Mt. Rinjani 3,726 Meters Hiking
Mount Rinjani is an active volcano in Indonesia on the island of Lombok, It rises to 3,726 metres (12,224 ft), making it the second highest volcano in Indonesia, the third highest mountain of the Indonesian archipelago.
We started from Sembalun at 1156 meters, which is a nice warm-up as it has plenty of switch-backs and gradually climbs through the beautiful and HOT lowlands before ascending vertically to the Sembalun Gate / Pelawangan.
Day 1 was certainly long! We started at 9:30 am and hiked through posts 1 and 2 before finally stopping for lunch at post 3. The porters and guides made us a delicious lunch of noodle soup to warm our bones as it was drizzling and quite cold. From Post 3 to the crater rim the hike was very challenging 3.5 hour hike which took us from 1800m to 2639m, but we were shocked and surprised to see that we were able to pass university students along the way!
We settled in for the night and as it was cold and damp, we all opted for tent service dinner, enjoying another wonderful meal full of fresh veggies before falling asleep.
Day 2 had us up at 2:30 and finally climbing about 3:30 am on our arduous trek to the summit. We were the latest group to start and we took our sweet time getting to the top, stopping frequently for photo ops when the sun rose and we had beautiful views of Lombok and the crater lake as well as the new volcano rising out of it.
We were still struggling to reach the summit as all of the other hikers were descending. The fog had set in and though we knew that we wouldn’t get a nice view at the top we were determined to reach the top. Slogging through loose sand and gravel, counting each step and marking progress slowly, we finally made it!
The hike down was just as arduous, but we enjoyed it and after a nice breakfast at the rim and a quick nap it was time to dismantle our tents and head down to the Segara Anak campsite by the lake.
The day was drizzly, and the path down was quite steep. Our legs were still wobbly from the morning’s summit but we made it down, finally reaching the camp in the late afternoon. It is indescribably beautiful but throughout our journey we were dismayed to see the amount of trash strewn around the camp sites, and this was no exception! We opted to stay about 10 meters above the lakeside to avoid the garbage. What a shame!
We were fast asleep soon after dark, our muscles and minds exhausted from the day. But we had made it, and reveled with pride in our accomplishment.
Day 3 was quite relaxing, starting with early morning photos near the lake. When everyone was up we headed to the hot springs and we were absolutely delighted to find a hot spring waterfall! Truly amazing. The pools were heaven for our sore muscles, and the cascading waterfall beat upon us like a shiatsu massage. Ahhhh….
We started our ascent after lunch from the lake to the Senaru gate ridge. We had mostly good weather and nice views along the route, but it was never too hot. By the time we reached the Senaru rim the fog had rolled in. We continued down past pos Cemara Lima to pos 3 where we were the only campers.
It is clear that the Senaru route is in another district from Sembalun. The campsites are more orderly and Pos 3 has two raised bale with wooden floors to pitch your tents on. This was the first evening that we felt sociable and we were able to eat our meal together before retiring by 9.
The last day dawned. We weren’t in a rush anymore so we had a leisurely morning enjoying our banana pancakes, coffee, tea and toast with jam. The monkeys enjoyed it too, stealing from us as much as they could. The morning was gorgeous with the sun slowly illuminating the valley. We broke camp and started our descent.
The hiking was finally catching up with us and our various injuries so we took the descent slow, happy to know that we were not the hikers ascending and that the ordeal was nearly over.
The Senaru path is much steeper than the Sembalun path and we were whizzing down the mountain, joyfully racing the porters from post to post. Finally the end was in site, we reached the car about lunch time. Though the guides were ready to cook us one last meal, we thanked them profusely and opted for variety instead – warung Anna, here we come!
All in all it was an amazing trip, we DID IT!!
NOTE: Pictures was taken by many of us and have been resized to smaller and lowest resolution.
Special Thank’s to our:
Porters: Pak Ida, Ung, Lukman, Beni, and forget the other one, he.. he… he..
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