Only 3 weeks ago, we returned from spending a week with an amazing bunch of divers in the Gili Islands, Indonesia. Without having been there before, I didn’t really know what to expect apart from the feedback from colleagues who had been there prior.
I must say that the trip exceeded my personal expectations on all levels and as far as value for money, the trip provided this in bucketloads. For just over $2000, the standard of accommodation, the service, the dives, and the overall experience was an awesome package.
Divers travel for diving and with 3 dives per day on offer every day, with the opportunity to pick and choose what dives we would do and at what time, the holiday enabled everyone to have a break and to relax if they wanted to.
Gili Trawangan has no cars, the modes of transport are horse and cart and push bike.
One side of the island is bustling with activity on the waterfront, all sorts of business enterprises populate the main drag, everything from little beachside bars to individuals who hire out snorkelling gear, massage tables, stalls that sell hats, thongs and sarongs and even a barber!
Coming from such a regulated society when it comes to OH&S practices, I was in shock to see how things happen and move around…. As an example, boat loads of precariously arranged cartons of Bintang (the local beer) is brought to the island on a daily basis, the boats dock at the ricketiest pontoon on the planet, held together by bits of rope with an access gangway full of dangers such as broken boards, jagged metal edges sticking up awaiting to slice open feet and legs, yet, people seem to navigate these dangers without much care, and cart a never ending cargo of goods to the end users without a great deal of fuss.
Our resort destination was Lutwala Dive Resort, a facility run by a wonderful American couple Tori and Joe who never stopped organising and marshalling their staff to maintain a continuous flow of service to not only our group but other tourists wanting to try Scuba and some to learn to dive. Joe spent a lot of his time with us on the boat, underwater taking photos and put together a fantastic photography compilation of our holiday which was shown as a private slideshow on the last night. Many of us chose to purchase the slide show which can be seen playing on a continuous loop at SCUBA CULTURE, whilst Tori worked tirelessly behind the scenes coordinating everything from Nitrox blends to attending the special needs of our group with such things as dinner bookings and various other activities enjoyed by non divers.
All in all, the feedback from our group was fabulous, everything fell into place, expectations were met and in many instances exceeded, thank you Lutwala, we’ll be back!