Climbing Mount Rinjani, Lombok

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.

took some campsite photos while still not that sleepy
our porter tent cum kitchen.

Continue reading “Climbing Mount Rinjani, Lombok”


Backpacking Bali, experience in Kintamani.

Planning .

This trip, I wanted to visit Kintamani. Mount Batur seems like a nice outdoor place to visit and have a trek, maybe some running as well.

Reading reviews and travel blogs, made me concluded that it’s a place seldom visited and much under the radar by tourist. In-fact, it’s not even listed in lonely planet index, content pages. So when some of the online reviews disliked the haggling and touting locals “guide(s)” I could imagined the competition that they are having there to get that extra income. Not my idea for a holiday. Since my arrival to Kuta would be late in the evening, I arranged for accommodation in advance to avoid too much hassle on that first night, I did that via and planned to go straight to Kintamani the next morning after finding transport. I arranged for a place to stay at Kintamani too, and if necessary, extend the stay for another night. My plan is to Trek Mount Batur, climb and have a walk around the location for a few days before heading home. A short trip only just to unwind. Continue reading “Backpacking Bali, experience in Kintamani.”

First time Backpacking in bali

Tickets to Bali..

I book the ticket for Bali on 30th October, there was some promotion, got two days there and back by day three, so I didn’t expect to be able to see much and only hope I’ll not get too disappointed later on. Haven’t planned anything yet and no research done… just asked a friend about the conditions there and what to expect, I planned to travel really light and bring my camera, but since two days only… I’d probably not even bring a charger along as 3 battery pack might be just enough for the job, everyone said it’s ridiculous, “no way two days is enough..!” .. at least 3 or 4 days, so changed the date on my itenary, with consequences (extra charges ) and ended up 5 days in Bali to make the most of everything.

This changed everything… so now I got to plan for 5 days instead of 2, which means the cost would be approximately times 3 of everything, longer leave from work, heavier bags and the such. Still in my target is to limit everything in just ONE bag so not to limit my mobility.

uluwatu temple

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Madakaripura Waterfalls, East Java

Checkout 11 October 2012

Morning…. wake-up, checkout and ready by 5:00 am. The sky already bright and air getting warmer. We are all ready to go to the amazing Madakaripura waterfalls… After the nice meal and good sleep, everyone is enthusiastic about the journey.. we all know a great beautiful landscape awaits us at the end of the journey.

All packed and after checking out of our rooms, we load the van with all our bags and before leaving, took few pictures at the surrounding. Previously, since we arrived, we actually have not had the chance to even wander around… 🙂


The Van started moving at about 5:30, all along the way, a little exhausted but eager to get to the waterfalls, along the way, green scenery, plantations and the countryside, really calm and beautiful. Along the way I can see young children, about to go to schools in uniforms, this time it was a little bit busy, probably the road we took was more populated and went through urban areas more than before. After a drive through twisting and winding roads, this time more downhill rather than up, we reached the waterfalls at 7:00 am.  After a small breakfast of bread jam and butter with a banana, the 30 minute walk towards the waterfalls begins.
Continue reading “Madakaripura Waterfalls, East Java”

Rafting, East Java

Later, in the morning… 10 .October. 2012

After a spectacular sunrise, had breakfast at 10:00, at the Yoschi Hotel cafe(included). The food was nice and freshly cooked, Rest for a few minutes before preparing for the next activity on the list, rafting..! Since we will be back, we just left our stuff at the room and with our bathing clothes on, went out, ready for rafting. Everybody quite excited as for most of us, it was the first time and neither knew what to expect. Swimming is one thing but going through the rapids.? that’s another different thing. anxiety, nervous, worried, if i’m not mistaken, some wanted to back out…  🙂

From the hotel to the river Pekalen was quite a journey by itself, went through towns, roads, forest and housing areas…. even crossed a railway station. But the most interesting of all is that when we came across this one particular village, the unique characteristic and lifestyle, of where people there still wash themselves and their clothes and even relieve themselves in this large drain which is located just by the road, even though there are pipe water supply available. Continue reading “Rafting, East Java”

Mount Bromo’s sunrise, East Java

Early Morning.. 10 october 2012.

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 Adi greeted 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.

Anep da Vogue Vas seems to be enjoying his ride by the way, while the rest of us walked, it wasn’t a long walk uphill, just about another 15 minutes up. Continue reading “Mount Bromo’s sunrise, East Java”

Kawah Ijen, East Java

Early Morning.. 9 october 2012

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.

ready to go… at Pos Paltuding

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.

one of the miners, with his load at the background

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.

vanishing in the dark with 80 kilos of weight.

More details about the Kawah Ijen mining activities and pictures in The Big Picture. Thanks to  Olivier Grunewald.

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”