In September 2016 we went on an awesome holiday to Malaysia and Indonesia. Part of our Indonesia trip was visiting Lombok Island. We had heard about the Mount Rinjani trek from family members who had climbed it. Alex being ever the adventurer decided we should do a 3 day, 2 night trek to the top of the mountain. To keep him happy I agreed it would be a good idea... I wanted to share my account of the trek in detail with you. I hope my personal account will help to inspire you to face up to challenges whether it’s a mountain trek or another test of endurance!
We got up at 6am having travelled from the airport the night before - it's a 3 hour drive across the island to the village of Senaru which is at the bottom of the mountain. We stayed in a very basic hotel for the night which was fine. For breakfast we ate banana pancakes - not protein pancakes unfortunately as everything in Indonesia seems to be heavily fried!
Once we'd finished our breakfast a little truck was waiting to take us to the start point of the trek. We climbed into the back of the truck and sat on a purple mat. The very mat which soon became familiar to us as our mat, we sat on it at every meal time during the trek. We drove to the office of our trekking company - Reza Trekkers to drop off our suitcases and pick up our guide, Herman, our two porters, Anton and Addie and all our supplies. We drove in the back of the trek for about 10 minutes when they suddenly stopped and parked up under a cotton tree. Herman explained that they had forgotten to bring the toilet tent. A few minutes later a man greeted us on a motorbike carrying the toilet tent. I tried not to think too much into what exactly a toilet tent was!!
We drove for another half an hour before reaching the registration point for the national park. Once we'd signed in we began our trek. We set off about 9am with Herman and the porters. The porters soon sped in front of us wearing flip flops and carting 30kg worth of supplies up the mountain!
It was very hot for the first half an hour of walking until we reached the jungle which was still hot but we were sheltered from the sun. Along the way Herman gave us the first of many coffee flavoured hard boiled sweets "for energy" we soon became very grateful for his company and his constant energy boosting snacks!
After walking for a few hours we stopped for lunch. Our porters had reached the lunch spot way before us and put our mat down under a shaded area ready for our arrival. Lunch was amazing and consisted of rice, chicken, egg, salad and fruit in huge portion sizes. It took me a long time to eat it all so as soon as I'd finished it was time to set off again.
I quickly became bloated and had indigestion. We stopped and I laid down to try and ease my stomach cramps. Alex asked a group of Chinese folk if they had any indigestion relief tablets, they produced some Chinese medicine - 2 tubes of little red balls to swallow. Not being in a position to refuse, I took them. They tasted bitter but they did sort my stomach pain out pretty quickly! The hero that my man is wore my backpack on his front for the rest of that day - that is love!
We stopped a couple of times and were given chocolate bars or biscuits "for energy". The terrain got steeper as we climbed higher and my legs and knees started to ache. Finally at about 5pm we reached the crater rim and saw our tents had been put up at the campsite. We watched a beautiful sunset and then it quickly became very cold! We were filthy so we wiped ourselves down with about 12 wet wipes, changed our clothes and put our warm jumpers and coats on. Turns out the toilet tent is a tent with a zipped door, no floor so a hole can be dug to do your business and there's no roof - how lovely! I relied on Alex holding the flashlight on his phone for me so I could pee. Dinner was a chicken curry and banana fritters for dessert. At about 7.30ish we want to bed as we were exhausted and knew we were getting up at 2.30am to climb the summit to make it to the top for sunrise.