Day 1 of this 3rd Rinjani trip was hectic, but Day 2 onwards were fun!
I woke up my friends at about 5:30AM for Fajr prayer & for sunrise shooting at Senaru rim. It was only 5-10 minutes walk to the rim. It was a happy moment seeing fellow friends in awe looking at the caldera at the early morning lights. As for me, the weather was great but it was not as great as when we saw Mt Baru Jari in 2009 when it was erupting.
Nevertheless we took our own sweet time shooting at various angles.
By 9AM, we went back to the campsite, had our breakfast cum lunch & started packing before we moved down the rim to the caldera. It was a dangerous journey down. Steep descend. It took us 3-4 hours to reach the lake. However the scenery was magnificent.
I took the time at the lake to recover & to rest. We had a great & refreshing bath in the hotspring nearby. There were a lot of photography opportunities. So many people there, camping & fishing. However I still feel disgusted with all the rubbish scattered almost everywhere at the campsite.
The next morning at around 9AM, after breakfast (cum lunch – again!) we started trekking into the savanna before the tough ascend up to Sembalun rim. Since we did not have any specific target that day, many took the opportunity to leisurely walked & snapped plenty of photos. The climb was just OK. Not that tough but tiring. Some of us arrived early & we slept for about 1 hour before we moved to the campsite.
The guides set the tent & waiting for the sunset at Sembalun was one of the best moment during this trip.
We wanna sleep early that night but dinner was only ready at 10:30PM. Hmmmmm…….
At 12AM, I woke most people. Some were simply difficult to wake. By 1:30AM 11 of us were ready to summit. Three of our members decided not to summit. Oh my! It was one of the toughest hiking I had ever done! The last 200m was hell! Every step up on that loose gravel was actually two steps down. I exhausted all my energy. It took me 2 hours just to complete that last 200m. I only got the energy to move on after I prayed Fajr. However the view up on the summit was so beautiful . No word can describe my feeling.
If the ascend was hard, the descend was no better! Now I realized how horrible the trek was. It was a long walk down. I spent 3 hours walking down that loose sand & gravel. The trek was not clear & many got lost. I reached the campsite at about 10:30AM. I tried to rest considering we need to trek down to Sembalun basecamp before 5PM, but it was too hot. There was not many tree at Semabalun rim.
By 11AM, we already packed all our things but few of our friends were still have not arrive. But just before 11:30AM everyone were already at the campsite. It was a relieve to see all my friends were safe. But looking at everyone’s face, I knew how tired they were….so did I. I think I only have 10% of my energy for the final walk to the basecamp.
At 11:30AM those who were ready started trekking down. The journey to Post 3 was so painful & tiring! At Post 3, we prayed Zhr & Asr. I took some time to sleep. Then we moved very fast almost non-stop to the basecamp. By 6PM, we reached basecamp. We were so happy. We bought a lot of drinks, bathed & changed cloth! It was so refreshing! Then we waited for the rest of our friends to arrive. By 9PM, everyone had arrived & we quickly took the van to the jetty. We managed to get the 1:30AM ferry to Bali. We were lucky to get that small ferry with small rest area but not many locals inside. We conquered the ferry! We had a good sleep & everyone was happy when when reached Padang Bai at about 6AM the next morning. We had a good breakfast cum lunch & then immediately went to the hotel we had booked in Sanur. We only stayed for 2 hours in the hotel. Enough to repack & buy some souvenirs before we went to the airport.