The Rinjani is an active volcano and the second highest mountain of Indonesia and rises up to 3726 meters high. The last eruption was in 2010. On the top of the volcano is a 6 by 8.5-kilometre caldera, which is partially filled by a deep blue crater lake. It is open to public climb and a real test for your body.
We booked our tour in Senggigi and stayed the night there as well. Both before and after the trekking. The Sendok Hotel is a place we really enjoyed. You pay 250.000 Rupiah per night, and the room isn’t that big and luxurious, but the pool makes up for that. Especially when you come back from Rinjani, all covered in sweat and sand and you need to soak all of that of.
** You can find them on booking.com
If you don’t want to get up at 4.30 am the first morning of the trekking, it is wise to book a room at a guesthouse in Senaru. This is where everybody gathers and gets you an extra hour, or maybe even two, of sleep.
Walk, crawl, stumble, fall, climb, slide and get a 3 day full body work out while doing a 3 days-2 night trek. It cost us some blood, sweat and for Marije even some tears. It was for sure one of the hardest things we have ever done. And something we will never ever ever do again.
We started our day at 4.30 am, waking up and getting ready for pick up at 5 am. After picking up more victims, we drove to Senaru where everybody gathered, had a banana pancake and some tea and where they separated us into 2 groups. At around 8 am we started our trek. And after a few minutes we were already sweating, panting and wondering how the next couple of days would be like. The rest of our group was walking fast and seemed a bit more fit, so that got us worried. Traveling for almost 9 months, does influence your fitness. But we managed, a bit slower, but we managed. At the spot where we were gonna have lunch, we noticed a difference. We were there first, but had our lunch last. A father and daughter doing the trek together probably booked a VIP tour looking at their tasteful lunch, chairs and big variety in different fruits. A little different than ours. Maybe we shouldn’t have booked the cheapest tour..
After 7 hours of ‘walking’ we arrived at our camp around 5 pm, and we were exhausted. It was cold, soon to be getting dark and we were hungry. Thank god we had lots of warm clothes with us. After diner, and enjoying the great view from the top at 2600 meters overlooking the other tent camps, it was time for bed.
We didn’t need an alarm clock to wake up early and we walked a bit up for a nice view overlooking the mountains and seeing the sunrise. This made up for the bad, cold night trying to sleep on thin yoga mats. After breakfast, we broke down the tents and got ready for some more struggling. The walk down was pretty steep so a stop at the lake and hot water springs was welcome to rest the legs. The surroundings are amazingly beautiful and we stopped several times along the way for some Canon moments. One thing that is a bit of a waste, is all the plastic laying around. Especially at the places where all the groups stop.
After a swim in the lake, lunch and some relaxing, it was time for part two: going up again. And again, it was a struggle. Luckily we finished at around 2 pm so we had plenty of time to give our legs, or should we say complete bodies, a rest. And the best thing was, there are some tents selling cookies, chips, chocolate and soda. You can even buy wodka if you want! The prices are of course a bit higher but it was worth it. Everybody enjoyed the sun, tried to take a nap and went to bed really early because day 3 was gonna be the icing on the cake… In many different ways.
Waking up at 2 am isn’t something we enjoy. Waking up at 2 am and going for a ‘walk’ up a volcano is something we will never do again. Especially not Rinjani. Everybody says that the last part, one kilometer walking up in lose sand mixed with lose rocks, is the most difficult. This didn’t sound promising because we had been struggling the previous days as well. And before you get to the last part, the walk isn’t easy as well. Struggling in the dark, with a long line of people in front and behind you, with a flashlight in your hand, isn’t something we call fun. Sometimes you just want to lay down and don’t move anymore. But it get’s cold so you have to keep moving. Especially the last part, the last kilometer. And what’s the thing you’re doing it for: a sunrise. Something you can see every day, but now from the top of a volcano. Was it worth the struggle? Maybe not because of the sunrise because to be honest, we’ve seen better. But the feeling like you’re on top of the world, demanded so much of your body and getting rewarded for it, does make you feel good.
But than you still have to get down, and than you realize (and see) how enormously proud you can be of yourself. It is good that you didn’t see this going up because it’s dark, because otherwise you probably would not have done it. It is steep, it is narrow and it is high! And it’s not just the going down to the tent part that is hard, you have to get all the way down. After 3 days, our legs would’t move anymore, our toes felt like they were gonna fall off and we were sore everywhere. BUT WE DID IT, WE CLIMBED RINJANI. BUCKET LIST - CHECK!