We left Bali for our last stop on our trip: Gili Meno. It is a tiny island with a population of 400 people with no motorized vehicles and is the quietest and least touristy of the three Gili islands off the coast of Lombok.
We decided to treat ourselves and stay at an eco-friendly resort that was Lonely Planet's Top Pick. It was in high demand even though it was not in season and I think we were lucky we got a reservation. We took the slow boat from Bali to Gili Meno (much cheaper) and landed late in the day. We then figured out that our place was on the other side of the small island from where we were dropped off. We decided to forgo the horse and buggy thinking that the small island was smaller than it actually was. 40 minutes of humping our luggage we arrived where the laid back proprietor checked us in and went over about 15 rules of the eco-resort which included not using non-biodegradable soap, being extra quiet in the evening because the wooden structure was loud, not doing your own laundry, and being conservative with water. Oh and by the way they didn't have fresh water to use for showering or cleaning in the sink because they ran out. Oh and the bathroom and showers were communal. Though the lack of water and shared bathrooms kind of deterred us, we decided to give it a try.
That night after a mediocre dinner, we tip-toed to our room and proceeded to barely sleep a wink. Our room was extraordinarily hot. We had all of the windows open, utilized the mosquito net over the rock-hard bed, and had the room's fan on. We did not feel a hint of a breeze while lying in our own sweat. I was thinking that maybe the mosquito net was blocking the air from the fan, but if they provide you a mosquito net there is probably a reason. I think the eco-friendly use of electricity is to turn it down really low and therefore the fan, even on a high setting, was barely blowing any air. The next morning our mind was made up that the eco-friendly resort was not for us. Too many rules, not enough comfort, and no water! We should have known that rustic meant crappy accommodations based on our travels, but we thought if LP liked it so would we.
After breakfast we walked around the island finding numerous better options and then we came across some high-end bungalows. We decided to inquire and when we saw the bungalow's nice furniture, comfy bed, attached outside bathroom and shower, a refrigerator, and AIR-CONDITIONING I don't think we could say no. The price was high, and Amber thought I would poo-poo the idea, but I felt like it would be a great way to end our trip on a high note. We plunked down the deposit and had to tell the eco-friendly guy that we were not going to stay 5 more nights. He was upset and made sure I knew that the water shipment arrived, but I said that people were coming by reserve a room all the time (since it was a Top Pick) and if he didn't get it filled that same night I would pay for that night only. He never came to collect so I think he was okay and we were more than okay in our totally baller digs.
We chilled out on the little island, ate a lot of pizza, went to the nice beach in front of our resort, and dove in the crystal clear water around the island. We went on what I felt was the best dive yet in our short diving careers, where we saw a white-tipped reef shark, moray eels, and a sea turtle, all REALLY CLOSE!
I am all for the environment, and maybe we would have toughed out the eco-resort earlier in the trip, but after living the no-so-high life for 9 months it felt great to splurge. Gili Meno was a great little island that I would definitely go back to.