From the Hanging Gardens the trip (400rp) was pretty fun. First part (my favorite) on a small van, with a funny nice driver who really liked Blink 182 and a crazy chinese/american girl from NY on his side. 1,5hr with Blink obviously, Robbie Williams, Guns and Roses, Aerosmith and other hits from the 90' for a great soundtrack.
Then after a long wait and a quick trip with a crazy fast boat we arrived in Gili Air. The smaller of three small islands, Trawangan, Meno, Air. In front of a bigger one, Lombok, to which they belong.
In this period Air is really quiet, the atmosphere is nice, no cars or motor vehicles, just bikes. Just electric scooters and funny coaches pulled by small horses. Also here, like around all Indonesia, kindness seems to be the rule.
There's not much to do during the off season but along its 4km outer limit it's possible to join many bars and restaurants on the beach with amazing vibes and and sunsets.
Everyone here is more happy and chilled than the usual. I realized that is was probably because of magic mushrooms that you can find in every bar included in the happy hour package. They sell them also in cones (like fried fish in Venice) made with palm leaves. They are allowed just in Gili, anyway I preferred to not try them.
Also inside the island there's no shortage of surprises. Walking around we found this pizza place called "Classico Italiano" where I ate a delicious pizza, totally unexpected.
The owner is Andrea, a super nice lady from Venice that with her husband from Rome decided to live in Gili Air and open two restaurants. The second one is called "Perla Nera"; another amazing surprise, this time with hamburgers. I know that it's uncommon and not preferable to eat Italian food abroad, but we reached the limit with nasi goreng and rice, and most of all they were excellent!
The plan was also to do an excursion to snorkel and swim with turtles. Unfortunately the weather have been good just the first day. It rained a lot and this offer the chance to relax more and enjoy our amazing house. One thing that surprised me a lot, in Ubud first and then in Gili Air, is the fact that Indonesia redefines the concept of Airbnb with an incredible hospitality and kindness. Apparently there're no airbnb without a swimming pool, breakfast service and room cleaning service all inclusive for a super cheap price.
So if you are coming here with a group of friends go definitely for an airbnb. If you are traveling solo there're many alternatives in several clean and nice home stays ridiculously cheap.
To conclude, Gilis are a particularly good idea from march, especially if you are looking for amazing weather, no rain and a lot of people to party with (Trawangan is the craziest one in this case). Anyway also in January it seems to be a good idea if you are looking for some extra relax.
Now back to Bali in Uluwatu and Canggu.