Day 3 for us was another easy day, only 3 hours of uphill to the next crater rim where there are the best views of the lake and the small volcano. The small volcano inside the crater is still active, and erupted in 2009. The eruptions are mainly small though, nothing to worry about for trekkers. In the mornings, you can see the smoke rising from the volcano.
The climb up to the other side of the crater rim is a pretty tough scramble over rocks. I wasn’t feeling great, so Adi had to fashion a walking stick out of a branch for me which I was grateful for. Next investment for us will be hiking poles! But once you get to the top it’s pretty breathtaking. Unfortunately there are a lot of trees in the way, so you can still get some beautiful shots of the lake and volcano. It’s kind of surreal to watch the sunset while the moon is rising, all the while on a volcano that has another baby volcano inside its crater lake. Got all that? Mind boggling and just an amazing sight.
From this side of Rinjani, you can see Mt. Agung on Bali better and also the three small islands off the West coast of Lombok known as the Gilis. After trekking, we are going to head to the largest Gili, Gili Trawangan which is the furthest one out.
The night when the full moon rose, it was the night of the partial lunar eclipse! It was great viewing from the mountaintop and with our binoculars, it was really cool to see the shadow across half of the moon.
The next morning we packed up and hiked 5 hours downhill through the rainforest. Easy day down but boy was my entire body sore. All the days of straight uphill and downhill meant I was incredibly sore for 3 whole days after! It hurt so bad to go downhill, I told Mike it was like daggers in my quads. To make it worse, my cold was definitely full blown at this point. Sigh. But—we made it! It was gorgeous and probably one of the most beautiful places we’ve been. Next time we will be in better shape and bring warmer clothing! Special thanks to our guide and porter crew—highly recommend John’s Adventure.