For those of you who don’t know me, I am not exactly the fittest fiddle. Id like to mention that I can run to catch a bus without being too out of breath at the end but I’m not one to brag.
So when I signed up to climb Mount Rinjani which is located in Lombok and is the second highest Volcano in Indonesia- hitting at around 3726m, I was setting myself up for one of the biggest challenges (physically) I have ever faced.
Like holy crap.
That’s a big hill…. Like really really big.
I was thoroughly unprepared for this trek. I did not have the right shoes nor did I even have warm clothes to wear for when I got to the top. But luckily I had an awesome group who helped me all the way with plasters and loaning me fleeces. I’m telling you now, I would not have made it up to the top of it weren’t for them.
The first few hours were bearable, I was actually pleasantly surprised to how quickly I adjusted to the burning pain in my glutes and calves. We walked from morning till around midday/ 1pm where we had a pit stop for lunch.
Food tastes so much better when you’ve really worked for it. But these porters definitely knew how to cook! We were so lucky to have such a great guide and four porters to carry our tents and food and supplies for us. I’m pretty sure they did their help in encouraging me to keep on moving. Every time I stopped, I just reminded myself that there were guys who were carrying a bag ten times heavier and were climbing this thing in flip flops and in some cases, bare foot! I had no place to complain.
I was in pain, and suddenly it wasn’t my fitness that was pulling me back. It was my low tolerance for pain in my feet. Every step hurt! I felt horribly sorry for myself.
Once we got out of the jungle, there was a twinkle of hope as you can finally see the top of the mountain. Which then gives you that very much needed boost of energy to get you through the final bit. Only problem was that the higher you get, the steeper it gets.
So with little to no energy left I kept on going. Basically climbing a vertical path.
I won’t bore you with every little detail of my experience with climbing this mountain. But I will say that it was the hardest thing I have ever done.
I definitely struggled and I was most certainly the weakest link in the group. But I did it.
Every step was worth it. That view was insane.
I hadn’t even acknowledged that as part of what I was going to see! I saw the Milky Way, I saw shooting stars and even some satelites. I unfortunately don’t have any pictures of the night sky as my camera is my iPhone. And they wouldn’t come out in pictures. But you can imagine.
So if you’re thinking about doing it, please go do it.
If you’re not, reconsider.
It’s a painful and gruelling first day- but then you get to experience the natural wonders of this fantastic volcano. I will never forget this part of my trip. Worth every blister, every muscle ache and every bead of sweat.
Things I’d recommend bringing:
– Warm socks for night time
– Jumpers and fleeces to stay warm at night
– Games like a pack of cards for down time
– portable battery pack. You’ll wanna take as many pictures as possible whilst you’re up there!
– A torch. For obvious reasons. (Preferably a head torch)
– Wet wipes, we all know why.
– headphones, they’re not a necessity but they were useful to me when I needed to zone out to make it up the mountain from the hot springs on the second day.
– bring sugary snacks for the hike up. You’ll appreciate the sugar boost
– plasters. And a lot of them.
– blister prevention kit. Like tape and those gel pads you can buy at pharmacies.