Waving goodbye to Bali and hello to Gili T

Can you believe I’ve spent more than a month in Bali already?

I arrived here on January 19 and time has absolutely flown by. I’ve spent a month learning digital marketing skills and now it’s time to put them to the test on Gili T. Today’s the day: I’m off to the Gili Islands!

I’m going to write a full post on what I’ve been up to in Bali (mostly dancing on the techno floor of La Favela in Seminyak) but for now, let’s talk about the journey.
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There are various different ways you can travel from Bali to Gili T (and the surrounding islands). Depending on how much time you’ve got, there are public boats and fast boats taking between 2.5 – 5 hours. If you get seasick, it’s far better to take a shorter boat as the sea can be choppy and the journey slightly…bumpy.

I chose to travel with the BlueWaterExpress boat service. They offer a pick up service, which meant me and my huge, heavy suitcase didn’t have to struggle through a GoJek journey to the port. There are three ports in Bali – Padang Bai, Serangan, and Sanur Jetty. I’ve been staying down south in Jimbaran for the first month, so I chose to get the boat from Serangan, which is also down south but on the opposite side of the island.

My driver picked me up at 6:30am – bright and early! We drove to the port and checked into my humble steed that would take me onwards to Gili T.

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If you arrive at the port early you can chill in the BlueWaterExpress office and even grab some breakfast. I came prepared with snacks (I’ve spent one too many trips in squashed bus terminal rooms with barely a toilet or chair in sight to travel without snacks nowadays) but still had time to grab some avo toast and a black coffee.

The boat itself was comfortable, roomy and air-conditioned – somewhat of a rarity when it comes to the Bali x Island crossing, apparently.

Once onboard, you’ll get a safety briefing (again, pretty rare for these boats) and a bottle of water. You also get offered a travel sickness pill and a couple of minty sweets – perfect if you suffer from motion sickness. I don’t, but I’d heard that the crossing could be bumpy so took it as a precaution.

I love a good boat journey anyway, but was slightly concerned after hearing a lot of horror stories about the Bali x Gilis crossing. But it couldn’t have been safer or smoother.

The journey went quickly and couldn’t really have been any more straightforward. Instead of being thrown about the boat on the choppy waves as anticipated, I managed to fall asleep pretty quickly. I was only woken up at the end of the journey when the guy next to me politely prodded me to say we were almost there. 

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And the one part I was really impressed/relieved/happy about?

I was scared that when the boat arrived on Gili T I’d have to step off into the water and hold my case above the sea. This might sound like a stupid concern but it was something I had to do in Cambodia. A 10kg mini suitcase was fine but a 30ish kg case (I knew I’d overpack and, yup, did exactly that) is not quite so do-able when you’re fresh off a boat and complete with a bad back. But this problem didn’t occur at all – it was thankfully almost the opposite. I got off the boat (onto dry land, thank God) and walked over to the meeting spot, where I quickly spotted my bright red suitcase.

Then, it was time to walk to My Mate’s Place – my home for the next while! And that brings me to now. I’ve officially finished the 9-5 routine now, which I’m hoping leaves me with a lot more time to be creative. I might even write a series of posts on my first month in Bali, before I crack on with Life On Gili T.

If you’re planning on crossing over from Bali to Gili T (or any of the other islands near Bali – you can catch the BWE to the Nusa Islands and other Gili Islands too) I’d absolutely recommend BlueWaterExpress.

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