Trip Start Jun 05, 2007
82Trip End Jan 06, 2009
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
So we arrive at the terminal, get attacked by a number of people selling packages to Sengigi, the main tourist town in Lombok, and we fend them off proudly finding the actual ticket office. We jump on the ferry and are off, but without any food in our bellies. There is nothing to eat but a cup of noodles and we are on the ferry for 6hours. 4hours to get to the harbour and another 2 to wait for the unloading of two other ferries ahead of us.
The man talked and talked about the trip up the Mountain Ringani, the Gili Islands and transport all the way back the ferry. We explained that we were on a budget and did not think we could make his offer work. He gave us the option to go diving as well and continued to remind us that all of our transport would be taken care of. As always if we did not book then, we had no chance. We looked at eachother, remembering our horrible trip over to Lombok and the inflated prices of our ride, and decided to seal the deal. We were tired and the man was offering us a ride to free accomadation, right on the beach.
Defeated and starving we booked in and walked across the quiet darkened street. Much to our suprise there were a few resturaunts open that were sitting right out on the sand. We chose the least expensive looking one and sat down. The owner came out to greet us all smiles. The food was tasty, service incredible and we began to breathe easy.
The following day we slept in, walked along the beach and made sure to do very little. The only treat was eating at the resturaunt for lunch and having a beer after dinner. The woman that owned the place, laughed at us and thanked us for being such great customers. She was a wonderful host and seemed completely genuine. It was great to chat with her.
We left for our mountain trek at 5am. The guy had said there would be three Belgiums coming along and that they had booked ahead of us. Come to find out there are two guys and they booked after us. Anyways, we all looked at each other with eyes half shut and grunted a hello before getting in the car to climb up to the park enterance. When we made it to the trek tour operators we were briefed on our trip, given breakfast, and then shuffled into a tiny bus to pay our park fees at the town above us. The road was windy and as we talked with our new treking mates, Tom, one of the men, was looking paler and paler. Sympathizing I felt my stomach turn for the worse. Before we made it to the office, Tom was puking out the back and I was looking to the front to try to keep it all in. We had only climbed up to 800 meters but the bumpy ride and full stomach was not helping me much. The short ride to the beginning of our trail was a blessing and I began to walk and breathe in the fresh air of the mountains. Our guide Azima pointed to the farms around us and kept a nice pace for all of us to follow easily.
Waiting for about 2 hours for dinner I was becoming more and more groggy and unprepared for the wind, I sat in our tent huddled in my sleeping bag. My stomach had relaxed from the climb but chosen to go back to its early morning activity of flip flops. Just before my plate arrived I ran to the edge and gave up my entire breakfast and lunch. I could hardly eat but forced a few grains of rice and a few bites of chicken down. We had to wake up at 3am the next morning and endure the hardest bit of our climb to the summit. I fell asleep, with a bit of medicine from Brome and Tom our Belgium buddies, worried that I may not make it.
"Good Morning" was heard cheerily around the camp after a cold hard ground sleep. I got out of the tent, shook Tom to wake up, and looked out into the darkness. We had a bit of coffee and I took a few crackers. My stomach was not better but was at least staying still. I put on some layers and we began the climb with head lamps on and a mind half off. We just followed Azima's steps. Not looking around and just climbing. We could not see the peak and thank god we didnt see it the night before. About an hour into the walk I had decided we were almost there. It wasnt too bad. About 1/2 hour later Azima informed us while cowering from the brutal wind behind a small rock we were half way there and the next half was the hardest. That it was. Just gravel and straight up, we all went at it alone. Each of us finding different ways to keep going. I found the method of taking about 10steps and then curling into a ball to breathe and hide my frozen hands for about a minute to work just fine. Although I am sure anyone who could see me thought I was crazy and who knows with the altitude and lack of food I could be on my way. The light was beginning to hide the stars and show the colors of the sun. I reached the top just as the sun peaked from the horizen of the clouds to the east. It was amazing but freezing at 3700meters.
Azima was proud of us and let us know. We felt great and accomplished.
Even though we were tired we decided to walk another hour to the second camp so we could see the waterfall in the morning. That night Azima told us a ancient Lombok story of two brothers and a scary ape half man who stole a princess. The two brothers fought and won but the ape/man still stalks the jungle. The story was a perfect ending to a long day and we slept much more comfortably 1000meters below our previous camp.
The next day we set out again and were able to get to the waterfall, that is known in Lombok custom, to give a year of life to those that swim under it. We had to run some of the way and we were late getting back to the office but it was fantastic.
The water cam rushing out of the sky and slamming into the rocks below it. When you got close to it, it took your breath away. We stood in the refreshingly cold water staring up at this powerful force. Azima showed us how to get beneath it. After such a crazy hike it was good to know one year of life had been bestowed upon us after our venture to this natural wonder. From there we followed the water pipe along the edge of a ridge, getting a great view of the rice fields and ocean below.
We thanked Azima many times and left for the Gili Islands. There we ate, slept, swam and played cards. Our treking friends kept us company in the evenings and we slept soundly in our beds at night. We got to take two great dives while we were there and are happy to report that Sipadan has not spoiled the adventure of underwater exploration. It was perfect planning, the mountain and then the beach. We were soard and hobbling but the beach and the ocean rejuvinated us.