern part of the island and then one last small boat ride from the northern port to Gili Trawangan, supposedly 13 hours but only about $18.
One day I was laying in my hotel room, still recovering from 3 straight days of surfing and the Indonesia sun when my hotel neighbor came over. I was listening to Kuta Radio, whose slogan was “gonna make you surf” so it played Western Pop songs. One of the things I miss the most about home is listening to the radio, hearing songs I enjoy and actually being able to understand everything, even the commercials. SO when I found Kuta Radio 97.7, the dial did not change for the next week. Anyways, my neighbor walks in an introduces himself and we start talking. His name is Matti, he is Finnish, backpacker just like me, beat from surfing, just like me, started surfing in Kuta and loves it but hates Kuta, just like me and he was taking the early morning slow boat to Gili Trawangan, you guessed it, just like me. Matti was a pretty crazy kid and I spent a lot of time with him over the next few weeks.
Woke up at 6, took 2 hour van from Kuta to another port on the island of bali, then had to wait 2 hours at the pier, which they had set up a restaurant JUST to rip off tourists. The ferry was 7 hours to another island in Indonesia, Lombock. Then another hour long van ride on the island of Lombock and another hour wait at the second pier, which of course had another restaurant for tourists and one last 45 minute creeky boat ride to the island of Gili Trawangan and finally arrived on this tiny island at dusk but I knew I had endured the long trip for this great reward, Gili Trawangan was a paradise!