Trekking to Mt Rinjani in Lombok

Trekking to Mt Rinjani in Lombok


By A.S. TOH

 

MT RINJANI, located in the north of Lombok Island, is 3,726m above sea level and the second highest volcano in Indonesia. It has a huge crater at the top which contains a beautiful lake called Danua Segara Anak (Child of the Sea Lake) and a small volcanic cone called Mount Baru Jari, which was formed a couple of hundred years ago.

The whole of the Rinjani area was gazetted as a national park in 1997. In 2004, Mt Rinjani won the World Legacy Award and the volcano is recognised internationally as an important eco-tourism destination. It is one of the most famous trekking destinations in South-East Asia, attracting thousands of trekkers annually.

Three Malaysians, Kenny Lim, KC Cheah and I participated in this expedition which was organised by Kenny.

Day 1 – In Senggigi

We flew to Mataram, the capital city of Lombok on July 11. We were met at the airport by a representative from the tour company which organised our Lombok trek.

We were transferred by a 4WD vehicle to Senggigi on the east coast of the island. The journey took about half an hour. We put up in a hotel for a night.

Day 2 – Senggigi to Sembalun and Crater Rim

We woke up before 5am for our breakfast. We were picked up and transferred to the starting trek point at Sembalun Village. The journey took about three hours. We registered at the Ranjani Information Centre in Sembalun Lawang where we also met up with our guide (Bulloh) and three porters who carried the tents, sleeping bags, cooking utensils and food.

We started our trek from there and went through open grassland to Pos 1 Pemantauan (1,300m). We rested there and enjoyed the summit views of Mt Rinjani.

After a short rest, we continued our trek and after about an hour’s walk we reached Pos 2 Tengengean (1,500m). We proceeded and reached Pos 3 Pada Batong (1,800m) in about 1.5 hours and stopped there for our lunch.

After lunch, we continued our trek up to Sembalun Crater Rim (2,639m). This was the toughest trek of the day and after about 3.5 hours we reached the campsite of Plawangan II just before 6pm.

Bulloh and the porters set up the tents for the night and prepared dinner which was served to us in our tents.

We retired to our tents immediately after dinner as the sun was down and the campsite was in complete darkness before 7pm. Also, we had to get up around 2.30am the next morning for the trek to the summit.

It was drizzling all night long and coupled with lying on a thin layer of mattress (about one-inch thick) without a pillow, my back ached and I did not get proper sleep the whole night.

We had to wake up early the next morning to make sure we arrive at the top Mt. Ringani before sunrise, not only to experience the spectacular sight at the summit but also to have the best chance of getting a clear view.

Day 3 – Crater Rim to Rinjani Summit, Segara Anak Lake and Senaru Crater Rim

The guide came to wake us up at 2.30am. It was still drizzling and the ground was wet. As I did not have a good night’s sleep and my back was aching, I decided to forego the trek to the summit.

It was a good decision for me as before 7am and while I was still lying in the tent, KC and Kenny suddenly returned, totally drenched! They gave up well before reaching the summit as the ground was wet and slippery and it was foggy. So, we all missed the chance to enjoy the amazing sunrise view across the Wallace Line to Bali, Mt Agung and Aumbawa, the crater lake below, and the island of Lombok stretching far below, which was the main objective of the expedition.

After having breakfast in our tents, we proceeded to trek down to Segara Anak Lake (2,000m). It took about three hours to trek down through steep trails to the crater lake.

We had a swim and explored the hot springs while the porters prepared our lunch. After lunch, we trekked for about three hours to the campsite at Plawangan Senaru Crater Rim at 2,461m.

Day 4 – Senaru Crater Rim to Senaru village and to Senggigi

We started our long descend down to Senaru village (601m) through thick tropical forests. At the beginning of the trail, the view of the lake in Senaru Crater Rim was beautiful.

We had a few rest stops along the way and lunch was served en route.

The trail was wet and slippery, particularly where it was covered with tree roots. Though I walked down slowly and cautiously with my walking stick, my toenails hurt. After tedious walking for more than seven hours from the rim we finally arrived at Rinjani Trek Centre in Senaru. A car was waiting to transfer us to Senggigi. We finally ended our trek!

Reproduced with permission from nakedeyeview.com.my.

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