Rinjani Mountain Expedition

Day 1, July 30th, 2015

Flight from Soekarno-Hatta airport Jakarta to Mataram, Lombok by Lion Air takes around 2 hours. Got there at 12.00 and got picked up by the curly long hair Sasak man named Her. He’ll be our guide for 6 days stay in Lombok, 4 days trekking. Didn’t know this man before, just talk to him on the phone once. Should be his brother as our guide but he forgot that he had another group the same time as ours so he offered us his brother instead. It’s ok for us anyway as long as we have a guide and of course two porters for this expedition. After lunch at the small restaurant called  Rumah Makan Nasi Balap Puyung near the airport we head to the Sembalun village where we’d start trekking the next morning.

Nasi Balap Puyung
Pusuk Sembalun


Sembalun village

IMG_9885IMG_9888Rautani Homestay

Arrived at Sembalun village around 16.30 p.m we went straight to the registered office/information center for entrance fee payment to the national park then Her, the curly man took us to our home stay for a nite. Rautani home stay it called where we stayed, you can see Rinjani mountain on the far left and Bukit Pergasingan on the right side. Beautiful scenery around the home stay although quite dry, of course it was summer. We had dinner at the home stay prepared by Doni a home stay taker man. Then went to bed since it was too cold outside and we need to re pack getting ready for the early rise the next morning.

Day 2, July 31, 2015

A noisy car woke us up, me and Kitin still under the thick blanket. It so chilly even inside the room, made us just wanted to stay in bed. Upon hearing the noise , Kitin run for shower we’re running late. Her kept reminding us the night before that we should start trekking at 7.00 a.m. Doni, made us banana pancake for breakfast and a cup of tea to warm us up. So while having breakfast we enjoy the scenery around the home stay  shivering from cold. Husen, one of the porter came to help us loading the car and off we go get on the white car. Dropped us to a starting point where some cows herd by an old man toward the meadow welcomed us. Then we started walking to Rinjani mountain which been waiting for us, the two ‘young’ ladies from Jakarta 🙂 First we passed vegetables fields, cabbage, garlic, carrots either on the right or left side of the trek. There.. seem really close from the eyes but far from the feet stand Rinjani mountain. The volcano that trekkers from all around the world come to conquer we could see clearly the high active volcano waiting proudly for us. So stunning!!

Rinjani mountain, 3726 mdpl/12.224 feet


IMG_9960Three musketeers:)

The yellow savanna was the scene after the vegetables fields, huge and beautiful landscape of savanna. We never stopped admiring the scene around us, with the whole volcano shape up to the summit. Spectacular! At around 11.30 we arrived at Pos 1 at 1300 mdpl. Her offered orange and apple, I chose orange and we rested for a few minutes. Pos 2 (Pos Tengengean), 1500 mdpl took us about 50 minutes we rest here longer for lunch. It was so crowded in this area, everybody rested here for lunch. There is spring here where porters get water for cooking. The porters really busy preparing lunch for the trekkers, mostly expat/bule. Some of the trekkers met us I asked came from Belanda, they would answer me. French, Switzerland, Australia, USA, Belgium, Spain, Malaysia even Korea, mostly from Europe.

some of the trekkers from Belanda (Holland)
not our lunch salad for the expat 🙂

After lunch we continue hiking, reached Pos 3 1800 mdpl or Pos Padabalong in another 50 minutes. I rested longer here since my feet started to sore. Met the trekkers from Korea middle age men and women, found out that they were high school teachers. Kitin already ahead of me, she was with high spirit couldn’t wait to see the top. Her was staying with me,  preparing myself for the regret hills. Never ending steep hills were in front of us, thick dusty hills. Nine regret hills before Sembalun ream with dust all over the air, really need your good stamina and your patience.

Regret Hill (Bukit Penyesalan)

I reached  Sembalun ream when it was almost dark around 6.00 p.m with no more energy left. Some young man cheered me up,”horaayyy you did it mba, you did it!”. “Thank you,” I replied hardly to smile. Too exhausted even to smile 🙂 I glanced at some people sitting outside their tent shivering while facing the lake far down there watching the sun set by the edge of the lake.

Sembalun Ream


“Where is our tent?”, I asked Her shivering. I just couldn’t walk anymore but didn’t  see any sight of the porters. “Just keep walking over there,” Her pointing to the left side pass the colorful tents lining up across the ream. After walking a few step ahead I spotted Husen, one of our porter holding my jacket. “Put this on mba, put this on”. “Thank you Husen, you save my life”, I replied to him while putting on my jacket. I found Kitin inside the tent also shivering from cold, super cold. Just too cold to enjoy the stunning view around us, didn’t even care to watch the sun set. The porters made us tea and we sipped it right away, no thinking if it’d burnt our tongue. Dinner served after awhile, it was rice, fried chicken and vegetables soup with krupuk and fruit. Went to sleep as soon as finished dinner and cleaning up. Preparing for summit the next morning. Her reminded us to wake up at 2.00 a.m, have light breakfast and summit attack.

At 12.00 Kitin and woke up, just realized that we couldn’t sleep well. “We have to wake up in two hours so we have to sleep now,” I said. “Yeahh for the sake of our old body let’s go back to sleep,” Kitin replied. We zipped our sleeping bag and try hard to have a good sleep.

Day 3, August 1st

“Mba Kitin, mba Lies, wake up”, Her woke us up at 2.00. Had light breakfast prepared by Nasrun and Husen then off we went for summit attack. At 3.00 with headlamp on, thick jacket and a pole Her lead us through the dark together with other trekkers. Steep trek with thick dusty sand was ahead of us, we stopped every few steps to catch our breath. We let the other trekkers to pass us, since they’re faster than us. But they left us with dust flying all over, even we’re wearing a mask it still hard to breath. One step after another, we kept walking and stop and walking up again. We went through this for about 2 hours then we arrived to the ream where we could see the lake down there and the summit up on the left ahead of us.


Spectacular view around us, the sun started coming up behind the cloud. We should be closer to summit but instead we’re still down here far from summit. We’re taking our time while enjoying the scenery that we won’t enjoy everyday. Toward the summit we walked one step at a time.

my own summit, the wind was blowing so strong here.Too exhausted to go reach the summit. (might be too scared as well)
the wind was super strong here, cold and shivering.

At 7.00 we stopped at a point where some big rocks covered us from the strong wind. From this level I could see more part of the lake down there and the Anak Barujari mountain in the middle of the lake. When I looked up I could see a line of  trekkers walking slowly towards the summit by the edge of a steep cliff. At this level also I got really really cold by the strong wind, followed by headache  and tiredness. I decided to stop here, couldn’t finished the summit. Well this is my summit attack then, my own summit. I couldn’t force my body to reach summit since there still 3 more days before we finish this expedition. Too bad, but might be my second day period had something to do with my weakness. I told Kitin to keep going up and told Her to follow her. “What about you mba?,” Her asked doubtfully. “I will be ok, I’ll go down slowly don’t you worry about me,” I replied to him as I started walking down. Actually I don’t mind being ‘alone’ in this breathtaking view.

I decided to stop at this point. See the Agung Mountain in Bali peeking behind me? It said,”Yes Lies, enough for you this time. Summit is not everything but back home safe and sound.” 🙂

Walking down slowly while looking around , the sun rising up slowly the wind singing with the cloud. When I looked down on the right side some colorful tents look so tiny I wonder which one is ours. On my left side down there the blue lake and the mount Barujari with the cliff around it make a breathtaking scenery. Couldn’t stop admiring God creations, extremely beautiful! I enjoyed myself walking down in the middle of this spectacular nature, keep thanking God to let me experience this place. Keep taking picture here and there, just didn’t want to miss a lovely spot. When I was busy taking pictures of the lake, one of the expat lady came closer asking, “Do you mind to take some pictures of me?” No, not at all.” I replied. I remembered she was the lady we passed when we were going up laying on the side either sleeping or just resting. I asked her if she was ok and she said yes she just waiting for her friends went for summit.

IMG_0064 IMG_0070

I continued walking down passing the thick sandy slope towards our tent. Eager to get to the tent, my sore legs and my blister toes started to bite. It was around 8.30 the wind wasn’t as strong as before, the problem now is my toes. The sand kept getting in my shoes made me stop regularly to get rid of it.


Our yellow tent getting closer, I reached it at around 10.00 exhausted and soaking wet. Husen approached smiling, “where is Christine?” he asked. I explained and he asked if I was ready for breakfast. They made me banana pancake and a cup of tea. While waiting for Kitin and Her, resting in the tent was just too hot so Husen moved the mattress outside under the trees. Kitin and Her arrived in the afternoon at 1.00 with her loose shoe sole. Found out that actually Her didn’t go with her up to the summit! What a strong and tough woman she is! Well, after lunch we continue to our next aim, down to Segara Anak lake.

IMG_0096 IMG_0091 IMG_0087

The challenge before we reached the lake was we had to get through the steep rocky slope. We started at 2.00pm and I thought we’d get to the lake before dark, let say at 6.00p.m. Kitin was in her sandals, she gave up her shoes! With sandals through the rocky slope? What the hell….! Well as I said she is just tough old Kitin. The scenery just made me or us forgot about the pain especially my legs and toes. I prefer this rocky slope than the regret hills though, it was riskier but ‘easier’. If you step on the wrong rock you might fell on the pointed rocks. So we needed to be really careful. One step at a time we went down the slope just like grandma walking down the steps.

IMG_0102 IMG_0108 IMG_0111

Once we passed the pine forest it was drizzling, was so good. We thought it was going to rain, it won’t said Her. Always like that every time we passed some pine trees there was drizzling. “Where’s the lake,”I asked Her. “O…in an hour maybe”, he kept saying that every time I asked. But we found the lake at around 7.30 p.m, when my feet got really in pain.

An hour before we arrived at the lake it was dark and cold, Husen came met us with my jacket in his hand. OMG, he is my saviour. I tell you this man is an angel!! They (the porters) were waiting for us by the lake since before dark but since we haven’t arrived, they were getting anxious. So Husen came back for us, actually he kind of scared me. I spotted him in a few metres away, I thought it wasn’t him and it was dusk. He walked slowly towards me, Kitin and Her far behind me so I yelled to them. “Come faster, hurry up somebody is coming,”. Kitin instead of walking faster she stopped right away. This man getting closer and closer and he said,” Hallo….,”. “Husen!!!!!,” I screamed at him. “You scared me to death!”. He handed me my jacket. ” Oh, thank you so much Husen you know what I need!” So, he lead us to the lake. The porters set up the tent by the lake but since it was dark, we couldn’t see. There was bonfire behind our tent with people around it warmed themselves. Kitin and I got inside our tent right away to get warm and resting our exhausted pain legs. The porters made us hot sweet tea right away followed by dinner and then after cleaned up we went inside our sleeping bag thinking about the trek we just gone through. We passed another challenge, tomorrow will be another one.

To be continue….

Day 4: Aug 2





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