Lombok Part 2 - Rinjani, The Hike, Beauty, and Desperation

Day 5 - When it's all started

I, the spoiled brat who loves comfortable bed and airco so much, decided to take an offer to climb Mount Rinjani, one of the highest active volcano in Indonesia, standing tall and proud 3,726 meters above sea level. October 14, 2016 was the day I started my journey, my 5th day in Lombok. 

We started our day waiting for the next group to arrive. They were held by traffic jam in Mataram. They arrived around 3pm, a little bit too late to climb, so we cheated by driving the car to base 1, and continue our hike to base 2. The hike was pretty flat with a few uphill every now and then, a nice warm up. We were planning to reach base 3, where you can camp on the valley, free from the mean and cold wind of the mountain. However, since we started late, it was too dark to continue the journey to base 3, so after 3 hours of hiking we camped at base 2, which is quite exposed to the cold of the mountain. Nevertheless, we were lucky that the sky was clear, hence we were able to enjoy our dinner under the milky way.

Our hitchride pic by Marcos

Before the climb by Marcos

Milky Way by Marcos

Day 6 - Hill of Regret (or as Sisca said Past Relationship Memories)

Rise and shine, a bit weary from the journey yesterday, we woke up at sunrise, the morning was a little bit chilly. We had our breakfast, freshened up a little bit and continue our journey. Our target for today is Pelawangan Sembalun (The Rim).
Good morning sunshine

We walked through meadow and thatch, such a beautiful view, the track was slightly uphill but it was nothing compared to what comes next. We had a pit stop at base 3, the place where we should have camped. True, the camp is less exposed to the wind, but hey, at least we got the milky way last night.

First part of the climb
 After we stopped to catch our breath, we walked a little bit more and arrived at the bottom of what is well known as the most challenging track in Rinjani, "Bukit Penyesalan" (Hill of Regret), which makes me regret every decision I made, and start questioning why I am even here. I almost cried when I walked those track, I missed my bed so much and the comfortableness of Air Conditioner, shower, and everything in my bed room. Yes, as my friend Sisca said, this is the hill of past relationship memories, it is painful, but you have to get through it in order to move on (I'm sorry for the cheesyness, it's the mountain and tiredness talking)

Bukit Penyesalan by Marcos
After numerous amount of of stop, complains, pain, and 7 hours of hiking, we arrived at Pelawangan Sembalun. The sun was hiding, covered with mist, it is amazing how the temperature can change drastically. I had no energy left, when all of them were busy taking picture of how gorgeus Rinjani peak is, I was just sitting down, gathering all the energy I have left. That's the end of today, I even missed the sunset by just deadly laid in my tent waiting for the next morning.

Pelawangan Sembalun by Marcos
Day 7 - Almost Summit and more

The sun wasn't even up, yet I heard people moving and make noises. Yes, it is time to go and catch the sunrise at the summit. I know I was complaining a lot yesterday, but I have made it this far, I might as well just try to walk and catch the summit. There were only 4 of us (from our group) who were crazy enough to walk in the dark and freezingly cold weather. It was pitch black, I couldn't really see where I was going. After a few 2 hours of walking we could see the sunrise coming up, we knew that we wouldn't make it to summit on sunrise, yet seeing sunrise on our way up was good enough.

Good Morning Rinjani
If people thought the "Bukit Penyesalan" was heavy, the road to summit was even heavier, not because it's steep, but there was sand instead of rocks. I felt like moon walking there, one step forward two step back. I was taking my own pace, too slow that my friends left me, so there was only me and the guide. The clock showing 11am, I was about to give up, he told me to just move forward, there's only one more hill and then I get there. But, I was thinking, if I continued, I will make everyone waiting for me, and it is not fair since we still need to go down to the lake, and the longer it take for me to return to the camp, the later it will be for us to go down the lake, and it will be too dangerous. So, after thoroughly thinking, I decided to go back to the camp. I have seen enough, there's no use for me to catch the summit, the view will be pretty much the same anyway (trying to console myself).
The way up
My highest point
It took 7 hours for me to go up to "my highest point" and back to the camp ground. It was so hot that I "passed out" in the tent, I couldn't do anything else. My feet were trembling, too tired from the walk. I sit and tried to save up all the energy I have left, because we still need to go down to the "Segara Anak" lake.

My friends who made it to the top came back at around 3ish, they had their quick lunch and then we started walking to the lake. If you think going up was tough, wait until you are going down. You have to hold all your body weight and more, my feet were sore and I couldn't barely walk. The track was quite challenging as well, there were some part where we have to climb like spiderman without rope or any safety equipment.

One thing that kept me going on is the idea of fresh water and natural hot spring. It was 9pm when we arrived, being tired and desperate, we (Me, Angel and Sisca) plead our guide to take us to the hot spring. He agreed to take us there if we promised that we won't be there for too long

Those who made it to the top (pic by Angel)
One of the track to the lake (pic by Reginald)

Day 8 - The Lake and The Climb

The end is near, we just have to climb and stay another night in the mountain and then we're done. We decided to take things slow, and have a slow morning (meaning we won't start hiking before 11). We woke up lazily and start doing our thing, me and Sisca went to do our "business" and Angel was staying in the tent. The boys went to the hot spring. We already had our hot bath last night, and we don't really feel like dragging wet clothes in our bag, so we decided to stay dry.

The boys in hotspring
Sisca with her laundry
Danau Segara Anak
After we had recharged our energy, we started the climb to go to Senaru, the other side of Rinjani. People said it is one of the most dangerous track,yet beautiful. There are times when you have to climb like spiderman, or just inch away from the cliff. It was nerve-breaking, tiring, but also fun.

The track (pic by Reginald)
The view (pic by Reginald) 
We made it to "Pelawangan Senaru", the rim, by sunset (I lost track of time, but the sun was setting down). After discussing, we decided to went a little bit further to the next base, as camping at the rim will be so cold and uncovered by wind, and all of us need a good night sleep. We went down in the dark, I fell down a few times, people left me behind for being too slow, but I couldn't move my feet anymore. It hurts so bad that I ended up sliding down instead of walking. One thing that keep me going was the fact that it will be my last night sleeping in a tent.

Sunset at Pelawangan Senaru
Day 9 - The End

Good morning, good morning.. This is the last day!!! Yay, finally!!! This is the point when water become luxurious, I am longing for a good long shower, just a few hours more and then I am back to civilization. The track going down was not heavy at all. However, since I have forced my legs to carry this fat lady, they decided to give up on me. I couldn't bend my legs without feeling the pain. Of course being so tired and lumpy I fell down thousand times, Ka Regi managed to take my picture when I was down

Elephant down (pic by Reginald)
Given the tiredness, wearisome, and the lack of water (to shower), we managed to return to the civilization safe and sound. None of us could walk properly after the hike, but it was all worth it. Will I ever do it again? I am not sure, maybe if they build a tunnel to the lake, or provide a chopper for me, or maybe in a distant future.

I made it

Last but not least, I would like to introduce the team. There are 9 people, Angel and Okta (the married couple, friends of Sisca), Sisca (my bestie), Mas Fatkhur (a pro climber, he has climbed other mountains before), Reginald (my cousin) and Given (his 5 years old son, yes he's a pre-schooler), Mas Tedy (friend of Sisca) and Marcos (our guide/friend of Sisca). 

The Team
The Team

The Porter
Those who waited on me
Day 10 - The Closure and Flight Back Home

The journey has ended, we stayed in Puri Bunga Senggigi, a budget hotel across Sheraton, when we picked the hotel we didn't know that we had to climb stairs to go to our room (as if our legs are not tired enough already). The hotel is really nice, they have swimming pool and also offer buffet breakfast. We spent our day relaxing and waiting for our flight back home. Given even plunged into the swimming pool (kids and their energy).

The last climb
I always have mixed feelings coming back home, on one side I'm tired but on the other side, I do miss the "escaping" feelings. But life must go on. I had to say goodbye to my good friend, and promise to see her again real soon. We booked a car we found on the road of Senggigi for IDR 200.000/car, and you can also make a short stop to buy last minute things. If you are on budget, you can also take damri, a shuttle bus to airport, I think it cost IDR 35.000/person.

The "until we meet again"

Rinjani is really beautiful and suit the people with medium to high fitness level. You will need to train before you climb rinjani, build stamina, cardio training and also your thigh muscle. To go to Rinjani you can book a trip, the cost will vary, depends on the facilities and how long you will stay there. Some people managed to finish the trip that I have done in 3 days. Prepare yourself from dirty hands everyday, so make sure you cut your nail short. Have good shoes that can protect you from stones and slippery slope. Last but not least, just enjoy every step, every pain and every view ;)


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