WALK­ING AMONG THE CLOUDS

JJK e-magazine - - JOURNEYS -

The above words could be a cliché for moun­tain trekking any­where in the world. But it felt truly ap­pro­pri­ate on Rin­jani. The last part of the jour­ney how­ever was the most chal­leng­ing, since it was a test of co­or­di­na­tion as well as pa­tience. The sur­face of the up­per slopes was made of sand, rocks, and dirt, of­fer­ing hardly any grip. It made me for­get the beau­ti­ful view I had been an­tic­i­pat­ing, as I was forced to con­cen­trate on my foot­ing, tak­ing one tiny step at a time. It took us nearly seven hours to fi­nally reach the peak Al­though there’s isn’t a pot of gold or a uni­corn on the peak of Rin­jani, you are treated to a breath-tak­ing view – to say the least – of the sur­round­ing land­scape and, if you’re lucky, the first light of dawn. Mem­o­ries for a life­time will no doubt be etched into your mind, not to men­tion stored in your cam­era.

THE CALDERA LAKE

On the way down we made camp for two nights at Se­gara Anak Lake. The lake it­self is part of the moun­tain’s caldera and was formed af­ter the erup­tion of Mount Sa­malas 800 years ago. In the middle of the wa­ter, you can see Mount Baru­jari, a small islet that’s also known as the “child” of Mount Rin­jani. Our tents felt lux­u­ri­ous af­ter our ar­du­ous climb, and we en­joyed the crys­tal clear skies at night. The Milky Way made a sur­prise cameo dur­ing our nights camped out amid the nat­u­ral splen­dour, which was es­pe­cially pleas­ing since star-gaz­ing is a favourite pas­time of mine. Con­tin­u­ing down, we passed a sul­phuric river named Lokok Pu­tih and a few other hot springs, in­clud­ing Banyu Urip, which in Ja­vanese means “the wa­ter of life”. We did how­ever re­trace much of the path we took on our up­ward jour­ney. Look­ing back, the trip to Lom­bok’s high­est peak ex­ceeded all my ex­pec­ta­tions. The un­par­al­leled nat­u­ral beauty I had been priv­i­leged to wit­ness made it more than worth the time and en­ergy spent as­cend­ing Rin­jani. Now it’s back to the draw­ing board to de­cide which moun­tain I want to con­quer next.

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