It was only 2am and pitch black when the tour guide approached my tent to wake me up. I had been freezing all night and had barely slept. Hell, yeah! I could use all the caffeine and sugar I could get my dirty hands on in order to summit Mt Rinjani.
I hadn´t felt that tense in a long time and struggled to stay optimistic. After 7 months of backpacking, I wasn´t in great shape. I had started he trek from Sembalun the day before and was already exhausted from hiking up to the crater rim at 2.639 meters. And that had only been the easy part of the adventure.
No wonder I was nervous. In almost 3 months of traveling around Indonesia I had heard plenty of stories that fellow travellers had told me about the toughest volcano trek in Indonesia.
“The hardest physical challenge I have ever had. And still worth it. Lots of sand and very very dirty. The dirtiest I have ever been, but also the best views I have ever seen. Cover your hair. Don´t think too much about it and just do it.” Lynsey, a psychologist from London I shared a fun Baywatch moment and dark room with in Labuan Bajo
“Take more warm clothes than you think. I nearly froze to death on top waiting for the sun to rise.”
Guillaume from France who I will be eternally thankful to for his support on day 2 of the trek
“The trek was much harder and more dangerous than expected, but also a trek I will never forget and happy I did it. Be prepared to be really sore for days afterwards.” Victor, an Australian musician & DJ I met chilling in Gili Air
Take two steps forwards, slide one down again
“Absolutely wonderful. Really exhausting. But once you make it to the top, there is no other feeling, there is no words to explain how happy you are to make it to the top. The view that you have of the lake is incredible.”
Izy, a Canadian globetrotter based in Australia, we struggled having dinner during a bumpy boat ride to Komodo
Only two weeks after I returned from Mt Rinjani the volcano erupted for the first time since 2010.
Walking on the narrow crater rim of Mt Rinjani
When the volcano erupted, Izy had only reached the crater lake and had to turn around the same way she had come from while the volcano erupted 5 times, bigger and bigger every time. Lynsey wasn´t allowed to continue to the top due to strong winds. Victor had to be evacuated. Their suggestion:
Check the weather forecast for wind and eruption warnings.
“20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn´t do than the ones you did do.” Mark Twain