3726m- the adventure begins

Yay finally have some time to blog about my rinjani trip! Vivek, nick and I were talking about going since earlier this year and we already had a whatsapp group since may, but we only legitly started planning after we all came back to singapore (i.e. less than 2 weeks in advance) so I’m quite impressed that this trip happened at all. Luckily planning was pretty easy cos we just used the same agency as my dad and they settled everything in the trek for us.

So yup on to the trek! We chose to do the 4d3n trek starting from Sembalun village and ending at Senaru, which was good cos we got to see both the summit and lake and it was much more manageable than the other treks that we saw people doing (either the same route but in 3d2n, or the opposite direction which seems a lot harder). The first day we started walking at around 9am, it was mostly flat savanna(h?) kinda terrain at first but gradually increased in steepness as we passed each ‘pos’ (resting stop).

pos 1, still at the relatively very flat part, and porters walking past

We had a pleasant surprise at pos 2- there was a mat and foldable chairs set up for us already, and after a short rest lunch was served! This trek was v different from ALPS in that we had porters to carry all our things, cook meals and set up tents for us etc which was super shiok hahaha. But the climbing was much harder also haha I definitely wouldn’t have survived it if I was carrying a 15kg backpack like in ALPS. All the meals were pretty good, with fruits and soft drinks/hot coffee or tea also! Anyway after each meal, we would continue walking first while the porters packed up, then they’d catch up with us within 30min and overtake us to set up camp before we arrive lol they’re crazyyy strong and fit!! And nimble too, most of them just wore slippers the whole time and could like hop from rock to rock with their 30+kg(?) loads while we had to slowly and cautiously find our footing despite wearing trekking shoes, having walking sticks and carrying hardly any weight.

first meal on the mountain!

After post 3 the path became significantly uphill (i.e. shag) but we kept going just with more breaks, and after 2+/3? hours we reached the crater rim!!!

that uphill in the background… not v clear though cos it became quite foggy
crater rim campsite.jpg
tents at the crater rim and the lake in the distance! (photo credit: vivek)

This was our campsite for that night so we rested a while, watched the sun set and took lots of photos, then retreated into our tents for dinner cos once dark it quickly also became cold. Vivek had a headache which is a symptom of altitude sickness :o so he went to sleep early while nic and I stayed out for a while, me taking photos of the stars and nick writing his journal (in the dark). One of the main reasons why I like climbing mountains is to see the stars and this trip definitely didn’t disappoint!! It was amazing to see so many stars in the sky cos it’s really v dark around that area, you can even see the milky way hehe 8)

sleeping under the stars :D

The second day was the hardest cos we had to wake up super early to climb up to the summit and reach there to see sunrise, go back down to the crater rim campsite, then walk down into the crater to camp beside the lake. We woke up at 1.30am x__x and left the campsite a bit before 2.30, starting our uphill climb in the cold+dark (just realised that cold and dark are adjectives and coldness and darkness are their nouns but then cold and dark can be nouns also…? english is strange).

Anyway the climb was superrrrr shagggg omg because it was so steep and sandy/rocky most of the way, I was the slowest so our guide pulled me along for some parts lol. That plus the fact that it was very windy and cold especially when you stopped to rest kept me going for the first steep part, then there was a flatter part for a while (pheww lol) before we got to the final super steep part! Every step took soo much effort because the ground was made of small rocks which just sink in/ roll down when you step on them, so for every step you take you’d sink back half a step and basically it was just extremely tiring la x__x the guys were faster so they climbed ahead for this part, the aim was to reach the top to see the sunrise but the sun rose while we were still climbing haha. Anw I honestly think sunrise is overrated, the part before the sun rises (dawn heh) is prettier lor like when the sky is still dark but the horizon is lit up with all the colours!! When the sun rose I didn’t even stop to take photos until our guide asked me cos 1. I just wanted to be done with the climbing asap and 2. vivek was helping me carry my dslr and he was further ahead D: so uhh after countless times of “I’m gonna get to that pile of stones then rest for 10 breaths” and some longer breaks when my legs were dying, I finally reached the end of the crazy part!!! Where nick and vivek were waiting for me haha. Then we walked for a short stretch more to the summit woohooo. I think at that point I was more of like “yesss finally no more climbing omg” rather than “yay I reached the summit” LOL but in hindsight I’m v happy that I made it!

at the summit!! there are metal signboards just left there for people to take photos with hahaha
*insert inspirational quote* (that’s not me sadly but I really like this photo)

After resting and taking lots of photos we went back down which was so much easier and had rly good views of the crater lake and surroundings since the sun was now up. It still took quite long though and we finally reached the campsite again around 11? Which was apparently too late for us to take a nap so we just had 1h for breakfast + resting before we had to set off again for our next campsite by the lake. This part was going down and v rocky so we went more slowly, it was quite ok I guess just that I was already tired from the morning’s climb. When we reached the campsite I crashed on the mat for a while cos I was really v shag LOL then we went to relax at the “nearby” hot spring!

lake + volcano view from our campsite! the volcano in the middle of the photo is a mini volcano that just erupted a few weeks ago (photo credit: nick)
the natural hot spring and waterfalls near the lake! the guys went in to swim/ go under the waterfall but I just soaked my legs, slightly regret this in hindsight but oh well :/ (photo credit: nick)
starpano small.jpg
vertical pano of the many starssss and the milky way over the lake :DD it felt like a humongous imax screen because of the crater rim around the lake haha
star trail stitched.jpg
~45min star trail :D

The next day was a lot easier but my legs were aching so it was still quite bad hahaha. We climbed out of the crater to another side of the rim, with vv good views of the lake on the way:

lake view.jpg
“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves” #SUTDad

Then from there we started going down, and after lunch the path continued in the forest. We walked for longer than I’d expected but luckily the path was pretty easy! Towards the end our guide told us “500m more” but it turned out to be more like a few km…? I think we walked for at least half an hour for that “500m” LOL

anyway we eventually reached the campsite and had a campfire! it was quite lousy though, we had to keep fanning cos the wood was too wet to catch fire properly…

Idk why but the guys refused to give up on the fire even though we had to keep on fanning it and getting more wood once in a while which didn’t really help, so we sat around talking about random stuff and “life lessons/career counselling with nick” HAHA twas interesting! Nick thinks it’s v important to know what you want to do but as of now I really don’t know :/ hmm is it that bad if you don’t have a ~grand life goal~ but just go with the flow and do what you like in the short term?

Anyway the next day was v short and easy for once!! We started quite late and reached the bottom in less than 2h (and bought rinjani tshirts hehe), where a car was waiting to bring us back to the office and then to our next hotel.

back to civilisationnnn @holiday resort lombok

This post is getting super long so I shall be more concise from now onwards hahaha. We showered and nua-ed and swam for a while and went out to sengigi for dinner

sunset at the beach beside our hotel!

The next day we went snorkelling/island hopping at the 3 gili islands

step boat shot by nick


random pavilion at gili meno where we sat and ate our snacks (photo credit: nick)

Had bbq buffet dinner at some beach club near our hotel which had a nice sofa on which I took a nap, then we went to the airport and hobo-ed there overnight cos our flight back was at 6am.

Yup so overall a great trip! The trekking was definitely super tiring especially the second day, I think it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but worth it for the views + time spent with good company + the sense of accomplishment when you complete it!!!

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