After spending a few days on Gili T, we yearned to find a deserted beach. And rumor had it that the island, Gili Meno, just across the water from Gili T was it! Over the years we had realized that the places we always loved the most were the small, off the beaten path towns and villages which have few tourists (Mljet, Croatia was one of them!).
We got to the ferry office at 9AM in the morning and bought a roundtrip ticket for a few bucks to Gili Meno. It's just a quick 15-20 min trip across the water and the boat picks you back up around 3:30PM in the afternoon. Again we beelined to the nearest snorkel stand and basically took off straight through the island to the other side. Immediately we had wished we could spend just one night on Gili Meno.
I heard, in passing, that Gili Meno was up and coming in previous years...until the Bali bombing in 2002. We walked past crumbling island resorts and wooden lodges, saw palmtrees which had fallen over onto bungalows and trees and vines that were starting to swallow bungalows and empty swimming pools. It was a bit creepy but we definitely felt like this was a Paradise Lost type of place. Soon after the bombings, apparently tourism took a nosedive and the owners and developers of these new resorts just left.
Anyway, the beaches and snorkeling in Gili Meno are even more amazing than Gili T...hands-down! Walking along the deserted pathways on the Western side of the island we even spotted a 6 foot long monitor lizard (kind of like a komodo dragon)!
On our last snorkel spot, the wind had really picked up. But we saw some divers in the water and figured that it would be a great spot to snorkel. Once we started, I thought I saw a piece of floating plastic in the water...then I saw another one and got suspicious...and then after I saw yet another one SWIMMING then I realized what I was looking at: a jellyfish!
Then I saw another and another and another and: swarm of jellyfish!
Christian was out farther than I was and I knew he'd freak. They were tiny and clear so I was a bit more at ease knowing that weren't the giant freaky ones you see in aquariums. Even the ones in Mexico looked more scary looking. But then I thought sometimes the tiniest animals come with the nastiest bite.
So I told him to swim back..."why?" "just swim back...I just need to swim back, come to shore with me" while I try to gracefully swim back while knowing I could get stung at any moment. I mean if I could see 5-6 right in front of my mask then there had to be tons more nearby.
But then I changed my mind 10 feet offshore and thought maybe a tiny freak-out would be fun. Then I told him we were swimming in a swarm of jellyfish. Cue freak-out ;).