Thursday, May 28, 2015

Travelogue: Mt. Rinjani (Senaru Crater Rim x Descend x Missed Flight)

"Travel is the only thing you buy, that makes you richer."

Day 4 (Senaru Crater Rim x Descend to POS 1):

When we woke up, we were greeted by the majestic view of the lake which we did not get to see the day before. 

After breakfast, we packed our bags and prepare to set off for the climb to Senaru crater rim.

 Group photo before setting off

We headed along the lake for a few minutes before climbing up. The view at every step of the way was no less than spectacular yet again.

It was a pretty steep climb up to Senaru crater rim.

Stopped for a photo with every 10 steps I took. The view was just breathtaking.

Photo credits: Choong

Me, having to keep taking short breaks instead of a long one, decided to move off before the rest, so that I wouldn't be a burden who slows down the entire group. Thank you Choong and Beth for accompanying this burden! (:

Along the way, we also had to boulder/rock climb! This trek really had different elements involved!

Photo credits: Kwi Shan

After approximately 3 hours of climbing, we finally reached Senaru Crater Rim!

Group photo before heading down.

 Photo credits: Choong

Photo credits: Choong

Photo credits: Zul

Stayed at the top for about less than an hour before we were all dying to go down because of the blistering heat. So we headed back down for our lunch, which was approximately a 30min descend.

Guess what we had for lunch? Spaghetti!!! With egg and loads of cheese! The special tomato sauce was really delicious too! Yummmz

We rested for a while before heading back down. The next part of our day would be a straight descend to POS 1, which was approximately 1500m(?) down. The beginning was rather slippery as we were stepping on loose soil and rocks most of the time.

We even stopped to take photos among these Lalang-like plants. Well, it was an insta-worthy landscape! :P Little did we know what we would end up with later...

Photo credits: Choong

We entered the forest about 1 hour into the descend. The forest trail was a relatively easier route to walk as the soil was firmer and the roots of the trees held the soil together. The tree roots provided steps as well.

On the way down, we saw this "porter-dog" which was following a group of porters up the mountain.

What was suppose to be a 3 hour descend gradually became more than 3 hours. We began our descend at 2:30pm, so technically we were to reach at about 5:30. However as time passed by, we were getting more worried as the guide kept telling us it was another 2 hours till we reach POS 1.

At about 5pm, we were informed that we would most probably have to do night trek if we continued at the pace that we were going. The sound of night trek was just daunting to me. And then it hit me, many of us girls did not have our headlamps with us, since we passed our trekking bags to the porters in the morning and only carried our day packs. Next, we realized that we did not have enough water left for the rest of the trek down, which was still about 1.5 to 1 hour away. That was when I flipped. We had to get down to the campsite ASAP.

There was this urgency that overwhelmed me. Even though they say it was unavoidable to do night trek, I knew I had to try not to. I don't want to. Especially in that terrain without headlamp. I think many of us felt the same way too. And it was from that point onward where it was every man for himself. Those that could run down, ran. Even I ran. Thank goodness for that adrenaline that kept me running down the forest, literally chasing the sun. Even slipped and fell, but luckily it wasn't a bad sprain or else I was doomed. Continued running down with Bao and finally, after what felt like forever, we reached the campsite before night fall. That triumphant feeling when we arrived at the campsite was just priceless. It was like we just won first place in an Olympic game.

Running down the mountains: Checked 

Now looking back, it was a rather funny moment when we ran down. People were giving us the weird look as we overtook them hastily. And I still can't believe we actually ran down when we were mountain turtles before... Circumstances definitely changes a person. Before that, we were slow and careful with our footsteps, afraid of tripping or making a wrong step. However, when our situation became urgent, we risked it all. Throwing away all the negative thoughts and focusing only on the road in front of us. I guess that's that you called being focused. It was definitely one of the most eventful day of the trip.

Had dinner, washed up and headed to bed early. I was so drained mentally and physically to clean up properly. Felt so lazy to even move. Just felt glad and thankful to be alive. Fell asleep listening and laughing to Choong's story telling as he recounted the incident of chasing and trying to find us when we ran down, as well as his make-believe (?) Listerine story.

Day 5 (Descend to Senaru Village x Transit x Missed flight):

After waking up feeling aches all over my body because of that "intensive workout" the day before, we prepared for our final 1hr descend to Senaru Village.

Group photo before leaving the campsite. Photo credits: Bryan

Thank you to our lovely porters who provided us with amazingly good food which felt like a buffet spread for every meal! And for lugging our tents and sleeping bags etc up and down as well! I don't know how they do it but they did a great job!

The 1hr descend felt less than an hour. And before we know it, we were at the Senaru entrance of Mt. Rinjani.

 Last photo with our guides before leaving this amazing place!

Thank you to our guides from Green Rinjani for being such friendly and awesome guides! 

Saw 2 super adorable puppy when we were at the entrance. This is one of them.

Transport arrived to pick us up back to Green Rinjani to wash up before heading to the airport.

Featuring Farhan in a bike he borrowed(?) from Green Rinjani :P

Last view of the amazing Mt. Rinjani, Still can't believe that we were actually up there just a few days ago.

So after taking a bath and feeling so refreshed after days of not bathing, we bid farewell to our guides and owner of Green Rinjani and thanked them for their great service and hospitality they provided us for the past few days before leaving for Lombok Airport.

While almost everyone knocked out along the journey, I managed to get a few more shots of Lombok which we didn't get to see before.

Reached the airport with time to spare before our flight so we had lunch and bought snacks as well. Our plan was to take Lion Air from Lombok to Bali before transiting to our Tiger Air flight from Bali to SG. Little did we know, we had more than enough time to spare.

Checked-in 1.5hours earlier and went straight to the waiting area. The boarding time was 16:50 as printed on the boarding pass but on the screen at the waiting area, it showed 17:20. By then I was preempting that we weren't able to catch our flight from Bali to SG which was at 19:05.

We only began boarding around 17:30 and when on board the plane, we received the dreaded message. They informed us that our flight would be delayed for 20 minutes. Wow. And after 10 minutes into the wait, came another announcement that we would be delayed for another 30 minutes. Tough luck. The only consolation at that time was that we were in an air conditioned plane, unlike our flight from Bali to Lombok a few days ago.

The plane finally took off around 18:40 and we reached Bali at about 19:10. While Yanjun, Nina and Zul went to find the airline staff to see if they could help us with our situation, the rest of us went to look for dinner and decide on our next plan. We were given 3 options.

1. 4 seats are available for the 2300 flight later that evening
2. Stay overnight at the airport and take the 0600 flight the next morning
3. Stay overnight at Bali and take the 1900 flight the next evening

It was tempting to spend another day in Bali but I went with the second option in the end. I knew my mum would have wanted me back ASAP as well.

So, 4 of them who needed to rush back to SG took the 2300 flight and those that wanted an extra day of R&R left the airport to Bali town. The rest of us stayed and hobo-ed at the airport. Some tried to get some sleep but others like me, just stoned. And when you have nothing better to do, you take photos...

And eat...

Supper cum early breakfast at 2am in the morning 

Day 6 (Bali x SG):

Our 0600 flight became 0700 flight due to a delay yet again... But what's a 1hr delay when we've waited for 10 hours already? Checked in, and boarded the plane. The Air Asia flight departed slightly earlier than scheduled. And yes, we're finally on our way back home.

The view on the way home was amazing as well.

Even spotted a rainbow just before landing.

Landed safely and ahead of schedule. It felt good to be back in SG without anymore hiccups.

This trip has been no less than extraordinary. From the torturous climb and breathtaking views of Mt. Rinjani, to missing a flight and hobo-ing at the airport for a night, they were all precious experiences. Not all are a pleasant one, but each experience holds a different lesson for us to learn.

I wouldn't say being away in the mountain for days brings you away from civilization, but at least it removes technology away from you. Or to be specific, it removes internet and social media. You still get connection. But in fact, better kinds of connection. You get connected with people - people who share the same experience with you during the trek. You push and encourage one another during a trek, helping each other out when necessary. You connect with nature - you feel the soil beneath your feet and the crispiness of the morning fresh air. You feel the ground when you are made to climb on all fours. (That's usually what I do most of the time for steep descends/ascends) And most importantly, you get connected with yourself. I tend to discover a little more about myself everytime I go on a trek. Just pushing limits and getting out of my comfort zone.

A big thanks to our trip leaders Yan Jun, Nina and Shao Jie for organizing and handling the unexpected situations to the best of their abilities! It was definitely a great trip I would remember deeply. And thanks to all the trip participants as well! Even though we didn't interact with everyone since the group was too big, it was still a great time knowing each other! Last but not least, special thanks to Beth, Choong and Baoyu for the awesome company throughout the trek, as well as being pacers and helping me along the way! Don't know what I would do without you guys! (;

Trekking is an individual sport but it is the company that makes trekking fun and enjoyable to me. It makes tough treks more bearable when you know you have great company around!

Looking forward and planning for my next trek soon! (Hopefully)

Till next time,

Read more on my Rinjani Trip part 1 here and part 2 here!


  1. Nice pictures! it's look amazing adventure :)
    thanks for posting about Lombok that we proud especially that about Mount Rinjani.

    good job

  2. Hi Jancie. It is nice to read your story here. Rinjani is nowadays has become a popular tourist destination in Indonesia and we love to see tourist contribution to the economy of local community. I also appreciate Green Rinjani as one of reliable Rinjani trekking companies ini Senaru Lombok that employees hundreds of porters and guides in the area. The company gives valuable contribution to the regency.

  3. Find the best Lombok Travel Information