Mt. Rinjani

As soon as we walked out of Mataram airport, we met two representatives of "Lombok Network". We climbed into a nice sedan, which took us on a two-hour drive. The climb began at Senaru, at 600m, above sea level, on the slopes of Mt. Rinjani. When we got our gear out of the car, we were told we had to hire an extra porter, for Rp300,000, because we'd brought our own sleeping bags. We filled out our paperwork and set out.

The makeshift fences each side of the path eventually gave way to dense forest. Apart from the occasional rustling in the undergrowth and the trees, it was fairly quiet. After three hours of steep climbing, we stopped at "Pos II" for the night.

We must have been a bit quicker than the average trekker, because we left 3 of the 4 porters behind. (From then on, carrying ~20kg each, and wearing thongs {flip flops}, they beat us to every other rest stop.)

We cooled down very quickly once we stopped, so we had a perfunctory wash (with water that two of the guides got from a nearby spring) and changed into warm clothes.

 

Two porters set up our tents and air mattresses while the other two prepared dinner. We had some sort of vegetable soup, with instant noodles. I went just down the track to relieve myself. The smell of excrement made me realise that someone had been there before, and that I had stepped in it. - All the camp sites were surrounded by toilet paper, excrement and rubbish. We were in our tent by 7.30pm, ready for a 5am start. Insect noises filled the forest after dusk. We had no trouble going to sleep, but I woke a few times. Both of our air mattresses went down during the night.

 

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