As I mentioned here, while we were in Indonesia in Lombok, we ended up doing the 3 day Mt. Rinjani hike. I had never heard of it before we got to Gili T, and it sounded kind of cool, but also, every single person I’d met that had done it said it was really, really hard.
You could tell who had just gotten back from the hike when you saw them out on the streets of Senggigi, because they just looked completely shattered.
We kind of thought it would be cool, but didn’t really look into it that much, and then one day D and I just kind of looked at each other and were like, “When are we going to be in Lombok again? Let’s do it”. So here is the story of our Mt. Rinjani trek, broken out by day:
On the day we left, we got picked up from our homestay in Senggigi, around 5am. We each had a backpack with the warmest clothes we had, and 400 Snickers bars.
We got dropped off at the climbing center in Senaru, and they gave us banana pancakes for breakfast. I hate banana pancakes, so I was playing with the monkeys climbing in the trees instead.
There were about 10 people total in our group, from all over the world. We had a couple guys from the UK, a girl from Spain, a Canadian couple, and 2 Danes, a mother and daughter. The mother was in her 60’s, and she was very impressive. It was a very hard 3 days, and she kept up with us the whole time.
Our guide was named Jamal, and he was very sweet and funny. Each group goes up with a guide, and a few porters, depending on how many people are in the group. The porters’ job is to carry all of the camping supplies: tent, sleeping bag, mattresses, food, water, etc.
They hike up the mountain carrying extremely heavy loads balanced on both ends of a bamboo pole, usually wearing flip flops, and holding a cigarette in one hand. They only make $15 USD per day, and the goal is to eventually become a guide, but speaking English is a job requirement, so many of the porters use their time with the trekking groups to practice.
Jamal told us his first day as a porter he made it up to the crater rim, but it was so hard that he set his load down and cried.
The first day was pretty hard, it was up hill the whole way (obviously) and it was pretty hot outside. We stopped for a break every 1KM, so I just kept telling myself that I only had to make it to the next rest stop.
This went on for 6 KM (it was 8 KM total the first day).
By the time we reached the lip of the crater rim I was completely exhausted and I kind of thought I was going to cry when I realized we had 2 more days like that, but the second I came up on the ridge and saw the crater lake, I immediately forgot about how hard it had been to get up there, and I was so happy we made the trek.
It was the most amazing view I’ve ever seen. I got a huge adrenaline rush, and spent at least an hour running all over trying to get pictures from different angles, and just enjoying the view. Beside me, a guy got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend.
We set up camp on one of the mountain cliffs and the porters made us a delicious dinner. We stayed up chatting, and watching sunset over the mountain, and hung out for a bit just enjoying the view and the millions of stars we could see.
I remember thinking that I wished it was warmer out so we could just sleep outside under the stars.
It was incredibly windy up there, I barely slept at all because I was freezing, and because I kept thinking we were going to get blown over the edge.
During one particularly nasty gust of wind our tent collapsed, and the cover blew off, so we ended up sleeping outside under the stars anyway. Be careful what you wish for.
To be continued on day 2….