Ligaya in Gili Trawangan, Lombok, Indonesia
Gili Trawangan is a small island, off the northwest corner of Lombok. As we made our landfall in the very late afternoon, we saw literally hundreds of sails dotted along the horizon. Since we were getting close to Bali, the centre of tourism in Indonesia, I was certain that we were seeing some kind of regatta.

As we got closer, we realised that it was just lots of fishermen returning home on the evening breeze.

These were the first fishing boats that we had seen working under sail, rather than using the ubiquitous strimmer engines.

We anchored off the small village. As usual we were the only yacht among the fishing boats.

When we got ashore and were chatting with the locals, they asked us if we were off the "cruise ship", pointing to Ligaya. They really have no conception of yachts per se.

On the island, there are no cars nor indeed motor-scooters allowed, which is really nice. Everything and everybody either goes by bicycle, horse and cart or walks.

It seems to be mainly the women who transport goods for short distances, with the loads on their heads. The horses and carts do the long-distance jobs.

The horses and carts are not just for the tourists. The locals use them like a bus service and there some carts that carry just cargo rather than people.


I spent an afternoon ashore with Rosie and we rented this horse, cart and driver to take us right around the island.
Probably because the Indonesians as a race are very small people, there was minimum headroom in the cart. The road was mainly hard-packed sand and quite bumpy. We both suffered bangs to the head before the ride was over.
We took a short break at the northern tip of the island. For much of the island, there is a fringing reef, which attracts legions of surfers to the area.
When bikes are a major source of transport on the island, you have to learn to ride them at an early age. We watched this little girls determinedly trying to teach herself to ride.
I suppose the young girls soon learn how to carry stuff on their heads. It is obviously a prerequisite before any serious shopping can be undertaken.
As always, the kids were intensely curious about us, especially when we left the main road to wander the back streets of the village.
This island is geared towards tourism. The main class of tourists are obviously back-packer surfers. The bars and restaurants mostly aim at this market, with "Magic" Mushrooms being widely advertised at many of the bars. We were warned not to ask for a mushroom pizza!!
There was just one small jetty by the town, but most boats seemed to unload their cargo onto the beach, near to their destination.

A cargo horse and cart awaits the load of sacks from the boat. This was one of the very few occasions when I saw men carrying stuff on their heads. Usually that seems to be a "woman's thing".

Just outside the village we came across a group of young men building a boat from riveted strips of aluminium. They were very friendly and we stayed for quite a chat. They said that the big trees were harder to find for good boat building wood, so they had decided to try aluminium. This was their first effort. What they lacked in knowledge, they made up for with their enthusiasm. I hope that the boat is a success for them.

Off the main street were many small shops and stalls. Here mother and daughter prepare pineapples for sale. Even if they sell them all, it cannot be much of a living for them.

For most of the people, it cannot be easy living in paradise........

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