Gili Meno Lake
Gili Meno Lake – Bird Watching in Paradise ???
At ten o’clock, shortly after tying Beez to a ‘Christmas parcel’ looking buoy we ventured the short distance to Gili Meno – not expecting to see much in the way of birds as it was so hot, we nonetheless left Baby Beez in an idyllic spot and bimbled the few hundred metres down a well maintained track.
Soon, to our right, we were by a shallow, muddy area (tide out) edged with slow-growing mangrove and a few trees.
To our left a substantial lake that we hoped to bimble around (we could see an observation shed on the opposite side).
The Lombok Guide says: Gili Meno is the middle and the smallest of the three Gili Islands, with the lowest population and the least number of visitors. The island has not developed as quickly as Gili T or Gili Air and suffered unpopularity when, in the mid-90’s, The Lonely Planet wrote that the salt lake on the island created mosquito problems. This was untrue – mosquitoes are no more prevalent on Gili Meno than anywhere else - but the damage was done.
Many would say that the bad publicity was a blessing in disguise. Today, Meno is the quietest of the three Gilis, with the laid-back charm of a true castaway island.
Although investors are steadily buying up land, especially on the west coast facing Gili T, there is no major development on the island as yet. There are few upmarket villas, but no large resorts.
Fortunately, much of the investment is low-key and – perhaps recognising the pristine nature of the island – development tends t be along ecologically sound concepts. Ever the intrepid, off we go.
We bimble as far as we can between the shallow bit and the lake, find two shabby lookouts and a dead end, back we go to try the other way.
A chap watches us intently.
A couple of heron shift to better their fishing opportunities..........
..............another chap thought he fancied his chances on what was left of a platform.
We were watched from the air and a little chap at the edge of the lake.
In the bushes a big chap made quite a racket.
A little one with a red vent gave a happy song.
We followed the track once more, to our left and open area, ahead a few boutique bungalows on stilts. A well-laden man coming along with tourist rubbish and empty water bottles – both a real nuisance to get rid of and have to be ferried over to Lombok.
To our right we found what was once a nice visitors’ toilet, now a sad sight.
Just beyond the toilet was what was once a lovely raised boardwalk, the end with nothing more than a spiders web........
We stood for a while watching a heron in very intent pose, but nothing.
A ‘one careful owner’ this side of the lake.
Back to whence we came and we watched just two other tourists bimbling the boardwalk.
We poked our heads into what was clearly an information room, above would have been a watching area. A pretty pigeon gave us the once over.
Back by the shallows, a couple were scruffing about.
A final look across the lake.
Back to Baby Beez, over to Beez to pick up our snorkel kits and return to the southern end of Meno for a snorkel before meeting the gang for lunch on Gili T.
ALL IN ALL SUCH POTENTIAL
JUST A LITTLE MONEY WOULD PRODUCE AN AMAZING BIRD WATCHING EXPERIENCE