- Hiking / Trekking
This trek will remain one of my most vivid travel souvenirs. Sports and challenge enthusiasts, Rinjani has a lot to offer you! As for me, I really pushed back my limits and drew on my reserves to reach the summit during the night time climb. This ultimate goal is by far the most difficult part of the trek and requires great mental strength. You are really under the impression that you are stuck on the spot for the last 328 yards and no wonder, as it takes almost an hour to cover them! Reaching the summit early in the morning is priceless, though. Mind though, the temperature before sunrise at 12224 feet is in the region of 0°C...
Comforting moments after the effort: hearty meals, really well-cooked by the porters and the swim in the pool of hot water that will almost make you forget that you have not showered in a few days...
If the panoramas that you will discover during the trek are superb, you will no doubt be shocked, like me, at the state of the camp sites which are real open-air dustbins. It is THE big negative point of this trek. You get the impression that Ranjani is over exploited and it is obviously hardly maintained...Finally, take note that all the groups camp at the same place, so if you imagined you would be climbing on your own, make no mistake, giant Rinjani attracts a great deal of tourists.
Famous for hikes that last from one to four days, Gunung Rinjani boasts a varied landscape, some wildlife spotting and an environment where you can push yourself to the limits. I went on a trek that lasted three days and two nights. Even though it was tough, I do recommend this trek if you want to reach the summit (which isn't the case for the shorter treks) so you can benefit not only from the amazing sunrise but also get to better explore the area.
Three days of hiking across the jungle, scrambing up rocky slopes, crossing sand banks, walking around a lake as well as along the crater's edge. It's a lovely and varied contrast, the highlights of which are the immense crater that links the lake and the volcano, all surrounded by high cliffs including the 3,726m summit.
On the last day left during the night to attack the most difficult part, the compensation being our arrival at the top in time for a stunning sunrise. A melody of colours, a panoramic view of Bali under a clear sky and the gigantic triangular shadow that stretched across the crater.
Even though parts of the circuit are polluted, it still remains one of my favourite memories of Indonesia - an experience rich in emotion, physical effort as well as amazing scenery.