Gunung Rinjani

Trip Start Jun 02, 2012
Trip End Jun 28, 2012

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Ganung Rinjani

Flag of Indonesia  , East Nusa Tenggara,
Sunday, June 17, 2012

Our volcano hike started bright and early at 7:30am. We were so na´ve for the first 3-4 hours. We were laughing about how hard and steep it was and how we thought it MUST get better. But somehow, it just got worse and harder as the day went on. We had two porters that carried our stuff (food, water, tents, ect.) in baskets on the end of bamboo pipes. They carried 20 kgs each in flip flops. It was INSANE. I literally have no clue how that was even possible especially given the terrain we were climbing. We all tried picking up the bamboo pipes and I couldn't even move with that much weight on my shoulders. AND some of them do it a couple of times a week! Absolutely crazy!

After about 8 hours of straight up hill, wanting to give up and wondering how our bodies were even moving, we finally made it to the top. None of us had really researched Rinjani, and we had no idea what to except. I just remember yelling "HOLY SHIT" when reaching the rim. The view was spectacular. One of the craziest things I’ve seen. Rinjani is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. And there is a volcano inside of the volcano with a huge lake surrounding it. We kind of even forgot about how much we hated the hike after seeing it. We enjoyed the views, ate some dinner and watched the sunset. Our tents were on the same level of clouds and it kind of felt magical, almost like our tents were floating in the clouds.

As soon as the sun went down, it got so cold. I had to stay in the tent I was so cold! The fires weren’t big enough to warm up by. And we didn’t come prepared. The sleep was awful because we couldn’t warm up, our sleeping bags smelt really funny, and we were basically sleeping on rocks. Did I mention by this time, the food our porters were making us had made us all pretty sick and there were NO washrooms at the top? There weren’t even trees for shelter/privavcy… just bushes and when you did have to “go” you had to wave at everyone around you while doing so. Let’s just say that Jason and I took our relationship to the next level lol.

After a horrible nights sleep we woke up to cloudy/foggy skies. Nick started feeling worse than the rest of the group and we dicussed maybe truning around and going home. But after thinking about we decided to stick out and stay the last night. We all agreed it was too much work to hike all the way up to just turn around and go down without checking out the lake and natural hotsprings.

The second day was another grueling six hours. And we soon started questioning why we had made the decision to stay and not turn around. Although it was still a beautiful view, we were very disappointed with the natural hot springs and lake. We felt it wasn’t worth the tough hike down and back up for what we saw. Especially when it started to rain and made everything slippery and VERY dangerous. When we got back to our tents we were all pretty miserable and regretted our decision to stay. Nick was feeling worse and our cute little porter, Nap, gave him some crazy spiritual massage with garlic and prayed on him. The next day Nick felt 100 x better!

We left as soon we woke up and tried to hike down as fast as we could just to get off that damn volcano!
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