Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Travelogue: Mt. Rinjani (Transit x Sembalun Crater Rim)

"Nature, in the purest sense, is where both serenity and wilderness coexist in harmony. When we visit it, we feel both peaceful and uneasy all at once."

Still feeling the "Post-Rinjani Withdrawal Syndrome" even after being back in SG for a few days now. Miss everything about Rinjani, other than the torturous climb and aching muscles.

Well, here's my recount of the trip for future viewing!

Decided to go on this NTU ODAC public trip as my 7rek mates were signing up for it and they asked me along. Rinjani was on my list since last year after we completed our 7rek Indo recce (Read more about the previous trip here). And since the trip leaders are people I know too, so why not? 

This was a 5D4N trip with 1 day of transit from SG to Lomobok and resting one night before the start of our trek. However, it soon became a 5D5N trip... Read on to find out why.

Anyway, we went with Green Rinjani and yes their service was really good! From the accommodation before the trek to the food and tents provided during the trek, they were all excellent! We had 6 guides and approximately 25 porters for the 28 of us. The guides were extremely friendly and patient with us, accommodating to our needs and all. Really thankful to have them during our trek! 

I was all excited yet nervous all at the same time while preparing for the trip, not knowing what to expect. 

Day 1 (SG x Bali x Lombok):

Our day began at 6am at Changi Airport T2. Gathered for check-in and prepared for our flight to Bali. Flew by Tiger Air from SG to Bali, which took approximately 2.5hrs. 

First stop: Bali International/Domestic Airport. Made our way from the international arrival hall to the domestic departure hall, with plenty of time to kill. So we went around looking for lunch before checking-in for our domestic flight to Lombok.

View from domestic departure hall

 If you look closely, you can actually see the blue seas behind the runway.

 Second experience on a propeller plane

So our domestic flight was by Wings Air and it was a propeller plane! There wasn't much ventilation in the plane before take-off cause the air conditioning wasn't turned on. It felt like we were in a sauna x.x Thank goodness it was only a 30min flight.

Felt like ages before the plane finally took off.

 Bird's eye view of Bali

After a full day of flying and transit, we finally arrived at Lombok International Airport.

Got on board a bus for our 3hr transfer to our homestay for the night, before starting our climb the next morning.

Stopped by a restaurant on the way for dinner and caught a glimpse of the sun setting behind the mountains.

Photo credits: Zul

Day 2 (Sembalun Village x Sembalun Crater Rim) :

After a early morning breakfast, we prepared for our transit from Green Rinjani Homestay to our starting point of the trek, Sembalun Village.

The view on the way was breathtaking. It was a mixed of excitement and apprehension at that moment.

 That intimidating look of Mt. Rinjani from afar.

After a short briefing and last minute preparation, we were split into 3 groups for the trek up.

Photo credits: Yan Jun

And, we're off!

The first part of the trek was trekking through fields of vegetation, with a small incline and some slopes along the way. It lasted for about 2-3 hours.

There wasn't much trees for shade though, so we relied on the clouds for protection from the sun from time to time.

Group photo before continuing on the trek.

Photo credits: Bryan

 You can see the clouds rolling in as you climb.

Photo credits: Bryan

When we reached the first rest point of the trek, our porters were hard at work cooking our lunch. Their meals were really good and portions were huge! Re-filled our energy before the next part of the climb to our base camp.

Photo credits: Zul

Huge portion of lunch! Photo credits: Yan Jun

Just before setting off, we planted trees! It's part of Green Rinjani's effort to protect Mt. Rinjani by planting more trees and keeping the environment clean from trash.

Photo credits: Yan Jun

And the remaining journey to the crater rim, it was akin to going up and down many steep hills. 

 Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods?

 Mountain turtle 1,2,3! 

Thank goodness I had these guys with me as we ascended the torturous steep hills. Aiming and marking trees as our rest point. TBH, it was so much fun! Laughed alot along the way as we looked for trees and "gave way to one another" hahaha.

 Finally stopping for a photo cause we knew the campsite was just around the corner.

Reached the campsite just in time for the gorgeous sunset right in front of our tents! Million dollar view right there.

After changing and washing up a little, we had our dinner under the stars. It was the best feeling in the world at that time, sipping on hot and yummy soup after a long day of trekking. I genuinely felt extremely grateful and happy then. The happiness was indescribable.

A night full of stars. Photo credits: Yan Jun

And with that, we headed to bed early to prepare for our summit climb the next morning.


  1. Thanks for reminiscing every part of the trek !! I really lover Rinjani!! Miss it so so so damn much :( Keep writing !! :)