During our trip to Indonesia we could enjoy various Trekkings, but none like the one made in the Rinjani National Parkon the island of Lombok. Located 40km east of the world famous Bali, it begins to be a tourist destination of 1st order thanks to the beaches that border it.
Most people who hear Lombok's name associate it directly with Gili Islands, an archipelago composed of three islands of doubtful taste, which delights lovers of white sand and diving.
Lombok is not only Sun, Beach, Diving and Surfing, but also Mountain. And what a mountain… since it houses the 2nd highest volcano in Indonesia with its 3726m of altitude.
Lombok Island (Indonesia)
I think that with the map exposed, there is no need to describe where Rinjani stands. This volcano is seen from anywhere on the Island and on clear days, from neighboring Bali and Sunbawa.
Throughout the island, you will find various information / disinformation points on how to perform and hire the Trekking, which you will have several different options, but the 2 most common packs are the following:
1) 2 days, 1 night. In my opinion, the most recommended. The most impressive landscapes are seen without the need to make a peak. Guide + Carrier included + Diets. This option always starts from Senaru.
2) 3 days, 2 nights. The option we choose. The toughest of all having to make top. Guide + Carrier + Diets. We can depart from Senaru or Sembalum.
It is not necessary to hire the services of Guide / Porters, but to get to the base of the trekkings, you will have no choice but to hire a private transport. Inside the park, there is no type of service, so all the food you will have to take them on your own. If I return to Lombok, this is the option I will make without any doubt, even if the locals tell you otherwise. As I could see, the 99,9% Trekking are organized.
As you can see below, the route profile is hard, especially the final 200m at Rinjani, due to the firm sliding.
Trekking in Rinjani National Park - Part 1
Our Trekking begins in Sembalum, around 9 in the morning, with the aim of arriving at the camp around 3:00 p.m. It starts from 900m and we must reach 2650m altitude. A steep slope, but quite affordable, since the first kilometers are smooth and medium profile.
The road is quite well laid out and it is practically impossible to get lost. Moreover, when from time to time groups of porters are seen passing at a devilish speed. And why do they go down? Simply because the route can be started from Senaru instead of from Sembalum, all depending on the Trekking organizer.
As noted, the climb from Sembalum is harder, but for those who come from Senaru, they have a final stage with a slope of 3000m of unevenness. You choose !!!
Rinjani National Park
We stopped 45 minutes to eat, near a place enabled for that purpose. The porters got down to work and made a fire to cook a little rice and noddles.
From here we saw several groups of Dutch and French, all of them with the face of having passed a hell. Covered in dust from head to toe, they made a stop near us and we could chat with them. They told us, that it was cold, very cold, about 1 degree celsius, but with blankets They were able to overcome it.
It is amazing to see how many foreigners climb Rinjani every year without the right material. People go in sneakers, flip flops and t-shirt. Then I am not surprised that they have such a bad time, the mountain is hard in Europe and anywhere in the world.
Trekking in Rinjani
After the meal, we started walking. We passed several bridges and ravines, whose rivers were completely dry. We were in the dry season, but the outline remained green. Arrived at 1900m high, it begins to cloud, just when we gradually enter a forest. You could tell that the clouds were very low and that sooner or later we would pass them, but during that period of time, visibility was very reduced and it started to rain.
Climbing to the 1st camp
Overcast the clouds, we can verify that we were already very high. Around 2450m. We should see the impressive lake that houses the crater of Rinjani, but the clouds prevented us. We will have to wait the next morning.
As a curious note, we saw an exhausted Russian couple arriving at the clouds. They asked us if the canes helped, that they saw us very fresh. Certainly the canes help, but if we come to these places with a 0% physical background, not even Santa Rita will help you to climb.
The lake hidden by the clouds
45 minutes later we arrive at the camp. Tents are set up and we rest, until dinner time. An early morning awaits us the next day, to undertake the top of the Rinjani.
Camping in Rinjani
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See Rinjani's second stage