The man is like a doctor, fingering the pulse and declaring that our blood pressure is perfect. He prepares a certificate, signs, and stamps it. Great, we are ready to climb Mount Rinjan!i.
I am surprised that the trail goes through open grassland instead of jungle, which was unexpected.. Within half an hour, we reach the first camp. A local guide suggests we stop to eat. We refuse and keep climbing. Soon we are coming to the second camp, and our guide insists that we stop and eat.. I share an apple with a monkey; I get the soft part, and she gets the middle. Both are satisfied, so I move on. At the third camp, the guide insists on standing and eating. We suggest he take his time, eat, and catch up with us later, and unsurprisingly, the suggestion works. We move on without the guide and without the porter until the last camp, where we should spend the night.
A few hundred vertical meters away, it starts to rain heavily. Together with the monkeys, we take shelter from the rain under the larger trees. The guide with Dave’s tent comes after 2 hours, the porter with my tent after 4 hours. The guides of the other groups assess the intensity of the rain and invite us to their tent, treat us to coffee, and offer us a meal. Thank you!
A few hours before dawn, we get up and climb towards the summit. Not an easy task; all the slopes are covered with small volcanic pebbles. Three steps up, one step back. We move slowly. We reach the ridge, the weather is nasty, and the visibility is close to zero. From time to time, many tourists climb past each other. I guess that some of them are hiking for the first time.
The top is in the clouds; it is raining. A few photos later, we are descending. This descent is probably the fastest in my history. Running in metric steps and sliding down small stones, I reach the camp in 1h10. Not bad, considering that it took more than 4 hours to climb up.
The guide offers mia gorang (fried noodles), and this time, we don’t refuse. We have a delicious meal, pack our bags, and head back down. The guide and the porter are very happy with the suggestion to go at our own pace, and that was the last time we saw them. Within a few hours, we reach the car, drink fresh durian juice, and drive towards the waterfront hotel.
Cool peak, great trail, but in high season, there are a few hundred climbing permits issued every day. Wildlife lovers may be a little disappointed. More experienced hikers can climb and descend in one day. You can take a tent as a precautionary measure in case the weather is bad or you run out of energy.
We have saved one day, so in the morning we will be interested in the life and culture of the Lombok people. The day after tomorrow we will fly to Surabaya, on the island of Java, where the Gunung Lawu and Gunung Slamet mountains await us.