At 3,726 m, Rinjani is the second highest volcano in Indonesia
Landed at Lombok international airport in the morning and from the airport, the drive took about 5 hour drive to Sembalun village, with stops and lunch along the way.
19/4. First camp, first light.
6:00pm Start from village to first camp site to avoid the heat and sun. This part of trek is through open space all the way. Arrived our campsite for the day after three hours walk, 6.5 KM. Had our first dinner at camp site that night, which will be mainly rice and soup, veggie or instant noodles. Tonight camp site is an open space in the fields.
I heard a knock on the door… my watch reads 5:00am. (4:00am Local time) should have been moving by now. I opened the door and Adigreeted me, didn’t see anybody else. My room-mate wake up afterwards. We were all pack and ready before bed, therefore when we were awake, it ‘s just few minutes and we were already waiting by the Jeep, ready to take us up Penanjakan, the viewing point.
We ride the Jeep uphill, stuffed at the rear and the drive took about 20 minutes, I’d guess it’s about 5 KM uphill climb and while walking is possible, it’d take probably 1-2 hours on foot. Then the driver parked at the roadside, lots of other jeep there and here we can see all the other visitors from other hotels. There are horses waiting and those who don’t want to walk, can have the option for a ride one and the jockey will lead up until the base of the stairs, for a fee of 100000 IDR, still, you would have to climb the flight of stairs to the viewing point. Which is about another 100 metres higher.
2:00 am, ….. @#$#..!!…. I overslept…!!? We were supposed to wake up at 1:00am, Almost jumped off the bed… Now hold on…, the time here is minus one hour, and remembered that I purposely didn’t adjust my watch because it would be easier to synchronize with my camera, notes etc… so I am still on time… 🙂
I was the same room with Najmi, he was already suited up prepared and ready to go, It was shivering cold and I just washed my face and brush my teeth, Thressa, Adi, Pak Martono, are already waiting outside near the van engines all warmed up, all of us hop in the van and the drive took about 1 hour from our home stay to Pos Paltuding, the point where we will start our hike to Kawah Ijen (Ijen Crater). Same as last night, the twisting winding roads, uphill, all dark around us, we can’t see more than the headlamps permits.
Start climb, in the dark on the loose dusty road. Each of us given a surgical mask to cover our face and protect our lungs. I didn’t notice at first, but after a while when we point the torch lights up, we can see the dust being kicked up in the air, how glad I had the mask on. We keep on walking, I thought the track was an easy walk, just 30-40 minutes, but everyone was surprised…. the track began to incline and gets steeper, some parts of it was quite steep and for a few times I slipped back due to the loose gravel and sands, I guess my shoes are not suited for that kind of terrain. Worried still on the condition of my knee, (kinabalu climb), I had to slow down my pace for a bit and learn from previous experience. Slower than the rest, I just went on. I wore a T-shirt, sweater and jacket, It was cold but not that cold as to make me shiver so I thought that 3 layers of clothing is just right. Everybody was not familiar of the track and didn’t know what to expect, the darkness just add to the suspense.
About 30 minutes before the crater, is Pondok Bunder where the miners weight and sell their mined sulphur. It was dark, there were a few miners there and we couldn’t see much, took a five-minute break and continued.
We came across some more miners carrying the heavy loads of sulfur, it is heartbreaking to see them work so hard in such harsh conditions and yet so early in the morning.
Then at some point of the walk we heard sounds of waterfalls, Pinky Boy was confused, as he knew there was no waterfall at a volcanic mountain such as these, then came the realisation that those are not the sounds of water but the sounds of winds howling through the terrain, rocks and curvatures. Continue reading “Kawah Ijen, East Java”→