I’ve spent the past 4 days on the island of Gili Trawangan which is one of the three small islands off Lombok (another island in Indonesia). I arrived via a fast boat from the Bali port Serangan. I used Gili Getaway and was so impressed with their service and how well organised they were. Arriving on Gili T was like arriving in paradise. Beautiful clear waters in so many different shades of blue. I spent my stay at Gili Turtle Beach Resort and had a lovely little room located just a few steps from the ocean and a few steps from Trawangan Dive Centre. This is where I was going to be doing my PADI Open Water scuba diving course.
On the day of my arrival I decided to grab my mask and snorkel and go for a little snorkel just off the beach. I swam out and put my head underwater to discover the most incredible visibility and vibrant colours. I swam around looking at all of the fishies when suddenly a turtle glided past me. I knew the Gilis were known for turtles but didn’t expect to see one so easily on my first swim and only a few metres from the beach. Such an amazing experience!
I then decided to hire a bicycle for only R50 for the day, take my mask and snorkel and just cycle around the island stopping to swim whenever I wanted. My first stop was turtle point where I had another very special encounter with a green turtle. We swam together for a while before the turtle took a breath of air and swam off.
I spent the rest of the day cycling around the island checking out all the secret beaches, bungalows and cocktail bars.
The next day I began my three day scuba diving course. I did a whole lot of theory, learnt new skills in the pool and did tests for all one needs to know as a scuba diver. I also did 4 open water dives. Each of them was a boat dive to a different dive site. I went to Hans Reef, Shark Point, Halik and Bounty Wreck. Each of these had their own beautiful reef with colourful corals and a huge array of interesting and beautiful fish.
I was privileged to swim with 11 different turtles over the course of my 4 ocean dives. I saw a white tipped reef shark, a black spotted Moray, a nudibranch, squid, so many clownfish, butterflyfish, angelfish, Moorish Idols, trigger fish, porcupine fish, spotted boxfish, trumpet fish, parrot fish and soooo many more. The marine life here is so rich and diverse, making it the perfect place for my introduction to scuba diving.
After all that and a final exam I was certified as a PADI open water diver. I had the best experience at Trawangan Dive and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to do their scuba course while travelling. I had the most lively and passionate instructors (Kazi and Vanesa) who were so eager to share their love for diving with me. Very happy I am now able to discover more of the underwater world wherever I go around the world!