Mt. Rinjani is an active second highest volcano in Indonesia. It towers the island of Lombok. The summit has a stunning view.
Getting to Mt. Rinjani
You can fly directly to Lombok International Airport or take a boat from Bali to Lombok which I did.
I and my friend booked our 3D 2N trekking at Senggigi. We were picked up at our hotel around 4am. We travelled approximately 2 hours going to Senaru. We arrived at an inn. We ate our breakfast and met our group. We left our things and brought only clothes enough for 3 days and 2 nights. After the breakfast, we rode the van going to the base camp. We met our guide, sign our name up. There was a short orientation of the trek. All were set! Hurray, the adventures begin.
Having two sleepless nights prior the trek makes my body weary and unprepared for the trek. I thought I still have the stamina of my teenage years. After walking and climbing for 30 minutes. My body is telling me to give up and go back to the base camp. Our guide told us no need to rush. But part of me said, “Finish what you have started”. I follow the advice of our guide to walk slowly and take a rest when needed.
I had to stop every 10 minutes to catch my breath. The sun is up and we follow the trail that snaked through the forest. You can see monkeys, scary insects and birds along the way. After 1 hour of hiking, we reached the first station. What a relief! I was exhausted! The guide told us, 6 more hours to reach the summit. At the first station, I met some trekkers who are on their way down from the summit. They describe how magnificent the caldera was and the lake. Their stories motivate me to push through with the hike.
After a short rest, our guide told us to continue hiking. The next station is 1.5 km uphill climb. Along the way, I can sense the change of temperature, the air was getting cooler. As always, I was panting. I took a rest and drunk water to rehydrate myself. I must walk at my own pace, no need to compete with my peers. Most of the time I was on my own. There were times, I need to crawl under and scale the big logs that blocked the trail. It is also a good time to commune with nature.
After 3 hours, I reached the Station 3. This is the place where we ate our lunch. I was starving, the moment our food was served, I quickly grabbed my share, and it seems I was not fed for a long time. Our porter cooked noodles, vegetables and pineapple for dessert. They told us, “not to eat a lot for the main reason if your stomach is full it would be hard for us to hike the mountain”.
After eating our lunch, the adventure continues. It is a roller coaster hike “ up and down hills”. At last, I arrived at the station prior to the summit. When I saw the steep and rocky hill. I conditioned my mind, I am going to push myself to my limit. I was on my hands and knees literally, on my way to the summit. I saw some trekkers, they have hiking poles, which is a huge help for them. I need to put my backpack in front of me because as the time goes, your bag is getting heavier. I do not want to lose my balance and tumbling down the hill.
Along the way to the summit, you can touch the clouds and it even bumps on your face. It was an exhilarating experience. Finally, I reached the summit, before the sunset. I went to the caldera, the view was really marvellous. It compensates the panting and the muscle sore. We were sitting on the summit while eating and waiting the sun to set right before our eyes. After watching the sunset. I went to our tent to sleep. I need to get strength for the next day’s adventure.
I did not sleep well last night because of the strong wind. It seems our tent will be blown away by the whistling wind. It was a full moon, so the night was really bright. Around early morning, I heard voices outside, mentioning “sunrise”. Oh, I forgot! I need to get up for the sunrise. I use wet wipes to clean my face, took my camera and got out from the tent. I joined with my group waiting for the sun to rise. We witness how the sun creeps out from the horizon and it rays sliced through the clouds.
After a light breakfast, we took off for 2-3 hours downhill hiking, going down to the lake. I thought it was an easy trek but I was wrong. The trail was steep and rocky. Every step is crucial, you must make sure that the rock can support your weight. One mistake, you will be a history (exaggeration!). One hour passed, I and my friend took a rest, took a gulp of water and enjoy the view of the lake. It was an enticing view, the lake was calling me to take a dip. It motivated me to hike again and have a dip.
The moment we reached the lake, I dipped my hand first to test the water temperature. It is extremely cold. Nobody can swim there unless you want to die. I took the rest beside the lake while our porter prepared our lunch. I went to check out the hot spring next to the lake. I decided not to dip in the hot spring, I prefer to take a rest to regain energy, reserved for the afternoon hike.
I took a nap and after a while, the porter woke me up for the lunch. While eating we enjoy the view of the lake and the volcano which is in the lake. Hoping it will not erupt! (joke)
In the afternoon, we headed to the next campsite, located at the other side of the summit. I look up the savannah trail, it is really a steep one. I took a breath and told myself, you can do it! The adventurous spirit in me, push me to endure and enjoy this journey. After few hours of climbing, I notice the trail is getting foggy, and visibility is a bit a challenge.
There are parts of the trail that is next to a cliff, do not ever look down, it will shake your knees. I looked up to the summit, and I saw my group mates were up above me on the way to the summit. I continue to hike, up and down the trails. I crawled, held on the roots and rocks (make sure it is sturdy) the dust irritated my nose and I kept on sneezing. I did not expect that I will encounter this, but I it is part of the experience and the adventure itself.
I was the last one to reach the summit in our group. My face was so dusty and dirty. Luckily, I had wet wipes with me. It is really a big help. I cleaned up myself and get ready for the night. There were many trekkers in the campsite. This is my second time to see a sunset in the summit. We observe the sun was hiding at the rim of the caldera, this view is a picturesque one.
Time flies! It is our third day and the last day. It seems like yesterday that I almost quit. At early dawn, our porter woke us up to see the sunrise. I am obsessed with sunrise and sunset views. I was really tired, so I ignore the porter. After a while, I heard noises from outside. Wow! Great! This angle! The view must be great! Although my body wanted to stick on the bed but my enthusiasm with sunrise pushed myself to get up and grabbed my camera. The sun rises on the other side of the summit is no different. The sun appeared on the horizon, it rays cut through the clouds. You will witness the sunlight shone on the green mountainsides.
We ate our breakfast and I can see the excitement on the faces of my group mates. This is it! The porter gives us a glimpse of the trail. They said, “the trail is not difficult”. It is a savannah but dusty. Luckily, I brought a facial mask because I am allergic to dust. The trail is not difficult, I can even run but dusty, so I distanced myself from my peers to avoid the dust.
Along the way, you can see that the grass field was burnt. Our guide told us that the farmer burnt the field for cultivation purposes. It was also my first time to see a frozen lava.
We had our lunch at the meadows. After a while, we head off to the village which took us 3 hours to reach. The car waited there to bring us back to our hotel. We reached our hotel and took a shower to refresh myself, pack my things and get ready to for another adventure. I bade my goodbyes to our guide, porter and my group mates. It was a great experience together with great people!