Mt Rinjani and Gili Islands

We were about to climb Mount Rinjani!!!! We’d seen that this was a must do whilst in Lombok but had only found very expensive deals online but in Kuta, Lombok it was fairly reasonable and we managed to bargain the price down slightly! We had to leave a day early to get to Senaru so we were there and ready for the 3 days ahead. We had the afternoon free so we wandered to find some waterfalls and got caught in the rain!

In the evening we had a briefing on the trek and packed our bags as lightly as possible, but also taking as many layers as we could for the 0 degree temperature at the summit! The next morning we all got picked up later than expected and ended up at the other starting point of the track (where we were supposed to end in 3 days time!) but it actually worked out better in the end. This meant we were summiting on the 2nd day so we weren’t as tired! 

Our group of 12 started the 6 hour walk to the 1st campsite at Sembalun crater rim – 2639m above sea level. It was fairly misty the second half and we all got a bit wet and cold but had a nice lunch made by the porters to keep us going. The porters were amazing! They carry all equipment, food and drink needed and do it all in flip flops! They are super human. 1 guy carried around 35kgs for 3 days – I couldn’t even pick it up!! The scenery was really nice all day, quite open and a lot of greenery. And a few monkeys! The last 3 hours were a steep tough climb but eventually we were there and found our tents, got dry, ate and watched as much of the sunset as we could. 

The next morning 7 of us were woken up at 2am by our guide ready to climb to the summit! We had tea and crackers and then began the 3 hour trek. Unfortunately 1 lad turned back at the start so on went the 6 of us and Rhino (our guide). It started ok, all chatting and staring at the full moon and then it got extremely tough and the talking stopped so we could catch our breaths! The last hour, maybe more, was 2 steps up and 1 step down it was so slippery! Very frustrating when it looked so close!! Me and Joe took the lead of the group and made it up 3 hours exactly, the others were close behind. It took a lot of stops to catch your breath and Joe to keep pushing me to go further, but we made it – all 3726m. We all layered up and began to watch the beautiful sunrise. We had perfect weather, visibility was amazing, cloudy but not too many and no rain or mist!!! 

The sun eventually came through and began to heat us a little then we decided to go back down for more tea and breakfast. The view was incredible the whole way down. We stopped to take 100s of photos and Rhino got a bit fed up and left. We made many falls on the way down, it was so funny! Every step was like a slide. We got back to camp in around 2 hours and half the group had already left to make their way back down. After breakfast 4 boys decided to leave even though they were on the same 3 days as us, our guide, 2 porters and another lad began their walk back down to Sembalun. So that left me, Joe and 2 porters, we packed up and carried on walking for the day. 

We went down to the lake and natural hot springs for our lunch spot. It took around 2 hours and was beautiful! The hot springs were so nice and relaxing after the tough morning and sitting at the lake was really nice for lunch. Then we began uphill again to get to the second campsite, Senaru crater at 2641m. The scenery the whole day was beautiful! Very different to the first day, we walked around the lake with a volcano in the centre it was stunning. We made it to the camp in good time, enjoyed the view and sunset, had a really early dinner and fell asleep from exhaustion! 

We woke up early morning for the sunrise over the lake which was lovely, had breakfast and then began the walk back down to Senaru village. We were one of the first groups to leave but we’re happy to not mess around and get going. We pretty much ran the whole way down! Our porters were crazy! But it was quite fun. We stopped a few times for tea and biscuits and finished at 11am. Took us around 3 hours. We waited a while for the driver, had some fruit, changed into flip flops, said goodbye to our porters and then made our way to the harbour for the boat to the gili islands!! 

After a little more waiting around we were on the tiny boat filled to the brim to Gili Meno. The next few days were spent completely relaxing and taking in the sun. We were on the beach, snorkelling looking for turtles and wandering the small quiet island. It was a lovely few days apart from twisting my ankle at the start running on the beach! 

Then we made our way to Gili Air. Gili Air was nice, much busier than Meno. We spent a few days relaxing by the hostel pool, having amazing breakfast bowls at Gili Bliss and a bit of snorkelling – we managed to spot a marine turtle which was amazing!!

The islands have been so relaxing and well needed before heading home!



4 thoughts on “Mt Rinjani and Gili Islands

  1. It all looks fantastic Em. I don’t think I could have climbed the mountain but I would have enjoyed lying on the beach.
    From one very proud Dad!

  2. Emily & Jo,

    How will you ever be able to settle down in Cambridge again after such an adventure!

    Have a safe trip home.

    Much love,
    Your great uncle & aunt,

    Lynne & Charles from California

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