JIPP's WORLD

…….The World Without Boundaries

I Left my Heart at Rinjani

Written By: jipp - May• 09•15

I have come to find out that the beauty of Rinjani doesn’t lie on the mountain alone but it comes in packages. When I went up to the summit, I thought I had seen it all. But it was when I came down from the summit and descended further and further down to the danau (lake) that I found out that there was much more of Rinjani then the view seen from the peak – or even from the rim.

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I couldn’t even begin to describe how ‘mysterious’ Rinjani was as our guide led us onto one of the most amazing treks that I’ve ever come upon. I didn’t read about the trek at all so I had no idea how it was going to be like. Having just come down from the summit attack, it really was a struggle. Somehow I managed to get my momentum back so I was doing quite OK. My buddy Rao wasn’t quite up to it so he really was struggling. In fact, he was kinda dragging his legs down the very rocky trail and he had to ask us to stop every now and then for a breather. But seriously, the trail and the view along the way were just so amazing. It gave me that feel of being lost in the middle of nowhere. It was heavily misty so everything seemed surreal and mysterious. We knew we were going deeper into the valley but we didn’t know how much deeper we were actually going.

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We were quite happy because the rain had miraculously paved way for bright sunshine when we were at the summit and the blessing had continued on until we returned to the (first) camping site. But as we descended to the lake, the rain had returned to claim its portion of the day. By the time we reached the lake where we’d stop for lunch, it was raining like crazy. I hastily slipped out of my backpack and headed for the lake to see it up close. Looking down from the peak, I really thought that it was a dead lake without any inhabitants because it looked quiet too green for a livable lake. But seeing it up-close, I was quite surprised to see a lot of fish swimming in it. In fact, people would go there to fish.

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“I’ve had some wins. And been knocked down with defeats. Glimpsed views from the top of the mountain. And walked through the darkest of valleys. But through this entire ride called ‘a life’ – I’ve refused to give up” – Robin S. Sharma

Looking down to the lake from the summit was already a wow, but looking up at the mountain from the lake was even more breath-taking. There was the towering Rinjani and the volcano that continuously spews smokes from its crater. The reflection that they made off the lake made it such a perfect picture postcard. I let myself be fully soaked in the beauty before continuing on with a heavy heart. We made our way up to the rim – this time with more challenges not only for the fact that we were trekking against the altitude again but also the rocks and fell to the trail from wherever they were up there before.

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It was almost dark when we arrived at the second camping site. It was already bustling with many trekkers had already had their tents up. People were chatting and laughing and some would just holler which was quite beyond my understanding. But then, it was all about having a good time so I was quite OK with it. We followed our guide to some isolated corner of the camping area where our porters had already set up the tent for us. We were so exhausted that we actually went into the tent and never went out ever again – not until the next morning. I did wake up a few times when the tent shook because of the very strong wind but I was too exhausted to do anything about it. I just kept going back to sleep.

It was the next morning that I found out how beautiful the scenery was from the camping site. I could still see Mount Agong in the far distance and the overpowering shade of Mount Rinjani spread across the sea all the way to Bali. It was one of those times when the word magnificence was best defined.

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I pushed my way up to the upper ridge of the hill where people would go to to see the sunrise. Too bad that there was another hill that obliterates what would have been a great sunrise view. Still the morning sun made the panoramic view from the hill so amazingly beautiful. I could see right to the top of Rinjani and most of the lake – which was now a sparkling blue probably because of the bright morning sun. Again, the view that I saw from there that very morning would stay in my head for a very long time.

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After having breakfast, we packed up and made our way down to Senaru. It was an all-descending business so it was a great relief from all the suffering that we were made to go through the day before. I took the time to soak in everything – the view, the atmosphere, the nature, the freshness of the mountain air, the greenery – everything. As we descended further, the grassland paved way for a green and lush forest, which is one of the most beautiful forests that I’ve ever come upon. There were all kinds of sounds – the sounds of nature as I’d call them – and I couldn’t help but feeling so blessed to be there to experience it all.

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If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere – Vincent Van Gogh

After 5 hours of the leg-breaking descending journey, we were back in Senaru and before I knew, it was time to leave. The company provided us with transportation to Senggigi – a very beautiful town on the south coast of Lombok – as part of the package. 3 hours on and we found ourselves in Senggigi, at a brand new hotel called The Sunset Hotel. It was sad to leave Rinjani quite so immediately but it felt so good to be back to civilization again.  Heh.

It was almost impossible to have a shower up at the mountain so it was a payback time. Quite almost immediately after I unpacked everything at the hotel room, I headed for the swimming pool and let the water do all the job in the world to free me from whatever dirt that I caught while trekking for 3 days and 2 nights back at Rinjani. Water had never been tastier on my skin. I thought I could just sleep there for the whole night. Heh.

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I had my very last glimpse of Rinjani as the flight that I was on cruised further and further away from Lombok International Airport the next morning. I would be long gone but all the memory that I picked up along the trek at Rinjani would stay in me for a very long time. Again, it was always good to have another thing struck off the bucketlist. As to where I’m heading next – I have no idea. There are a few places in mind but I haven’t decided which one yet. Perhaps – just perhaps – climbing another mountain is not really a bad idea 🙂

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