Indonesia ↣ Part 2
Updated: Jan 13, 2020
Senaru ↣ Mount Rinjani
Back in July, we were so lucky to spend almost a week around the beautiful village of Senaru - a real gem - and trekking Gunung Rinjani. Only days later, the extremely active region suffered two major earthquakes. Hundreds of locals were killed, and the quakes injured and stranded hundreds of trekkers. This volcanic region is now indefinitely closed for hiking due to landslides and continuing aftershocks. I am so thankful to have had this once in a lifetime - and more importantly safe - adventure in Lombok.
Gili Trawangan ↣ Senaru
After a few days relaxing on the idyllic Gili Trawangan, we crossed the choppy channel back to mainland Lombok to prepare for our multi-day trek of Gunung Rinjani.
We headed northeast, leaving the ocean behind and climbing into the dazzling green countryside into the heart of Lombok. Emerald green rice paddies glowed in the afternoon sun. Farmers dotted the landscape, tending to their crops.
Our destination was Senaru, a village tucked into the jungle-clad hills, whose star attraction – Mount Rinjani – proudly loomed above. Senaru is comprised of a few hotels, warungs (restaurants), and countless friendly faces eager to show you their natural wonders.
We sat outside at a local warung overlooking picture perfect rice paddies, enjoying local dishes that filled our mouths with the flavors of peanut and chicken. Gazing out, families of silver monkeys moseyed about, looking for scraps. Giant lizards the size of small alligators patrolled the narrow canal lining the main street.
One afternoon, we trekked down into the valley our hotel was perched above, not realizing our stunning view of the forest was home to two hidden gems - two thundering waterfalls! You’d never know by looking that it was Lomboks’ ‘dry season’ - I gazed up in awe at the intensity of the water barrelling through the lush flora.
The major reason we came to this area of Lombok was to climb the famous Mount Rinjani, or Gunung Rinjani as the locals refer to it. At over twelve thousand feet, it’s the second highest volcano in all of Indonesia - making it one challenging trek! We decided to hire a local guide for a four day adventure, and spent 3 nights camping amongst the most stunning scenery I’d ever immersed myself in! Let the adventures continue!
Day 1: Sembalun ↣ Base Camp
We began under a bright blue sky in a sunny valley filled with gleaming wildflowers. Hiking closer to the mighty mountain, we passed dramatic lava formations that swirled the rock around us.
Monkeys swung in the trees, munching on orange flowers.
Ascending further, we found ourselves lost in the dreamy mist of the clouds. It was an eerie feeling not to be able to see the valleys below nor the mountains above – we were climbing in a dream!
Climbing higher still, we emerged above the clouds into a barren, rocky land of volcanic dust - it clogged our every pore. Handkerchiefs over our mouths and noses, we trudged on, determined to reach base camp so we could eat!
Hours later, covered in dirt from head to toe, we’d made it to base camp in time for a chilly sunset!
Our porters prepared fried bananas and a delicious curry for us, then it was time to rest before our 2am wake up call - the summit attempt!