I still remember vividly the moment when I got back to my homestay after the hike. I was sitting in my room and I couldn’t move an inch. My thigh was unforgiving sore, my face was covered with dusts and ashes. I was thinking “Ok so I made it to the peak of the infamous mountain in Indonesia, but damn I did not complete the entire hike.” Did I feel unaccomplished? Not quite so, in fact this hike was more than making it to the peak and completing the entire process. Instead, it was a journey of self discovery and I went home with a bag full of valuable lessons.
So, let me cut to the chase and say that this was by far the most difficult trek I’ve ever been on. Don’t get me wrong, the itinerary of this hike was essentially same with my previous hikes. You start your hike early in the morning, reach the camping spot late in the afternoon and prepare to summit to the peak next morning. What differs Mt Rinjani from all the mountains I have visited before was the challenging and rugged terrain, the unforgiving sun and the lack of tree shelters along the trek.
I am not going to elaborate much on the logistics part of this hike as you can easily obtain them from the internet. But there are few things that I would like to share here. There are tons of hiking agencies in you can find in Rinjani. From those established companies with 5-star services, to the smaller ones with basic services and all, you are gonna to get spoiled with choice. Furthermore, you will also have a choice of doing the summit for 2, 3 or 4 days there.
In my opinion, I’d say evaluate your budget and fitness level and get them to suggest an itinerary for you. I opted for a basic and non-luxurious package with Reza Trekker, one of the better ones there. But I overestimated my fitness level and chose a 3 days package. Turned out that my thigh muscles was too painful to continue with the hike after coming down from the peak and I had to return to the base on the second day.
The porters were carrying at least 40 kilograms of kitchenware and tents, and hike with a pair of flip flop.
Sunset at the camping site.
Opting for a basic package doesn’t necessary means that you are getting subpar services. You’d still get regular water and snack replenishment from the guides and porters, as well as decent home cooked food and all the words of motivation you’d need from them. The additional services that some of hikers pay for are mostly things like beers, resting chairs instead of floor mats, or having the porters to carry your personal backpack.
Hamdi was probably one of the coolest guides I have met from the trip!
Our guides and porters preparing our lunch.
Lunch was served!
At the end of the day, reflecting on this hike now makes me realised that all the mistakes and hardship I have been through in this trip was essential for me to learn from them and shape my mindset towards the difficulties I encounter in my daily life. The most rewarding aspect of this hike is that it strengthen my mental toughness and gave me different perspectives on how to deal with self doubt and trust my self again, whether it’s through the physical endurance I have gone through along the hike, or through the hikers and porters with diverse backgrounds I met along the journey. It was simply a journey that I saw a lot of shortcomings inside myself and I believe it was a good way to rediscover myself again.
And the fact that I signed up for this hike was to escape from all the dissent, delusions and discontents I experience in life was simple undesirable to attempt such physical challenge. I neglected the importance of having the right mindset in conquering this challenge and ultimately I paid the price of not completing this hike and having the porters to carry my backpack while going down and constantly slow down to make sure that I keep up with him.
Campsite with stunning mountain view!
Taking the cooking game seriously
Hiking with the guides and porters was a good learning process for me as well. Knowing their backgrounds and how they work hard in every hike they go through to earn a living makes me feel small with all the problems I encounter in my privileged life. On top of that, they give you constant motivations and never once complain about the hardship they endure in the journey. I felt privileged to hike with them and I owed my life to these humbled and great men.
The sunset I witnessed in this trip was beautiful. It brings me hope and happiness that I couldn’t describe in a more detailed manner. I was speechless. The feel-good vibe at that moment made me forget about all the soreness and pain I had and become hopeful for a successful summit in the next morning.
To wrap things up, this hike in Indonesia was definitely one of the most memorable hikes I have ever done and I hope one day I can come back again to finish where I left off.
View from the peak.
Sea of cloud