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Swim from Gili Air to Lombok

Currently I have an ear infection from swimming in pool in Ubud.

I am staying for one month with my friend Helene from Germany in Ubud on Bali. But his weekend we went off to the Gili islands, for a festival called Burning island festival.

I also wanted to use the chance and go diving, but my ear infection, which was already gone – is back.

So instead of going diving or on a snorkeling tour with my friends this morning, I went do the clinic on this island and became again antibiotics and bought some earplugs to try at least to swim and snorkel on the water line.

The doctor mentioned again, I should try to avoid that water is coming into my ear. But OF COURSE! I didn’t wanna hear that.

I tried to snorkel at my house riff in front of the door. Suddenly I came to that gorgeous idea to swim to Lombok. It doesn’t look pretty far away. Maybe 1-2 kilometers. So a quite normal distance to swim for me.

Without telling anyone, I left my bag and towel at the beach and went on to reach the beautiful beach at Lombok Island.

 

Heading to LombokView on Lombok from Gili Air

But I swam and swam and suddenly realized, that I am not on course anymore.

It must have a strong current, which I didn’t recognize before. The water looked all the time very smooth.

So I turned more into this direction. After probably one hour I still had the feeling to swim all the time between both islands and couldn’t move further.

But my inner tribe and motivation didn’t want me to turn back. I had to reach the island!!

So after another haft an hour I reached Lombok totally exhausted.

 

Dancing at the lonely beach

It’s a lonely beach, white sand and just 2-3 fisher boats on the sand.

But there was a small beach hut called ‘Sunrise Cafe’. I could hear music from there. But no one was in there. When I came closer I saw someone sleeping at a bench.

I was calling him and he woke up.

We had a nice conversation about life on Lombok and partying on Gili Air.

I gave me some water and beer. After the beer I was already in mood to dance and jumped wild to his music in front of the cafe at the long beach, singing and dancing.

The guy from the bar was quietly amused about it.  When I wanted to swim back, he struggled to let me go and asked me to wait until afternoon that a friend can bring me back to Gili Air. He was afraid of the current.

I told him that he helped me with the beer and I now have power to go back.

In case I really need help I will give him a sign. So we prepared some signals to make clear what it means.

Just for worst case…

 

Heading back to Gili AirSecured by a local transfer boat

So I left Lombok and started to swim back. The same situation like on the first way. It was easy to swim away from the land.

In the second part, the middle part, the current was very strong. I drifted away. But still able to move forward, towards the land. And the end, close to the island the current was all the time against me.

Over half an hour, I had the feeling not to move at all. On my way back it was even worse. I swam fast, but the island became smaller and slowly disappeared.

That was the moment I decided to start to give some signs for help. After 5 minutes luckily a boat saw me, which came from Lombok. It was full with locals on board, on their way to work in one of the beach bars. They picked me up and took me to the Gili Air beach.

When I arrived I told my bar tender the story, because I was already worried about where I am.

He told me that this was the most stupid story, he heard the last time and I should never do it again.

Thirstz after an exhausting swimJust last year was a girl, who died on the way from Gili Air to Gili Meno, which is probably the same distance than Gili Air to Lombok. She left her body in the water, exhausted from the strong current, couldn’t reach the land again,

So please learn from my stupid experiences and don’t swim across the ocean, before you informed yourself and studied water, wind and any weather conditions. Ask the locals if you can swim there.

 

Exhausted hugs from Gili air.

Love, Supi


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