When we were kids, we used to race with friends or cousins. The one who wins used to be overjoyed by their victory! The fact that he/she came first in a race. As adults, this joy still prevails deep somewhere in our subconscious. However, when I arrived at the Eco Hostel in Gili Meno I was second and not first. But, this was not a race. I was only the 2nd Indian to arrive and stay at the Eco hostel in Gili Meno. More than 100 Crore people in India and I couldn’t believe how only 2 people have stayed here in this Eco hostel in Gili Meno though it has been around for some time.
The world map at the Eco hostel which shows the places from where their guests come. You will notice that most of the guest come from Europe and India only two people, including me, had visited here.
We Indians don’t generally travel a lot for long durations. Whenever we do, we travel with family or friends and choose a hotel over hostel or camping. Of course, there are many folks who do prefer offbeat accommodation like I do. So, I decided to write about this eco stay as it impressed me a lot and I wanted more people to stay here. Eco hostel in Gili Meno is an experience in itself as you wake up right with an ocean view and the Sun shining faintly on the horizon.
The Eco Hostel by the beach
The hostel is an eco hostel it a true sense. It is mostly built out of bamboo and wood. There are only a couple of private rooms and rest of the hostel is dotted with colorful and bright hammocks. I walked towards the reception when I reached the hostel. I had booked this eco hostel through Couchsurfing. Till the time I reached the hostel, I was not aware that it is actually a hostel. I was under an impression that I am being hosted by a traveler who has set up camp in Gili Meno. I actually liked this little surprise. Due to the reason I had put in the request on Couchsurfing, I got to stay here for free! They give 2 nights for free to folks who come through Couchsurfing. Also, they allow only 2 Couchsurfers for a night to stay in the hostel for free.
They handed me my hammock at the reception after check in and asked me to pick any spot! I looked around and saw a three level structure made of wooden pillars and bars. I walked up to the roof and tied my hammock at a spot which offered me an ocean view and seemed really pleasant. To see the ocean, I just had to turn my head towards the right while resting on the hammock and voila! I tied up the hostel parallel to the coast and relaxed there for some time. After getting acquainted with fellow hostel dwellers, I retired to the hammock. I stared at the twinkling stars and gave myself a pat on back.
I slept on the green hammock! Endearing, isn’t it?
As the sun continued its journey towards the horizon, I went to the common area and spent some time with my fellow hostel dwellers. I met many interesting travellers and asked about the Scuba Diving experience in Gili Meno. I really wanted to experience Scuba Diving this time as I had to give it a miss when I traveled to Thailand earlier. After getting acquainted with fellow hostel dwellers and gulping down a few beers, I retired to my hammock. Darkness had crept up the wide open sky above me and stars decorated the black canvas. I stared at the twinkling stars and gave myself a pat on back. I had made a very wise decision of staying at Gili Meno Eco Hostel.
The next morning, I set off to experience Scuba Diving and explore Gili Islands. Read more about details of Gili Meno and my experience here.
The beautiful coast of Gili Meno
After a day of exciting experiences, I returned to the hostel at twilight. I visited a neighboring resort where they were kind enough to let us play billiards. We had some beers at the eco hostel after playing pool and enjoyed a bit of conversation and music.
The next day, I saw this opportunity at volunteering at the Eco hostel. However, due to the shortage of time, I wasn’t able to participate. If you are visiting Gili Meno and have some time on your hand, you should definitely enroll yourself in these volunteering activities.
This certain project was about building a hostel block all from wood and bamboo! Doesn’t is sound like an exciting project? It would be great to actually build something that is eco-friendly and is an epitome of how mankind can be considerate towards nature.
I did participate in the activity for some time and helped out the volunteers in sawing wood. How I wish I could go back and see how it turned out to be!
I actually met many travelers at Gili Meno who were volunteering at the eco hostel and found many more travelers who had volunteered in past or plan to volunteer in future. I have not volunteered while traveling abroad. However, I did volunteer when I stayed in Mcleodganj for 2 months.
For breakfast, this eco hostel had a very nice arrangement. They would make the batter for pancakes and keep it in the kitchen for you to cook. When you want breakfast, you can just use the stove and cook your own pancake, dip in chocolate sauce and enjoy a hearty meal.
The kitchen setup at Gili Meno Eco Hostel
In a nutshell, staying at the Gili Meno Eco Hostel is a very fulfilling experience. You get to stay right on the beach and the folks who visit here are really interesting. The staff was also smiling all the time.
If you every plan to visit Gili Meno, do keep this lovely Eco hostel in mind.