Mount Rinjani is an active volcano on Lombok island in Indonesia and I’d definitely be adding climbing it to your bucket list if it’s not already on it.
I’ve got a pretty significant list of mountains and volcanoes I want to have climbed before I’m 30 and I’m glad I’ve started to kick off the bigger ones with something as beautiful as Rinjani.
Last week, I spent three days trekking, two nights under the stars, one sunrise on top of the summit and one sunset looking over to Bali and every single moment of it took my breath away – so much so that I didn’t take half as many photos as I would have liked to because I was, for the most part, completely lost in how beautiful the whole place was. I don’t think I would ever get up to do exercise at 3am unless it was in aid of pretty much the most beautiful sunrise I have ever had the pleasure of seeing.
I wouldn’t say it was the easiest hike in the world, in fact I’d say that it was very far from it. If you do the route that I did, the first day is a nice easy climb up to the first camp to get you started. The summit is also okay until the last 300m where it takes every will within you to keep climbing up a steep hill that follows a pattern of three steps forward and two steps back because of the terrain. I crossed paths with a lot of people on the way up there that decided to give up, and two people who were in my group took one look at the summit from camp, vetoed and proceeded to stay cosy in their tent. I made sure that they regretted the decision when I returned because I’m super friendly. After the summit, which is three hours up and probably an hour down, you still have to drop down into the crater, walk around the lake, climb up the crater rim and set up camp, which is probably another 7 hours of walking – aka it’s not a chilled day but it’s definitely worth it and you’ll probably have to be woken up for your dinner when you hit horizontal at 6:30 and can’t keep your eyes open.
All in all it was one of the best experiences of my life and I’m keen to bag another one. I met incredible local people, possibly fell in love with an Indonesian man who could only say hello and thank you in English and I’ve got ample bragging rights for a solid few months now. So worth the huge bruises I took home when I fell over on multiple occasions because I have no coordination or balance whatsoever – fortunately none of these falls resulted in tumbling into lava.