Senaru & Mt. Rinjani, Indonesia

4 Jul

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Senaru & Mt. Rinjani

  • We arrived in Lombok on the local boat and were met by the driver, arranged by our hotel, who would be taking us there, a hotel called Emy Café located in Senaru. It’s very basic as far as hotels go but I think that’s the case for most hotels in Senaru as it’s a starting point for trekking Mt. Ranjani as opposed to being a destination.
  • We weren’t starting our trek until the following day and the hotel offered a guide that took us on a day hike to 2 local waterfalls. The hike was relatively easy except where we had to cross through the streams of water where the current was quite strong.
  • On the way back to Emy Café the boys opted to follow the guide through a tunnel of flowing water a la Harrison Ford in The Fugitive. The girls chose the stairs of death, this insanely steep concrete stairwell.
  • Back at Emy Café we met 2 Canadian girls, Chrissy and Amber, who would also be trekking with us up Mt. Rinjani. Chrissy had been working as a guide for a Canadian travel company in Thailand but left her job shortly after Amber arrived to visit and they’ve been travelling around together ever since.
  • We all went to bed pretty early since we were beginning the trek in the morning. Shortly after we were all tucked in the quiet was interrupted by Tal screaming bloody murder. Heather and I thought for sure there was a bat in her room judging by the pitch of her screams but luckily it was only a moth in hers and Jonny’s room. The screaming lasted a while because one by one every hotel staff member went up to their room to see what was up.
  • We left for 3-day, 2-night volcano hike after a quick breakfast at Café Emy around 8am as we had a 2,000m ascent on day 1. Day 1’s hike began with consistent uphill terrain through dense hot and humid rainforest. We passed the time by playing the country game where you name a country (or city, or ocean – the rules got pretty loose) and the next player has to name a place that begins with the last letter of the country named by the player before.
  • A couple of hours in we stopped for lunch where our cook and porters made us a noodle and vegetable soup before we started the second half of the day’s hike.
  • The afternoon portion of the hike was like walking up a scene out of Lord of the Rings. We were above the clouds, the fields around us were varying shades of green with trees were scattered here and there. The terrain changed from rich soil and tree roots to volcanic rubble, making it more easy to lose your footing.
  • Clegger practically sprinted up the mountain but waited for Chrissy and I to join her near the summit for day 1. What a view! A volcano surrounded by a lake ON a volcano on one side and a view of the Gili Islands and Bali on the other. Pure awesome!
  • We put our stuff in our bright orange tents, layered up and re-grouped to watch one of the most incredible sunsets I’ve seen over the past 5+ months.
  • Dinner that night was nasi gorang and fried chicken doused in the local chili sauce we’ve all become obsessed with.
  • After dinner we were off to bed as it was dark and well, that’s what you do when you’re trekking: go to sleep when the sun does.
  • Nobody had a great sleep that first night. The wind was whipping, it was pretty cold and poor Clegger wound up getting pretty sick early that morning. Unfortunately, it was a case of the vom-poos (vomiting and diarrhea – on this trip we’ve all gotten pretty comfortable with talking through our bodily functions and we’ve all been there).
  • Clegger felt progressively worse on the first half of the day’s hike and wound up getting very weak as a result of not being able to hold anything down, including medicine. Jonny helped her down the volcano to the lake and J.J. carried her the last leg of the hike to the lunch spot where we lay her down on a map and covered her in a sleeping bag. We got her some fruit and water and tried to get her to keep it down.
  • We collectively decided it was best for Clegg if we camped at the lunch spot instead of continuing on so while the 5 of us stayed at the lake Chrissy and Amber went on with one of the porters to climb the 3 hour uphill to the base camp below the summit.
  • Near the lake there was a tiny hot spring and so after the boys had their turn and came back to the camp site to be able to be near Clegg, Tal and I took our turn. Though it is by far the smallest hot spring I’ve ever seen (barely bigger than your average bath tub), it was glorious.
  • That night we decided that the next day we would double back and hike back the way we came as the terrain was supposedly the easiest and safest and the trail was the shortest in distance. Tal and I slept with Clegg in her tent so that she wouldn’t be alone and with hopes that with 3 of us in a tent we’d be able to keep her warm.
  • Around 4am we woke up to hike back to Café Emy. We had breakfast and though Clegg still wasn’t feeling great she was able to hold down water and a few sugar crackers. We got going, taking it really slow and our guide helped out acting as a human support for Heather which included lifting her up over any big steps.
  • As the day went on Clegger began to feel progressively better and though we kept on having to tell her to slow down she was out-pacing the boys. She even found the energy to laugh as Tal and I trailed behind her and our guide, taking turns falling on our butts down the trail made of volcanic rubble.
  • When we got down into the rainforest part of the trail we were all laughing as the porters and cook shouted after J.J., “I love you J.J.!” and “I miss you J.J.!”. They also sang Justin Bieber all the way down the volcano.
  • I’m not going to lie, the 2,000m descent did nothing for our knees and there was no better feeling than sitting down for the first time and trading out hiking boots for flip flops.
  • We decided to go that afternoon on to Senggigi with Chrissy and Amber and join in their quest to splurge on a hotel in the $25 – $30/night range, something clean, with actual hot water and A/C.
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