Sunday, April 14, 2013

Gili Air: Logistics

Since the Gilis are three tiny, relatively arid islands just off the northwest corner of Lombok, they have some interesting logistical necessities.  As an aside, "gili" actually means "small island" in the local language, Sasak, which is spoken on neighboring Lombok. 

First, there is no motorized transport on the islands, so walking, riding a bike or taking a "cimodo" or horse-drawn carriage is your only option for traversing the islands.  When we first arrived on Gili Air, Tim and I hopped on a cimodo with our luggage rather than try to roll it down the sandy street... bumpy and a little stinky, but we got to our hotel quickly.  The cimodos all seem to have bell-covered harnesses for their horses, maybe so that they can be heard by pedestrians at night when the Gilis go dark.  The bells kinda make the whole island, incongruously, sound like a Christmas sleigh:

One of the other logistical challenges for the Gilis seemed to be supplying the islands with food and drinking water (the water on the island is exclusively salt water, from what I understand.  Our shower was not quite ocean water, but definitely a little salty).  It seemed that grocery runs to Lombok were made regularly.  We watched each day as folks unloaded all of the essentials from wooden outrigger boats, carrying the heavy loads of groceries up the hot beach:

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