With these last three weeks spent between Singapore and Bali with family and friends, Les Gros Sacs were seriously starting to have luxury tastes! Hop, hop, hop, finished the villas, pools, cocktails and tutti quanti! One moves the behind and not a little: direction Mount Rinjani for an ascent of madness! the presentations Sunday, May 14th. We leave Ubud early in the morning to reach Lombok. For this, we opt for the option slow boat (wonderful and great idea) (for the broke). What a pleasure this boat, also called “boat sauna”! Grosso merdo we had to lose each about 18L of water during the crossing (estimate TNS / SOFRES / ODOXA), not to mention cockroaches who were very good to make us raise our seats every quarter of hour for 6h! Attention: cultural minute! To make it short, Mount Rinjani is a volcano located on the island of Lombok culminating at 3.726M (enchanted, we are The Big Bags and we culminate at 1.64M and 1.74M). We also remember when we read about the Rinjani, we said to ourselves (uh … Flo said to himself): “yeah it’s a volcano what, you climb it and worse that’s all, you do not want a medal either “. Well after doing it, we see the thing differently (and would like a medal). We finally arrive in the village of Senaru in the late afternoon for our briefing with the trekking agency Bas Rinjani with whom we will make this climb. We meet Bas, the father of the family, who set up this agency after being himself a porter for 7 years. His son, Parman, will be our guide for this expedition. The trick to know is that this trek is possible on 2, 3 or 4 days, you decide! Perso, we opt for the 4 days / 3 nights, history not to test our bodies of athletes so sharp. It will allow us to spread a little the program (the end only), which we do not regret at all today! Know that if you do it in 2 or 3 days, you will have a very strong 2nd day (VERY). Finally, we wanted to do this trek in a group, but unfortunately we are the only ones registered on these dates and will be alone (which will also have its advantages).
Day 1: until now everything is fine Monday 15 May.
After a magnificent sunrise, we meet the team that will accompany us for the next 4 days: Parman, our guide of 22 years (the son of Bas), Seneng & Suma (28 years) both porters and Adi 17), their nephew who is there for the first time to learn the craft of his uncles.
We all climb into the truck to make the journey to the starting point: the village of Sembalun. Honestly, during the short hour of the journey, we are not proud, we fix the summit of the volcano all along without saying too much (polite way to say that we both think ” We fout there ?! “)! Even the road is impressive, literally the roller coaster! 8:30, we register and leave (my kiki)! The big advantage of being alone with his guide is that you can go to the rhythm you want and that’s cool! Our guide, Parman is very friendly and for now we walk on flat with a superb view of the volcano: until then all is well, everyone has a smile! On the other hand we say it, the dish on this trek, it is rare then you must know to enjoy! We arrive quickly on a path that climbs more and more and it begins to become serious, especially as the sun begins to bang severe! But Anaïs tells herself that this trek is really going to be too easy, so she adds a little difficulty: the challenge “petit poucet”. That is, she sows her business! Flo asks him where his sunglasses are: “Oops I forgot them when we took a break 10 minutes ago”. It’s time for a return trip for Flo, under the interrogative glances of the people they meet: “just a 1 hour walk that he already abandons this one!” FLASH INFO: I am told in the headset that this rescue of glasses will have been totally useless since little Anaïs lost them a second time a few days later. END FLASH INFO BOULET! FLASH INFO BIS: little Anaïs says loudly in the ear of little Flo that she did not lose them, but that her glasses were stolen so next time he will think before chanting him like fish Rotten by telling her she is not taking care of her business. END OF FLASH INFO ACCOUNT ADJUSTMENT! After a few hours of walking, we can already make an observation: the porters are really incredible! We are well equipped: shoes and walking sticks, light backpack … and we are already in trouble. They are flip-flops, with 50-pound baskets on their backs and they go about 1000 times faster than us (ie they leave after us, arrive before us and when we disembark the camp is mounted And your meal is simmering). It was part of the things we read a bunch of times without really realizing what it meant, but once you’ve seen what these people are doing, you really understand. One word: respect (actually a second too: thank you)! The last part of the day is really bodied: it climbs severely for a long time, very long and with less and less visibility! We take the opportunity to ask our guide what the ascent of the summit will look like (we try to reassure ourselves as we can) and he announces with a smile that it will be even steeper and harder! Oh good ?! Because it’s possible ?!
It would not look like that, but it really climbs! 15:45: we arrive at the base camp (#MazelTov)! As we were alone with our guide, we were able to stop as often as we wanted (either to take a picture or to try not to die) and it enabled us to be able to walk at our own pace Friends it’s priceless! We arrive therefore without being at the end of our life and we are rather happy! Only cloud, the clouds are part and we see nothing! Small frustration, we are still at 2500M altitude and we say that the view must be a chouia sympatoche. We console ourselves with the invasion of monkeys on the camp which is happening before our eyes! We deserved our recovery session: siesta in our 5 star hotel 1 hour later we woke up for dinner and there … magic! We open the tent and only one cloud in sight, but a breathtaking panorama! The crater and its lake is offered to us under an incredible sunset and we have never been so close to the summit of Mount Rinjani! We can tell you that it already sends pate and that at the time you know why you hurt for 7h! We contemplate the spectacle by eating an excellent curry prepared by our chef-porter, yes, because besides being a machine, he also cooks too well (take in Flo Seed)! 18h30: the sun has set, Parman briefs us for the ascent of the summit of that night and we collapse in our tent.
Day 2: welcome to hell!
Tuesday 16 May. 2:00 in the morning, the alarm clock sounds, the night was short! Flo is at the bottom of the seal (a good 8/10 on the scale diarrheic nauseo-migraine, one is on a no-fault), fortunately that Anaïs is over-motivated! We put ourselves in front of ourselves, put on our hottest clothes and put on my kiki (an expression known to 99% of the Indonesian guides. Flo in shit as not allowed, while Anais sits quietly!
Flo Anaïs Overall the ascent to the summit is divided into 3 parts: the first climbs heavily for one hour. The second is longer and less complicated (but still rough) with the void on each side for an hour also (fortunately it is dark and you do not see the sicknesses on each side). Finally, the last part is the highlight of the show: 300M with an unimaginable drop in volcanic sand for one hour (yes, yes, 300M in one hour, you can imagine the slope of the slope)! The last part seems to us endless with the cold that freezes our toes as we climb. Imagine the rise of Everest by -8000 °, and well for us it seems identical at that moment (uh … Flo grows a little bit in the nettles, although we rarely so much peel the loaves). One has the feet inexorably sinking in this put of black sand and one has the impression not to advance. We can see only the light beams of the frontals in front and behind us. Our guide regularly announces the time we have left but perso (Flo) I hear it every time: “you have advanced of 12 meters in 30 minutes, it is good, we will be at the top by the end of the year “. That’s what it was … On the shots of 5:30 (considering the cold, as much to say that one has not been verified exactly), one sees the first glimmers of the sun. The horizon is drawn in shades of orange red, it is beautiful, but we have not arrived yet! Not bad, we had thought that the objective was above all to get up, so much the worse if we are not there for the sunrise. This time is as enjoyable as it is difficult (Anaïs’ speaking)! After 3h30 of effort (and 18 desires to abandon Flo) one is there (#Joy #Bonheur)! We never frankly knew anything so hard (rectification: Anaïs found it easy), (false: it was hard, but I did not experience this climb as a suffering). What the hell is that? We land a little, we take some pictures and some forces before going down. We do not dwell for a long time considering the temperature and then there are quite a lot of people! Aside on the world in the Rinjani: yes there are people who make this ascension every day. On the other hand, we did not find it oppressive or disturbing (we would still have slammed the drone type at the top that spoiled the view and broke our ears during the sunrise). Everyone goes at his own pace, doubles, doubles, there is room for everyone. The camps are also very well organized and you do not feel like you are at the Flots Bleus campsite. There is even a great spirit of mutual help, everyone is encouraged! We are all in the same galley what (well if in fact it is like at the campsite Flots Bleus)! The view at the top is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful panoramas we have had the chance to see so far! You can see the volcano Barujari which smokes, surrounded by Lake Segara Anak. We’ll let you judge …
However, as you’ve been told, it’s a bit of a cake and not a bit, so after half an hour of contemplation, you take the way back. And yes, once at the top, there is no slide to return directly to his tent (idea to submit)! We must go down by the same path and it is just as complicated because it slips (but it’s still more fun, especially when Flo wallows)! It is nevertheless easily 2h 30 to reach the camp. Finally this is for us, for those we saw running, it had to be folded in an hour! But we are not very players! Especially since it is daylight and you realize what you climbed at night … and you see the void on both sides all the way … And fortunately the light was Extinct (dixit the guy who dizzy)! The scenery is truly incredible and we really took the time to appreciate it downhill. The most impressive still remains to turn and contemplate the inclination of the slope that leads to the summit. It sounds surreal when we see it, we wonder how we could do this, but we did! On the way back, some families of monkeys make us the hola at the edge of the void We arrive at the camp under the cheers of the crowd (truthful, the video evidence) (even they did not believe they would get there). As usual, we take care of ourselves as kings and our breakfast awaits us! Sandwiches and fried bananas! Before going to collapse in our tent, we ask Parman our guide how many hours of siesta we have in front of us and this one answers us with a smile: “ah … we go in 15 minutes! Will it go? “. Uh … Wait a bit (yes with the altitude, it takes more time to ascend to the brain), let us summarize: we got up at 2:00 in the morning, we tapped 3h30 of ascent, 2 hour 30 minutes of Descent, and you want us to chain with 2:30 of walk, is that right ?! Because if that’s right, let us tell you it’s not going to be possible! We manage to negotiate 30 mn of rab instead of 15mn … big victory! Useful information for climbing the summit: you climb to the summit and return to the camp before continuing the path and this whatever the duration of your trek. So you can leave as much business as possible in your tent to have your bag as light as possible up to the top. 30mn later, we have to leave for 2 hours 30 minutes of descent to Lake Segara Anak where we await our next base camp. And then, it gets more funny. Especially when these 2h30 turn into more than 4 hours It must be said that our bodies have already been put to the test with the ascent and descent of the summit and that the fatigue begins to play too. In addition, the descent from the crater to the lake is quite steep and is done along large rocks. Sometimes, we are more in climbing mode than walking. And of course we do all that head in the clouds with an ultra bad visibility. We are not overly reassured and especially tired, so we take our time. Frankly not a fun part this downhill (clearly the worst part of the trek for us).
After 4h20 of walk, you finally see the lake! We say that happiness is not very far (happiness = take off his shoes)! Attention emotional lift, are you ready? Parman tells us that our camp is more to the west of the lake, that we still have to walk 20 minutes, and that we must cross a river to reach it. Then Anaïs is not happy at all (uh … well I agree that there fatigue has brought out my rasping side. But good for my defense, we tell you 2h 30 walk, you Already at 4 o’clock, you’ve done it 6 in the morning, so it’s true that even if you’re more than 20 minutes away you’re not in mode yes yeah you’re still 20 mn It reminds us strongly of the trek to Myanmar with the crossing of the river which was not also planned! Well, at least, crossing this river we will have a little bit cleaned the feet that were black with filth (those of Flo, mine were perfect)! The last 20 minutes of walking along the river will be closed with passages in “fall, fall in the water” mode! And we collapse under the tent! At this point, we are at the end of our lives, but we are also happy to have chosen the 4 days option for this trek and to sleep by the lake, because those who have only 3 days must still Make 3h of walk to go up the crater that they have just descended! It is 15:00, we walk since 2:00 in the morning, we frankly would not like to be in their place! We enjoy a good meal by the lake in the fog. Parman briefly tells us about the next day’s itinerary: a total of 7 hours of walking to go up the crater and back down enough to get food. As this day has worn us well, we ask him to spread out fairly the rest of the way on our last two days, which he does without worry! Before going to bed, we take advantage of a starry sky like we’ve ever seen!
Day 3: 4 missing legs
Wednesday, May 17th. The awakening at the lake with a clear view of the volcano Barujari and the Rinjani is definitely not ugly at all! It is even rather the kiffe! The only word you can say when you wake up is: Ouch! The aches and pains of the last 2 days have just appeared! We never realized as much as we had thighs that day! Given our draw for breakfast, Parman we still rearrange the program so that it is not a calvary! We will have just 2h30 of ascent to the top of the crater then 1h30 of descent. It seems feasible Aside from Parman, our guide of the agency Bas Rinjani: he really was at the top, especially because he adapted the program according to our shape and our desires. We could stop as soon as we wanted to take a break (and sometimes it was every 15 minutes in really difficult parts), to take pictures or simply enjoy the scenery. He followed our pace which is one of the big advantages of being alone with his guide. We think we might have suffered more in group (uh … Flo asks if it’s possible to no longer suffer). Once the muscles are heated, we really take our foot! It’s 100% fun now! 2h30 of quite steep climb with regularly a small portions of climbing, but always with a splendid view. One always wonders how one made to go all there high so it is pentu, it is unreal! The arrival at the top of the crater is top, the view is clear, we enjoy one last time before starting the descent to Senaru, the village where we finish this trek.
The 2nd part of the day is much less funny (whatever …)! It’s downhill on very slippery paths (sand-covered stone) and it’s exhausting. You are not even told the pace we were descending, especially by being forced to force our most painful muscles on our thighs! We stretch a moment, when the passages are really too hot (so often enough), we let go of the case and we put squarely on the buttocks in slide mode and forward Guingamp! We do not even tell you the heads of the people who were coming up! The good thing is that it only lasts an hour and a half. In the end, the day remains soft although our aches make us a bad dog! Which will surely become a little sadistic game between us: 1, 2, 3 I touch the thigh! Three days apart. A point to be specified here too. As we opted for a trek with one day more than most people, from day three we no longer meet anyone on the road, some carriers from time to time or a few climbers making the climb in the opposite direction since Sembalun! We really were all three which was also pretty cool.
Day 4: a bed and a shower please!
Thursday, May 18th. Last day of this trek! We get up happy but still with the desire to finish (and especially to take a good shower and find a cozy bed). This last day is a real pleasure compared to what we endured the other 3 days! It’s just a descent into the jungle (well it’s called jungle because that’s how it is said here, but it’s a forest what). The path is steep, but not very slippery, the only difficulty is to lift your feet enough not to take a root (which is not always obvious)! We even find a potato of hell on a portion of 30 minutes that we almost run! We are damn tired, but the feeling of being almost arrived boosts us! We even have the right to a few black monkeys in the trees that congratulate us and there we finally see the sign indicating the exit of the national park of the Rinjani, which means ONE DID! Good after that there is still a little more than 30 minutes of walk. Except that here … as we had the BEST carriers of all the land ladies and ladies, the latter who had already arrived (well before us of course) came to get us by scooter to spare us the rest of the road and to take us directly to the agency. You do not even imagine the level of gratitude we have for them at that time! Still hat! This is the end of our four days of trekking up Mount Rinjani, made of joy, suffering and beautiful scenery.
For the story, after 4 days of trek without washing, once arrived you only dream of one thing: a good hot shower! Yeah, except that for the moment, it’s not quite like that that happens for us! Already, the level of cleanliness of the room (Hotel D’Praya next to Lombok airport) almost reaches zero and for the first time on the trip we ask for a change of room (ho do not push , We arrived cravo, but still)! So steer the shower and there … no hot water! Flo does not hold anymore and still goes to the spot under the cold water, yes because there’s work, while Anaïs goes out of his way with the reception to restore the hot water ‘Nevertheless not to take a cold shower no but …)! Result: they cut the water straight down when Flo is full of soap and shampoo … 1h to wait like that they put the water back (hot this time). In short we will have well deserved our night of rest! Some precisions We list you pell-mell some information that we did not know where to put, but which seems important to clarify: Food: It is a point that can be worrying when you go in this kind of expedition. We were completely blown away by the food we were served. Not only was it good and in quantity, but also the presentation was neat (much more than in most of the restaurants / canteens where one is used to eat in Asia)! We had the right to: a chicken curry, sauteed peanut vegetables, grilled fish (caught directly in the lake before our eyes), pancakes with banana, fried bananas, etc … Moreover, our guide had Always snacks for us on the road! Hygiene: we had a toilet tent to accommodate our needs. Good overall it is a tent with a hole in the ground (enough to have its privacy). For the shower you can forget! The porters: we already talked about it, but it seems important to put a layer back. They really do a very hard job (even if it sounds simple when you see them doing it). They make the same journey as we in flip-flops carrying a huge load on their shoulders. They really impose respect and we owe them everything, because without them, impossible to reach the summit. For info, the daily wage of a wearer is 155.000 ruiahs (10 €) and for a guide it is 200.000 rupiahs (13 €). Waste: Unfortunately, we found the site very dirty overall. A lot of waste litter the road and the camps. The monkeys that constantly return the garbage are partly responsible, but we still find a lot of papers of candy, chocolate bars, dressings etc … on the floor. It is a shame: / We were told however that there was a team that was in charge of cleaning the site (thanks to the entrance fee that each person has to pay to enter the Rinjani park).
Our equipment & advice Here is what we had in our bags and our few tips: 1 good pair of hiking shoes / trail / trek. Forget the sneakers, it’s already hard enough like that! Walking sticks: VERY IMPORTANT, your best friends! They saved us a bunch of times from the fall and they will save you a lot of energy. Your agency will lend you. For my part (Anaïs) I think I would not have happened without! 3 pairs of socks (1 only used, but to be expected in case of rain or if you are sensitive to strong odors: d) and underwear (Anaïs strongly advises sports bra) Pants (Flo had one lightweight and one hot specifically for the top). A leggings / tights to put under the pants on the day of the summit (and night). A t-shirt for the day (1 spare may be fine if you want to be dry). Advice: a technical sports t-shirt is really practical, it dries very quickly. Flo had that and he was always dry 30 minutes after the arrival. A warm / long sleeve t-shirt (for the top and the night). A down jacket or polar (with hood if not to envisage cap or bandeau). A windproof windbreaker (for the top, it blows there high, and for rain if you have no luck). Gloves (for the top). Sun glasses. A headband. Sunscreen. Wipes and hydro-alcoholic gel (you will say thank you when you see the state of your hands at the end of the day). Lip balm if you are sensitive to cold. A lot of cakes and bars of energy like snickers (we have been losing 10 in 24h), sugary sweets kind mentos or caramel for the sugar dose continuously (Anaïs: mentos saved me more than once failing To find something else). A waterproof bag (we put our clothes in the night to prevent them from getting wet). Conclusion
We had already climbed the Everest 8 times in the same day, made a 24h of apnea in the Antarctic or climbed the Eiffel Tower with eyes closed, but we still pushed our limits. It’s good, it was the goal and we are rather proud (this is when you give us our medal thank you). Practical information The Rinjani can be done on 2, 3 or 4 days as we explained with or without the summit. If the ascent of the summit does not tell you anything or if you simply do not have enough time, there are nice alternatives.
For example: the trek of 2 days / 1 night from Senaru, which will make you sleep at the top of the crater with a magnificent view on the site with a level of difficulty rather low (5/10 on the scale of Big Bags). To choose your trekking agency, you have different ways of doing it: book online in advance, go to Senaru or Sembalun (and in many other cities on Lombok) and choose the agency that you like most . Compare well (see list below) what each offers and make the choice that fits you the most. For our part, we made this trek in partnership with the agency Bas Rinjani. After these 4 days, we can only recommend them for all the reasons listed in this article!
Here are the formulas they offer and their rates (for a group of 6 people or more):
- 2 days / 1 nights: $ 190 per person
- 3 days / 2 nights: $ 220 per person
- 4 days / 3 nights: $ 275 per person
(count 230 to 325 $ if you are only 1 or 2 people)
The prices are degressive: the more people, the less expensive. And the good news now: if you say you come from us, you will be entitled to 10% off
These rates include: Catch you at the airport or at the port of arrival (see even on the Gili Islands or other tourist places) Accommodation the day before the trek to Senaru Welcome dinner the day before the trek Visit of a waterfall the day before the trek (if you do not arrive too late) Breakfast on the morning of the trek before departure Taxi to where you want after the trek Entrance fees to the Rinjani Park (10 € / day / person)
All meals during the trek Water (bottled) all along the trek, and other drinks (coca, sprite, orange juice, tea, coffee etc …) The camping equipment (tent, mattress, sleeping bag, toilet tent etc …)
To contact Bas Rinjani:
Mobile/ WhatsApp/Skypee/Line: +6281703525698