Taking a 3 day/2 night Rinjani trek at the end of wet season is not the most brilliant idea I’ve ever had, but it is one of my most memorable experiences. After climbing up what felt more like a riverbed than a trekking path, we shed our wet shoes and socks and warm our feet by the fire as our guides prepare Nasi Goreng. The following morning, we awake to clear skies and trek a further two hours to watch the sunrise. Mount Rinjani sits majestically in front of us, the Gili Islands dot the coastline to our right, and Lombok sprawls out to the left. We savor the view and watch Mt. Barujari gurgle and smoke below us.
We begin the hike down to the sulfur springs, and moments later hear a massive blast. Our guide calls out for us to look ahead. As I lift my head, I watch as Barujari erupts, sending a massive cloud of smoke into the sky. I am giddy and in disbelief at what I have just witnessed. Dark clouds roll in, and we spend another afternoon trekking uphill in persistent rain. Not much can dampen our spirits though.
The following morning, we rise early to clear, starlit skies. We begin the Rinjani summit trek in darkness, watching as the lava of Barujari illuminates the dark lake pit below to a fiery red. Black sand seeps into our shoes, and the last steep steps are trying, but we reach Rinjani’s peak. We are standing at the highest point in Lombok, looking down on the dawning of a new day.
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Dinner on the Rim
This photo was taken at the first night's camp on a group trek on Mt. Rinjani, in Lombok Indonesia. We were a group of individual travelers all grouped together for a grueling three days. This first night of camping was on the volcanic craters rim. You can see the porters int his photo (who unbelievably carried all the food we would need up the mountain...in flip flops) cooking nasi goreng for everyone's dinner. They apologized for the lack of sunset...but this sky full of sunbeams breaking through the clouds was much more magical.
We were on our 2nd day of our 3 day trek through Rinjani going up and down the rim. We arrived at the lake to have a hot sulfur bath and we had lunch by the waters and I saw some locals with spears trying to catch fish. The air was somewhat hazy at that time, but still, an incredible view all around up and down the volcano.