After Nepal, we thought we were done with trekking for this trip…but I caught the bug and I booked us another trek in Indonesia! Mike likes to tease that I secretly like torturing myself because I always sign us up for treks that we’re underprepared for. I guess it was the case again for Gunung Rinjani, which is a volcano on the island of Lombok, just East of Bali. After we flew in to Denpasar, Bali, we hitched a taxi to Padang Bai to catch the public ferry to Lombok. Avoiding the scam tickets we got dropped off at (it happens every time now), we got the cheap tickets for the 5 hour journey. We were one of two tourist groups on the public ferry—guess everyone shells out for the fast boat?
We got into Senggigi pretty late and the next morning we got picked up by John’s Adventures, our trekking outfitter. Trekking Gunung Rinjani is quite different than trekking in Nepal. On the Annapurna Circuit, we did teahouse trekking, which in hindsight I now appreciate very much. On Gunung Rinjani, you have to hire a guide and porters to carry your tent and all food supplies. We booked John’s Adventures even though they were a bit more expensive due to the good reviews on TripAdvisor (which we have used all the time on our trip, but they really need to improve their web design/usability!). Most people do the 3 day 2 night trek, but after reading up a bit more, we booked the 4 day 3 night trek so we could take our time. Doing it in 3 days requires you to hike 8 hours each day, and we didn’t want to commit to that. =)
We stayed overnight in Senaru at the base of Gunung Rinjani and did a waterfall hike in the afternoon where you can swim underneath. I didn’t actually go in the water (it was freezing!) but Mike braved it and went in. The waterfall is so strong though that he could only stick his hand underneath it. I think if you would have stuck your body under, it would have knocked you over.
Memorable moment of that hike actually was on the way back, we got charged by a large monkey! It was on all fours and just came running towards us like a badger. Our kid guide (he was 14) said don’t worry as long you as you have a rock in your hand to throw at it, it’s okay. On Lombok there are tons of these monkeys. What’s funny is that when you’re driving along the road, they’re all sitting there on the side railing just chillin and watching the cars go by. Kinda funny, like we’re their entertainment.