A Travellerspoint blog

Mt. Rinjani

Trekking the 2nd highest volcano in Indonesia, 12,224' (3,726 m)


Greetings from Labuan Bajo, on the island of Flores, following two awesome adventures. The first was a 3 day trek of Mt. Rinjani which included a little bit of everything.

We started out Wednesday morning by heading to Lombok by boat, and then to the trailhead by van. We each carried a day bag with a change of clothes, and we had a guide and porters to carry tents and food. Within ten minutes of starting day one, it began to rain. And then it started to downpour. This went on for about two hours straight but luckily lightened up following lunch. At lunch, our group of 7 merged with 3 others. All in all it included the three of us, two gals and a gal from the UK, an Irishman, a guy and a gal from Spain, and a French gal. While we were able to catch a little bit of sun once we arrived at camp, it was not enough to dry our clothes much. Once the sun went down, temperatures dropped, and it was quickly time to bundle up and try to get some sleep.

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Thursday started with a banana pancake breakfast, and the the hike down to the lake. The hike down was treacherous at points, and included stories of mishaps that had occurred in the past, which made us all feel good. We reached the lake, and the followed the outlet to a waterfall and a hotsprings, which we took a nice long break to enjoy. We then continued back to the lake for lunch and a quick swim. The afternoon threatened more rain, but we mostly only had to endure mist. It was pleasant hiking weather, as it kept the temperature cool. Camp for the second night was on the rim below the summit and above the lake. The clouds broke just in time to watch the sunset, and once it was dark, it was time for bed, as we had to get started early the next morning.

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Friday morning started just after 2am. We set off for the summit at 2:30, and Eric, Colin, and I followed one of our porters the guide had hired to take us to the top. He basically ran all the way up. We thought we didn't have a chance to pass everybody, but ended up being the first once to the summit by a fair margin. On the plus side, the stars were beautiful and we saw multiple shooting stars and satellites. On the downside, it was extremely windy and cold. An hour and a half after bundling up and laying side by side, it finally started to get light out. The scene was magnificent, and I wish pictures could do it justice. We then returned to camp for breakfast and to pack up, before spending the rest of the day hiking down. After hiking, taking a truck for an hour to retrieve bags, and taking a van back to the harbor, it was 5pm. We then returned to Gili Air for a night of solid sleep before embarking on our next adventure.

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Posted by tylerwein 03:11 Archived in Indonesia Tagged trekking backpacking rainstorm mt_rinjani Comments (0)

Exploring Gili T

Exploring the party spot of the Gilis, Gili Trawangen


Tuesday didn't have anything scheduled, so the three of us decided to go explore the largest of the Gilis, Gili Trawangen. We walk around the island, stopping a few times to cool off in the ocean. The island definitely had a younger feel than where we have been staying and overall felt much more touristy and less backpacky. It was much more mellow than Kuta, but seemed very busy compared to Gili Air.

When we got back to Gili Air, we ran into the Iversons again, and after a dip in the pool, joined them at their hotel for a beer and dinner. Colin, Eric, and I were all grateful for a break from our standard dinner places.

Tomorrow morning we are catching a boat to Lombok, where we will embark on a three day trek up the tallest mountain in Indonesia, just a couple thousand feet shorter than Mt. Rainer.

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Posted by tylerwein 15:52 Archived in Indonesia Tagged ferry gilis gili_trewangan Comments (1)

Its Been a Few Years

Running into old neighbors, half way around the globe


Yesterday morning, Monday, started like the last few. I grabbed my book and head to the beach or pool to get some morning reading in. As I was making the short walk down the main path on the island, I saw three people on a morning jog in my direction. As they got closer, I realized I knew them. It had been well over a decade, but thanks to Christmas cards and Facebook I knew it was the Iversons, our old neighbors. We chatted briefly, shocked that while we knew we were going to be in the same part of the world, randomly running into each other was still a slim chance.

The bulk of the day was spent on our last two dives. The first to Sunset Point and the second to Bounty Wreck. The first dive had a lot of turtles. Certainly the most I had ever seen in that short of a time span. Unfortunately the afternoon dive had choppy water and low visibility. The wreck, a sunken platform, was interesting, but overall it was the least impressive dive of the trip.

After diving, we decided to check into the possibility of exploring one of the islands tomorrow. We found the information we needed on the daily ferry and then Colin and I walked to the resort where the Iversons were staying to see if we could find them. Luckily, I was able to find Dennis and over the next four hours or so, we all caught up and laughed about some distant memories. For example, I supposedly broke a pink shoe shaped bike thing of Brittney's. Whoops...

It is amazing how small the world can be sometimes.

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Posted by tylerwein 15:44 Archived in Indonesia Tagged diving scuba neighbors gilis gili_air Comments (0)

Diving in the Gilis

The first two full days on Gili Air diving and enjoying the beach


Saturday and Sunday have both been spent mostly in the water. Colin and I have both completed 3 dives, two of them with Eric. Eric is only a couple of dives away from completing his course and he should be done tomorrow. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of all the awesome creatures we've seen. Between the 3 dives we've seen baby white tip reef sharks, an octopus, multiple turtles, eels, the entire cast of finding Nemo, plus too many more types of fish to name. Other than diving, we've been reading, walking the island, and trying to eat at as many different small and cheap restaurants as possible.

Tomorrow we will all be doing two more dives to round out our diving experience in the Gilis. After a down day on Tuesday we plan on starting a three day trek of Mt. Rinjani on Wednesday, and then embarking for Komodo/Flores on Saturday.

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Posted by tylerwein 07:11 Archived in Indonesia Tagged diving scuba gili_air 7seas Comments (0)

Finally in Indo

Arriving on Bali and spending time in Kuta

Found a way to get the pictures loaded finally.

I landed on Bali in the evening and split a cab with a gal from England headed to the same area as me. After some wandering, I was able to find Colin and Eric. By that point it was getting late so we grabbed dinner, had a couple beers, and played some cards before going to bed.

Thursday was spent at Kuta beach, doing our best attempt at surfing. Overall I would say it was a rather successful effort. During lunch, we walked the streets and booked our fast boat tickets to Gili Air. I was surprised by how westernized the area was, with large malls, nice shops, and fancy hotels. With the bars and clubs it very much seemed like the Aussie version of what Cabo is to the states.

After spending all day at the beach, it was time for dinner, more cheap fried rice. Its hard to complain about prices. Eric and Colin haggled for some knockoff sunnies, eventually feeling like they didn't get ripped off.

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Friday we hopped on a van headed to the harbor in order to catch the fast boat to the Gilis. It was a pretty easy trip between 4 and 5 hours. Once on the island we found a place to dive that also gave us a free hostel stay because we're diving. Eric started watching videos for his certification class and Colin and I did a bit of snorkeling and wandered around the island. I think it took 40 minutes to make our way through the villages in the middle, to the other side, and back along the beach.

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Today we get to start diving. Its been a little while for me and I am excited to get back in the water.

Posted by tylerwein 06:37 Archived in Singapore Tagged bali surfing kuta turtle gilis gili_air fastboat Comments (0)