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29: Mount Rinjani Trek Day One – Lombok, Indonesia

Sunday 11th August 2019

Day 103 in Southeast Asia

Day one of the trek began bright and early. Breakfast was supposedly at 6:30 so I got up with a very beautiful sunrise. Initially we thought we were leaving at 7, but we were told we weren’t going until 9 as the porters were all at mosque, praying for the start of second Ramadan. This gave me some time to relax before we headed off at 8:20 in the end. A short drive took us to the bottom of the track. There were 6 people in my group: 2 English guys, 2 Chinese girls and 1 Austrian guy. We started the actual hike just before 9.

Mount Rinjani is found in Gunung Rinjani National Park. Park. It is the second highest volcano in Indonesia and is still active today. You can’t hike to the top of Rinjani Mountain as the summit has been closed since an earthquake last year. However you can hike to and camp at the crater rim which is at an altitude of around 2,500m.

At about 11:45 we reached Position 2 and were around half way. We stopped here for lunch which was cooked on little camping stoves. The rice, vegetables, egg and Tempe was a lot more delicious than expected.

After lunch we spent some time just watching the monkeys singing in the trees before heading off again at about 1:30. Up until post 3 all the track was through the jungle which was pretty bearable. Then we hit the dusty track up to the crater rim and things got a lot harder.

I’d prepared myself for the worst as regards to my ability to do the trek. My fitness levels have definitely significantly depleted since travelling so I had low expectations for myself. I’d been doing pretty well up until I reached the dusty track and then I started to get very tired and very sore.

The local guys who were porters were carrying all the food, water, picnic blankets, chairs and cooking stuff up on baskets on their backs. I have no idea how they could do this, and they were wearing flip flops without even so much as slipping.

4:30pm – Finally I made it to the crater!!! And it was MORE than worth it. 100% one of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen. I was just blown away by it. After admiring it for quite some time and getting some essential pictures, I headed down to my camp for a much needed banana whilst I waited for dinner to be cooked.

The views were just amazing. It was so incredible to be up in the clouds. I can only compare it to being on a plane. As the sun started to set we got our dinner – a plate of nasi goreng. The sunset was absolutely amazing and I was just in awe of where I was.

As the sun went down it did start to get colder. I’d heard horror stories about how cold it would be and was nervous as I don’t have jumper. But honestly I was fine. I just had a few thing layers on and was more than okay! I would definitely advise people to still take a jumper / sweatshirt with them though!

We lit a campfire and chilled around there for an hour or so. Then I headed to bed at about 8:30. The tents were pretty big in size and we had sleeping bags provided. I also had my own sleeping bag liner which was a welcome extra layer.

Day 2 is due to start at 5:30 so we can catch sunrise. This has been an amazing day and I feel so lucky to be doing all these COOL things recently.

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