Lombok is the muslim island next to Bali. There are the three Gili islands in between. Gili Trawangan (Gili T) is the biggest one of them. It’s like a party island for young people all over the world. Gili Meno is less crowded and Gili Air is a quiet honeymoon-island. I’ve only been to Gili T, because of my lack of time. Even though a lot of people say it’s too crowded I enjoyed my stay a lot. All the cute cafés and bars and the night market. So much fun. I did my open water at Gili, which was the best decision! I’ve been diving 4 times in the ocean and I saw 4 sharks in total 🙂 Already looking forward for all the untouched reefs in the Philippines.
One night at Gili, which suddenly turned into my last night, I realized I only had about 8 days left in Indonesia. Originally I wanted to hike in northern Lombok, go to the south afterwards to enjoy the nice beaches and learn how to surf (what I initially came for but oh well). Then take a boat to go to Flores via Komodo and make it to the other end in about 6 days. Well that was impossible. I don’t even know why I conceited myself to be able to do everything. That’s insane. A mistake you probably have to do once to know better for the future. Anyway, I had to pick. So I went for Mt Rinjani and Komodo.
Rinjani is a three-day-two-night trek and I have heard different stories about it until then. Some people said it was the worst thing they’ve ever done and that they were so exhausted, they had to quit before they made it to the top. Other people said it was the best experience about themselves as well and that it was worth all the effort. I hadn’t decided whether I’d do it yet, but now I had to, so I spontaneously said yes with out really knowing what I got myself into.
Rinjani makes up about half the area of Lombok. It is the most spiritual volcano in Indonesia, locals pilgrim to the summit. Overtime it erupts, the whole air traffic is shut down. So it is quite powerful I’d say. I, on the contrary, haven’t done any sports in ages and I hate camping, so best requirements 😀
Day 1: We started at 7am at 600m to hike up to camp one at 2600m. It was really hot and humid when we started but once we reached the camp at 5pm it was so freaking cold I was all shaking. Honestly after 3 weeks of sweating I can say freezing is much worse! Thank god I rented a down jacket at the start. So I was sitting there in my sleeping back, wearing everything I had with me, trying to convince myself I would be fast enough to go pee outside and be back in 10 seconds. It was actually that bad. We went to sleep at 6 immediately after dinner, because we needed the rest as they would wake us up at 2 am to go up to the summit.
Day 2: The summit is at 3729m. It is about 4 hours of hiking straight up with out an even part in between. The main problem is that after a certain height there are no stones anymore, only volcanic sand. So with every step you take you fall two steps back. The last few hundred meters were the worst in my opinion. Even when you could see the end you didn’t have the energy to motivate yourself. For me it was like one step, 10x breathing on repeat. It was kind of funny though having all these people next to you counting 1,2,3 in their mother tongue but nobody felt like laughing. When I finally made it, I only stayed up there for like ten minutes because it was just too cold. The sunrise wasn’t good that day as well, of course… The way down was very beautiful though, it was the best part of the whole track for me. You could literally slide all the way down to the camp. I felt like skiing. The sky cleared up as well and I had the most amazing view on the crater lake, which I find even prettier to watch from halfway up than from the summit. They promised us we would come back for the biggest breakfast of our lives but it was the soup with an egg in it again After that we did 3 hours of trekking down to the lake at 2000m. It is salty water actually which I didn’t expect. Much better were the hot springs right next to it. The water was actually hot and it felt so good to lay in there and let your legs finally relax. But it was similarly hard to get up again to hike up to camp 2 at the same height like camp 1. I think that’s the hardest think about Rinjani, that you either go straight up or straight down. There’s nothing in between. When we arrived there I could literally not move anymore. It was the worst.
Day 3: I was looking forward to day 3 for the whole time, because it is just 7hrs of going down. But it turned out going down is even worse than going up. My legs didn’t recover over night and your knees and toes hurt so bad from going down.
I was completely done when we were finally back. I only had some pasta (haven’t had it in ages) and a balinese massage before falling in my bed. :)) Retrospectively I’d say it was worth it but I wouldn’t do it again. I would encourage everybody to give it a go, because it’s a very good experience to test your limits.
The three Gili Island: Gili Air, Gili Meno, Gili T and Bali.