kogatravel

Katja and Arne's travel stories


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Mt. Rinjani – day 3 & 4

The third day started after about 12 hours of sleep. We crashed hard last night after both the summit trek and the trek down to the crater lake.
Down here at the lake it is a lot of locals. It turns out that this is an important site for celebrating the upcoming national day 17th of August. Lots and lots of people gathers here to fish in the lake and just chill out. Mostly men, though.

Locals at the crater

Locals at the crater

We were told that the last president had flown up in a helicopter and set out 2000 fish in the lake. I’m not sure how long they will last with all this people around. There were many there when we left, but according to our guide it will be thousands upon thousands from all over Lombok there this next Sunday.
As every day we got a healthy breakfast and set about for our trek. We were to go up the crater on the other side and down maybe an hour on the other side. We did so much more…

Steep climbing

Steep climbing

More steep climbing

More steep climbing

The climb up the crater is from 2000-2600 meters and much of it is pretty straight up. We spent 2 hours on the climb and came to the crater rim to a spectacular view. All pictures promoting Rinjani is basically taken from this point. With a great view of the lake, the active inner volcano and the Rinjani summit itself.

Panorama from the crater rim

Panorama from the crater rim

The we started on the trek downhill. “Maybe down to waterfall”, said our guide Aman. We agreed and started walking – for another 6 hours. On the last part of the trek I was walking on pure willpower. With 22 out of the last 54 hours spent on walking, mostly climbs or descents, my legs were shaking, blisters appeared, toes and toenails were begging for mercy and I smelled like your average local hobo.

Local hobo smell coming your way

Local hobo smell coming your way

But on and on we went. Down through thick jungle and slippery slopes. We saw both grey and black monkeys on the way. And finally, there was the waterfall. After 8,5 hours of walking did we see the yellow tent.

But it just got better. The waterfall is not just for pretty pictures, it’s for showering. So we got undressed, got in and under and washed so much of the filth, dust, smell and grit away. It was heavenly! As the pictures show it is a rather large drop and the pressure is high. It holds about 17-18 centigrade and thereby more than I would have thought.

The waterfall

The waterfall

Into the waterfall

Into the waterfall

Showering in the waterfall

Showering in the waterfall

Dinner, brush teeth, sleep.

Day 4 started out at 7:30 where we walked the last 30 minutes to Johns hotel. Just enough to claim a fourth day of trekking. 🙂
From there we were taken to our new hotel in Senggigi further south west on the island. Here we have already booked the ferry back to
Bali, gotten a haircut and leg wax (guess who did what?) and we both had a massage. The calves and front of thighs hurt like a ________ (fill In blank) but I guess it will be worse tomorrow.

 

All in all it’s been a great adventure. We can highly recommend both the Rinjani trek and Johns Adventure, but there are some does and don’ts:
– Bring trekking shoes. You will have a better time, and you will not ruin your shoes.
– Bring warm cloths. It is freezing on the top (literary). Would you do shorts in that temp and heavy wind back home?
– Drink enough. We brought a little extra water, but just make sure you keep hydrated. We have camelback that let’s us take small sips easily. We used these every 15 min to keep the intake at a good level. It also helped us break down every trek into smaller parts.
– Bring a head torch. If you can get the head mounted torch. You need both hands to the summit, or to the toilet tent at night.
– Eat. Whatever you are served by your porter, eat it. You need the fuel.
– Bring some extra snack you like and that will give you energy. Chocolate, nuts, bars… As long as it gives you that little kick.
-Stay positive. When walking upwards it’s easy to let theirs wander to negative places. Look at where you will place your feet next and the top will be conquered.

Sunset on the first ridge

Sunset on the first ridge

We talked a lot about the feeling of achievement we got from this. Knowing we can take this kind of “heat” straight on makes us sure we will enjoy a lot of other treks this upcoming year.
Right now it’s Bintang time! Cheers!

Bintang time

Bintang time


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Mt. Rinjani day 2

Ai ai ai! After dinner yesterday we fell asleep around 19:00. We were dead tired from the days climb and went out like babies.
The sleep was so and so all the time people were passing 20 cm from our head and talking in all sorts of languages. But there is no rest for the wicked and 01:58 the alarm went off. We got tea and crackers for a light breakfast. What we achieved on that fuel is beyond our comprehension.
The trek up to the summit on 3726 meters starts easy enough. With a trek through the camp that was much bigger than we knew. But the steep climb came soon enough. With basically just gravel under foot, you take two steps forward and one step back (who remember Paula Abdul?). It is extremely tiresome! We are both pretty fit but this trek took all we got. We walked with head torches and all we saw was the meter and a half ahead of us. Aman had put a blinking light on his backpack and it guides us along. He was clear that we needed to pass some of the slower people as they would hold us back when the track narrowed further up.
We just looked down, took one step –  collected one win. Another step, another win. Man, this was hard. I’m sort of out of words to describe it, and that is something that rarely happens.

Katja & Aman - dressed for the cold

Katja & Aman – dressed for the cold

On top of the hardship of the trek came the cold. We were dressed in windbreakers, long sleeved technical underwear, wool sweatshirt, hats and gloves. We were freezing cold! When we finally arrived at the summit we were shaking. We took out all other clothes from the backpack and put them on. Still we were not getting warm. We managed to get the mandatory picture with the sign, though. Done by pure willpower and a guide who took his gloves of long enough to take the picture.

Rinjani Summit 3726 meters

Rinjani Summit 3726 meters

We moved down 50-60 meters to find shelter for the howling wind together with a lot of others. We had done good and was 45 minutes early for the sunset. So we had some time to kill in the cold dark night. Aman, our magical guide had brought hot tea, a sleeping bag and crackers. We all huddled together under the bag, rubbing each other for warmth and focusing on all the lights coming up the hill. All the people we knew would not make it to sunrise… When we saw how far they still had to go.
Finally! 6:15 the sun came up. There were cheers on the mountain top from people who had conquered both themselves and the mountain. Personally I had tears in my eyes and can straight up say I have never worked so hard for seeing the sun rise. It was beautiful!

IMG_5974

The sunrise on Mt. Rinjani

And immediately we started on the decent. In the same gravel as we struggled up we slipped and slided back down. This is dry season and the dust was just unbearable. So many people, so much dust! And for the people still on their way up we must have made their day much harder. We got down, got a big breakfast, slept for 30 min- got back up, packed the bags and started the days second trek.
Straight down into the crater down to the lake. Almost uneventful, but three more hours downhill took its toll. We saw grey monkeys.

Halfway down to the crater

Halfway down to the crater

Panorama view of the crater

Panorama view of the crater

But behold! In the crater there are hot springs that hold about 40 degrees. We got in, stayed awhile and got out fresher than before. It was heavenly.

Hot springs in the crater

Hot springs in the crater

The difference on our 4 day/3 nights and the one shorter is they do the climb this afternoon that we do tomorrow. We are presently chilling by the lake in the crater. Have had a nice nap, and are now sipping tea with a great view. But Katja has gotten blister on both heals today and have pain in some toes also. Right now she is uncertain if she will live to tell this story.
Worth mentioning are our porters as well. They started out with 40 kg packs and move faster in flip-flops than we do in trekking boots. Today they went past us twice. And when we came to the break in the trek they already had the lunch ready. And now they are preparing dinner. Aleks and Dama (formerly known as “the other guy”) are great chefs, puts the clients first and are all smile and good spirit. We have been served banana pancakes, vegetable soup, fried chicken, rice and freshly cut fruit. All good, all delicate and fresh.
I will do a review of Johns Adventure on tripadvisor and publish the link here for all good things to say about the crew.

 

Now it is evening and time to relax. Tomorrow we will start trekking at 9, hopefully well rested.


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To infinity and beyond – The trekking of Mt. Rinjani day 1

So we’ve been offline for a few days. No phone, no internet and no electricity. Here is what we’ve been doing:

Long before our departure from Norway was it decided that we wold trek Mt. Rinjani the second week of the tour. We looked up different companies that offer services for this. TripAdvisor was once more an
Important tool for deciding which one to choose. I read a lot of reviews and we fell down on John’s Adventure –rinjanimaster.com.
And it all started with the trip from Bali to Lombok…
We had made arrangement with John for pickup at the harbor where our boat came in, but things are not always on schedule in Indonesia. We had booked tickets for the 8:30 ferry from Padang Bai with pickup at Puri Santrian Hotel at 6:45. It’s an hour drive from the hotel to Padang Bai. When the clock was 7:00 we called the. Ferry Company about the pickup. “Right there. Only five minutes away”
Yeah, right!
We got picked up at 7:30, but we were not the only stop on the way. Four more people were to be picked up, and the driver had no idea about where the hotels where. We drove around and around and when we finally left Sanur area our boat left the harbor.
The drive, as I wrote , was to take one hour. We used a little more than two. So we had 20 minutes to get on the boat that left at 10:30. The boat ride was OK. Pretty new boat and we left on time. But the ride didn’t take 1:05 hours as described, it took a little over 2 houses. Do you begin to see the pattern?

The boys at Taluk Nare

The boys at Taluk Nare

The beginning

The beginning

We got ashore on Lombok at Taluk Nare. There we were to be picked up- 3 hours ago.
They guys at the harbor all offered their services but a call to John and pickup was again on the road to us. Since we were up early and had an early breakfast we were getting cranky and needed food, but there were no food stalls in sight. But making new friends is always positive. We ended up with the local guys who waited to attack the next batch of passengers coming ashore and ate with them. For NOK 4,- (0,50 €) we got a great meal of rice, noodles, chicken, sambal and veggies. It tasted great. And we waited. But we had great entertainment. We talked to the local guys about martial arts, Guns ‘n Roses, Steven Segal and prostitution (no money, no honey, no hanhu, no hehe) I think you all can guess the meaning of the last to phrases without seeing the faces on these guys. 😉
But John delivered and we got our transport to Senaru village.

We paid our dues to John and got a hotel room. Quite descent and spacious. And with hot water in the shower. A briefing on the next days adventure and off to bed.
Back up at 5:45 and taking a shower. Then we had pancakes 🙂 for breakfast. And the off with our guide Ahmman and our two porters Alex and the other guy. 🙂
We started our climb at 1100 meters and ended today’s trek on 2600 meters. It took us 6 hours and 20 minutes including the long lunch (close to 2 hours). And it was steep and dusty. Really really dusty. We are here in the dry season and they has not been rain for ages. It’s so dry we had dust all over our bodies. All openings and basically all skin.

Covered in dust

Covered in dust

Hole in the ground

Hole in the ground toilet

Right now we are chilling in chairs, sipping tea and eating fried bananas outside the tent and will soon be served dinner. The tent is up, sleeping bags laid out and we have bearly lifted a finger for this to happen. We even got ourselves a Privat toilet tent. Yup, hole in the ground toilet- with style. Hours in the gym with squats, lounges, dead lift and boxjump really paid off today!
We will turn in early as we will be woken at 2. We will start trekking again at 2:30 to reach the sunrise at 6:15 on the summit. We will climb 1100 more meters tomorrow.