Happy birthday to me! I was a strange feeling being alone away from friends and family on this day, and it really felt like any other day. I didn’t even mention it to anyone until later on in the day.
I woke up at sunrise, surrounded by so many beautiful islands. We were going to hike up Gili Laba and see the view. Yay another hike! It wasn’t too bad though and wearing proper shoes helped. Once I got to the top, I had a rest and didn’t know if I had time to continue the hike around the island so I went back down. I shouldn’t have as there was enough time and it would have been nice to see more views.
Getting back on the boat though I had to wade in the water, and right there floating towards me (I was still on the shore at this point), was a massive shit. I thought there was a rule about using the toilet when stationary! Seriously, I could not stop laughing and avoided it with my life.
Once back on the boat we headed towards the spot to catch manta rays. I annoyingly took a really bad snorkel and mask, so when we first jumped in the water I couldn’t see anything. We were all too slow for the manta and I changed my mask when we got back on the boat. It’s a proper scramble to try and see one as they swim against the current, and the current is so strong you have to really swim hard. I ended up just using the mask so I could swim quicker and finally managed to see one swimming away and two relaxing at the bottom. They are massive. Just incredible. A very happy birthday to me!
To end the day we sailed to some mangroves and saw all the flying foxes come out to find food. Eventually I told some more people it was my birthday and over dinner everyone sang for me which was nice!
As we weren’t sailing overnight everyone socialised more and when things got a little roudy I hit the hay and had a comfortable unrocking sleep.