day sixty-eight: december 6, 2015:
We spent the morning in transit driving to Bangsal to take the boat to Gili Meno. We had found a deal on Agoda for a steeply discounted room at Seri Resort on the northeast side of Gili Meno. I wasn't quite sure what to expect as we took the horse cart from the port to the hotel, but turning the last corner into the hotel, I was pleasantly surprised. Seri Resort is a beautiful resort right on the beach with a pool, the hotel reception and restaurant just behind. After the half day of transit, we spent the rest of the afternoon by the pool.
day sixty-nine: december 7, 2015:
Today, we spent the most of the day by the pool but also went snorkeling in front of the hotel, which is known as Turtle Point. Gili Meno is home to Belong's Turtle Sanctuary, a small operation run by a local. Belong has no formal marine biology training, but as he saw the decline of the sea turtle population, he wanted to help save them so that his children and grand children would be able to enjoy the turtles. Sea turtle eggs are a delicacy in the region, so many of the nests would typically get raided for the eggs. Belong saves eggs from nests that are not ideally located (i.e. too close to a hotel's beachfront) and brings them back to the sanctuary and hatches them under his guard. He then raises the turtles to juveniles before releasing them into the ocean. Over the past 6 years he has released over 1000 turtles. Because of this, Gili Meno is the self-proclaimed sea turtle capital of the world. For this reason, it's almost impossible to go snorkeling and not see a turtle. We lucked out and saw three while snorkeling just our front of our hotel!
We also spotted a pod of squid swimming around, which just might be my most favorite thing to see underwater right now.
day seventy: december 8, 2015:
Today was a long, lazy day just enjoying the pool and ocean.
All the way into the evening!