Day 45/46/47/48- We also took this opportunity to recover from Rinjani, chill out and live as cheaply as possible. We tried every restaurant from the blog and every single one was an ace! I wish I could share the blog but as I cannot find it I will at least share the names of the restaurants for others.
Green Beans: They make an amazing bangers and mash!
The Roast House: Delicious roast chicken with fries and gravy! Super affordable. Large portions
Kayu Cafe: Great breakfast and lunch menu, the red quinoa salad is very tasty.
Regina Pizzeria: Best pizza on the island by far. Run by an italian chef, the pizza's are hearty and great for sharing.
Le Petit Gili: Open 24 hours, they serve delicious burgers and fries.
Thank You Bar and Resto: If their wifi password (cheapest food) doesn't give it away, the menu will. They really do have the cheapest food and great wifi.
The Night Market: Came here twice for dinner and ate at the first booth on the right side near the entrance from the main strip. Tried the tuna and beef skewers! Soooooo good! Also went to the nutella cake cart next to this table 4 times. Yes, 4 times and had their nutella banana peanut pancake. My favorite!!
In between all of our food research and excursions, we spent a lot of time hanging around the pool and beach.
One night while on our way to dinner we heard the tinniest little meow. When we looked at our feet a hangard little kitten walked over to us looking for help. We picked it up off the main road then heard more meows. We found 4 new kittens sitting in a pile of garbage on the side of the road. The mother was no where to be found and it looked as though they were hungry and two of them were hurt. We made it our duty to find a safe place for them. We found a cat shelter on the island run by a woman who owns a hotel. She agreed to take them and find them a home. We were so relieved to be able to help, we couldn't live with ourselves if we had to just leave them there.
Day 49- Wooohooo Kassie and Chudi finally arrived. It was a crazy feeling to actually have them with us after talking about this trip with them for so long.
They checked into our hostel for one night before moving on to bigger and better accomodations, for the rest of their stay. You can't come to Bali and not stay at a villa at least once in your life! We had booked a boat trip for the next day, so we enjoyed our first night with our buddies and introduced them to the chaos of the Gili T night market.
They LOVED the nutella pancakes as much as I did so we made sure to eat as many of them as we could!
We finished the night off with a movie on the beach preparing ourselves for a busy next day.
Day 50- We took a fast boat from Gili Trawangan to Lombok where we had a car waiting to drive us for 2 hours over to Gili Gede, the Southern Gili islands. These islands are much more secluded than the Northern gilis. Other than knowing we were going on a "boat" trip, Chudi and Kassie knew very little about what we had planned for the day .... or did they? We got in a small boat, which drove us over to our beautiful 55 foot private Yacht named Basilea. We immediately settled in at the bow of the boat with drinks in hand and music blasting out of the speakers.
Our captain took us to a snorkelling spot where Mike compared the colors and brilliance of the coral to that of the Great Barrier Reef. It was spectacular.
It was time for lunch, which Mike and I also kept secret. We had prepared a little spread of deli meats and cheeses (very VERY hard to find on an island by the way) and we got to pretend for a couple of hours that we were not just budget travellers sleeping with mice but that we were world explorers showered in extravagance... we made sure to leave the boxed wine out of the photos! haha
The wind picked up and the sails were lifted to bring us to a deserted island. Once the deserted island was in sight, we all took some photos jumping into the ocean. For those who know Chudi...he is not the best swimmer, not to say that he can't swim but he can be fearful sometimes around large bodies of water. So he took photos of us for the first two jumps.
When we climbed back on the boat Chudi decided he wanted to jump with Kassie but he was putting off an energy that suggested he was scared to do it. This time Mike and I stood by to take the photo. After they jumped in, Chudi seemed to be "struggling" and asked Kassie to hold something while he brought himself up the ladder. It was obvious that she was concerned for his well being. As Chudi got himself up the final step of the ladder, he positioned himself on one knee. Then Mike and I were blessed to witness Mike's friend and sidekick of 15 years, who has also become one of the most important men in my life, who I have also known since junior high, propose to my beautiful friend and former swim suit slanger of 12 years. It was by far one of the most magical moments I have ever been a part of and it meant so much to Mike and I to be able to participate in such a life changing event.
Oh and I know my jewellery store friends have all stopped paying attention to anything I've written past the part of Chudi asking Kassie to "hold something" as he got himself out of the giant vast blue ocean that he had just jumped into...... yes, you've assumed correctly, Chudi had the ring in his pocket while he jumped!!!! It's funny because before he jumped in, he gave me the signal that it was about to happen and I turned to Mike and said "he better not have the ring in his pocket!" All is good in the diamond world folks, the Hearts On Fire box is a bit tattered but it did it's job to protect her ring until it made it safely to her finger, where it belongs.
The journey home didn't seem as long on the way back and we made it back at a decent hour. We went to Pizzeria Regina for some of the islands best pizza as well as some celebratory drinks. It was nice to finally have the cat out of the bag and be able to talk about Chudi and Kassie's future as husband and wife. Also, although we made it look like the whole day was planned by Mike and I, that was just another ploy to throw Kassie off the scent. The yacht, the food, the drinks and the location can all be credited to Chudi's genius and smooth romantic ways. They don't call him Smooth C for nothin.
Day 51- We had a lazy day enjoying the luxury of Kassie and Chudi's villa. The boys bought snacks and drinks and we chilled pool side. The afternoon was spent playing games and listening to Chudi's playlist.
Before dinner we split up and Kassie and I went to get our nails painted. Mike and I have a saying, when you're in Asia you never know what you're going to get. This seems to hold true to many of our endevors and it was no different when getting our nails done. The price listed said that a manicure and pedicure were around $8 Canadian. Then we chose our nail polish and when it was all over, we paid approximately $22 bucks each. Turns out the original price doesn't inlcude nail polish but it didnt't matter, Kassie's nails needed to match her beautiful new ring.
After dinner we went to the beer pong spot on the main strip. Mike and Chudi have demonstrated their beer pong skills before in Asia and became champs in Loas. We are still surprised that people aren't stopping them in the streets to get their autographs, even when they continuously find reasons to dunk ping pong balls everywhere we go. Their celebrity aside, they were off their game and we lost our four person challenge against a group of dutch travellers. Hopefully no one saw this defeat, we wouldn't want it to sour the names of the great beer pong champs of Asia.
Day 52- We took our bikes to the north end of Gili to do some snorkelling. As you can see below, Chudi is a great bike rider and Kassie is really good at multi-tasking, especially while taking pictures as she rides. Oh wait... no she's not. She managed to hit the one large rock in the road. I heard her scream and turned around to see her flip over the handle bars of her bike. Poor little Kassie cut herself open and bruised herself badly. We had to go home to bandage her up before we could return to our original plan of snorkelling.
We made it to the beach after our second attempt and rented some snorkel gear. Kassie gracefully got herself into the water to explore the underwater world. The coral was not as brilliant as the southern gilis but the fish were plentiful and colorful.
Kassie really wanted to see some turtles but we were not lucky enough to find any in the ocean. So, we made sure to stop by the Turtle Conservation center and show her all of the baby sea turtles being cared for, preparing them to be released into the wild.
We took a little too much time getting ourselves from point A to point B and we realized that we were running out of time to catch the sunset at sunset beach, which Gili Trawangan is famous for. We hustled our way through the busy street on our bikes to the southern part of the island. We made it there at the last possible second and ran to the beach to capture some sunset photos.
After, we sat by the ocean for or last delicious meal on Gili Trawangan.