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Sunset view from our tent on the ridge of Mount RinjaniSunset view from our tent on the ridge of Mount Rinjani

Our Rinjani Trekking mini series:

Day 1: Hiking through a Savannah like landscape

Day 1: Camping on the ridge of the crater

Day 2: Night hike and sunrise on the summit of Mount Rinjani

Day 2: Reaching Lake Segara Anak and the hot springs

Day 3-4: A beautiful forest and the second best viewpoint

Extra: How to choose a reliable trekking Company

The first half a day of our expedition was already gone and we were trekking toward the ridge of the crater of Mount Rinjani where we were supposed to camp for the night.
While the first part of the route was quite mild and enjoyable, more of a warm up than a serious trek, after POS 3 the path definitely took a spike toward the sky, and we were gaining altitude much faster.

Hiking towards the ridge

The landscape also got nicer and nicer as we were getting higher: not that it wasn't beautiful before, but now “Impressive” was the only word we could find to describe it: looking on our backs there were green bumpy cliffs ploughed through by the solidified lava flow that created a canyon like structure with steep walls, and the green valley covered in grassland standing on the background.

Landscape at the feet of Mount RinjaniLandscape at the feet of Mount Rinjani

While the sandy and slippery trail brought us further, some of the tourists started to struggle on the steep route, and they were easily overtaken by the omnipotent porters, carrying so easily their load of sufferance.In some parts the path was prohibitive and we had to climb on all our fours to overtake the undigested ground trying to keep us away form our promised land.

Hikers struggling to climb Rinajni volcanoHikers struggling to climb Rinajni volcano

A trekker climbing on all foursA trekker climbing on all fours

 

By this time we were inside the clouds, and we could feel the difference from the burning sun of the Savannah to the foggy humid climate of this higher altitude.

A porter with a sun-rain handmade protectionA porter with a sun-rain handmade protection

Feet of a porters on the dusty paths, wearing just flip-flopsFeet of a porters on the dusty paths, wearing just flip-flops

Views and camping area from the ridge

We kept going as long as we could, stopping for small breaks when needed and around 3:30 pm, that meant longer than 7 hours after we started, we eventually reached the top of the ridge where we would have spent our first night, Sembalun Rim at 2650 meters.

A porter totally covered with luggagesA porter totally covered with luggages

A last break before the ridgeA last break before the ridge

 

From here the top (Puncak) of Mount Rinjani was already visible, waiting for us to be climbed in the middle of the night. At a first sight it wouldn't look like a difficult ascend, but we would find out later that our impressions were wrong.

The summit of Mount Rinjani visible from the trailThe summit of Mount Rinjani visible from the trail

A suggestive picture welcomed us at the camping area: we eventually made it on top of the clouds, and the sun, peeping through this volatile white mousse, was kissing us with its rays. It was a nice feeling to sense the warmth of the light again, now that it was getting chillier.

Going on top of the clouds, the sun reappers with beautiful raysGoing on top of the clouds, the sun reappers with beautiful rays

There were already an incredible number of tents set up for the night, and while our team was searching for a good spot to settle, we were enjoying the view and breathing our deserved moment of bliss. The sun was still relatively high, but it wouldn't have taken much until he would set behind the promontory.

View from the ridge, with the sun shining over the cloudsView from the ridge, with the sun shining over the clouds

Tents aligned on the ridgeTents aligned on the ridge

In parallel with this magic reality was also a more mundane truth: piles of garbage left in the camping area, with improvised dumpsters incredibly close to the trekkers's tents. Once again, if we didn't stress it enough in the other articles, make sure not to fund an irresponsible company and ask specifically to collect all of your waste.

Garbage spread in the camping areaGarbage spread in the camping area

We were happy to be provided with a “toilet tent”, basically just a curtain protecting a hole in the ground where to dump the remaining of your previous meals. It takes a little bit of time to get comfortable with it, but in the end you start to appreciate its advantages.

A porter making a hole for a toilet tentA porter making a hole for a toilet tent

The area was so crowded that the “toilets” were just a few steps away from the other tents, but at least we were not disseminating our droppings along the route as other trekkers were doing, and we were keeping a minimum of privacy. It wasn't pleasant to just stumble upon a collective toilet while taking a walk before sunset.

Unofficial toilet in the ridgeUnofficial toilet in the ridge

Sunset from the crater rim in Rinjani Volcano

Around 5pm the sun started to set and at the same time the clouds were clearing up, revealing on their back the Lake Segara Anak (Child of the Sea Lake) several hundreds meters straight there below us. We could enjoy this outstanding sunset in the first row of the audience while tasting a warm cup of tea and sitting on our camping chairs.

Davide and Oti enjoying the view of Segara Anak LakeDavide and Oti enjoying the view of Segara Anak Lake

Sunset view from the ridge of Mount RinjaniSunset view from the ridge of Mount Rinjani

By 6pm it was totally dark and we had to back to our camping location using our flashlights. We were ready for our evening meal, that while not comparable to a wedding dinner, was still reinvigorating and filling. 
Once finished with our dinner we got ready for a short but deserved rest. We would have awoken at 1 a.m. to climb to the summit of Rinjani, so we had to use every minute available.

Camping area on the ridge at nightCamping area on the ridge at night

But just before being welcomed in our night dreams, a last look at the sky revealed us the beauty of the clear starry sky and the milky way in all of its splendor. We were far away from civilization and Mother Nature was showing up in its primordial beauty.

Clear sky and milky way from Mount RinjaniClear sky and milky way from Mount Rinjani

Back in our tents, we tested our sleeping arrangements, and we were happy to see that we were reserved thick comfy mattresses and a spacious tent where to properly gather some energy before waking up in the middle of the night to attempt to summit Mount Rinjani.

Our tent and camping mats, borrowed from our trekking companyOur tent and camping mats, borrowed from our trekking company

 

Davide VadalàDavide Vadalà
I like to say that I'm a gypsy traveller. In 2009 I quit my job to chase my dream of exploring our wonderful planet in a sustainable way; thanks to my itchy feet, I had a lot of incredible adventures and I got closer to my goal of becoming a travel photographer. I love nature, sustainability, outdoor and hiking, and I never stop dreaming. More about Davide Vadala'. Content attribution on Google +

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Davide Vadal? and Otilia Lefter

We are Davide and Otilia, an international couple with itchy feet, living a non conventional life traveling around the world and learning everyday something new....
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