Thursday, 31 December 2015

Rinjani Travelog

Bismillah.. a throwback to a dreamland I never thought of reaching. :)

It was initially planned 3 months ago. It was initially planned for 5 person. Arep, Cipeng, Azam, Ami, and myself. Small in number that I thought Ayah wouldn't approve this trip. Small in number that some friends would think it would be too dangerous, especially when they hear "Lombok", and they'll start to talk about its old dark secrets hehs. But, that was the past. That was the old Lombok, though I am not too sure if nowadays people would still escape to Lombok to kahwin lari. But one thing for sure, our main purpose was to hike Mt Rinjani. :) It was only 2 months before 'the day', and only after the bookings were done that we started our own training; alone, or together. We planned, and planned.. but He has other plans for one of us. Thus, from 5, it became 4 at the very last moment, just a week before the day we fly. Tapi nak buat macam mane? Hikmahnya ada untuk dia, insyaAllah. Countdowns from months, to weeks, to days, and in disbelief, suddenly we were left with only a day. Excited, but more of an anxious. Glad I wasn't the only one feeling so. Aha.

12 June 2015, it was. The four of us. Embarking on the journey to reach our self-proclaimed Dreamland. Hakhak. Felt rather excited with a tinge of thrill to travel with only friends, for the first time, though it was only Lombok, Indonesia. But at this kinda age, I guess that's when your parents really entrust you in His care, so long as we do not put a stain to their trust. :)

It was a tiring 3-hour flight, plus a 1-hour flight delay. So instead of reaching on time, we landed safely in Lombok an hour late from the expected arrival time. Plus immigration queue and procedures, it took nearly two hours from the initial planned time. And the person in-charge to fetch us already waited for two hours -- Mas Memes. Kesian dia. He said, "Saya sempat tidur tadi". Haha. It was only 8pm then. So he drove us to some restaurant for dinner. One of the good restaurant known for its spicy cookings. It was good and tasty, and not to forget, pricey. Hahha.

We reached our lodge - Rinjani Base Camp -  located at Senaru, around quarter past 11pm after around some 2-hour drive from the restaurant. The road towards Senaru during that time was so quiet, very quiet, that it woud send chills down your spine, macam drive kat kampung2 pukul 2-3 pagi. But I was too sleepy, I just slept anyway haha. As soon as we arrived, Mas Haerul Azmi - the owner/organizer - welcomed us. I think he's in his 30s. We quickly checked in our rooms before we went out again for a short briefing on the next day's hiking plan.

From the restaurant open view, in the dark of the night, we could see the shadow of Rinjani. That, already sparked some excitement in me. Moreover when I saw multiple dots of stars above. Mas Azmi said that we'd be able to see galaxies, and shooting stars and even more stars when we reach Rinjani later on. After some brief but compact overview of what the route to Rinjani was going to be, we head back to our room for some rest.

In the morning of 13 June, we woke up, all fresh and all prepared with our stuffs to bring for hiking. Lempeng pisang with hot tea were served.

It was a 1-hour drive from Senaru to Sembalun. Breezy morning along the way, moreover when we were reaching Sembalun, as it is already about 1000m above sea level. With drove past the Sembalun village, with fresh air to breathe in, and beautiful scenery to look at along the way. 

---------p/s: Whatever I wrote above was written 1 mth after the hike (july) and only today (5 months later, final day of 2015), I shall continue with my story haha. Pardon the delay. Probably by now I've lost some memories of the journey but I'll try to share whatever I can retrieve from my internal memory. :) -------

At the starting point of Sembalun route. Approx. 9am when we reached. Applied sunscreen before we start off our journey. That's our guide, Mas Adit.

The route was fairly easy and flat (at first) that I was confident enough to say: "Kalau jalan camni je boleh je ni sampai atas". Haha that confidence only lasted for the first half hour hahaha we were already panting heavily by then. Anyway the view that we get along the 3-hour hike before reaching our lunch pit stop was amazing. You get the feel of being in some foreign country like India/NZ's mountainous area like in the movies.

Lunch at Pos 2. Didn't expect to have a complete set of meal like this. This is not packed food but the porters cooked for us at that point of time. Buah pun sampai 3 jenis. Aha. A hearty meal to fill up our tummy and boost our energy to continue with the journey after 3 long hours of walking.

At this point of the hike, we've already reached mist level. Cooling and refreshing. We had quite a lot of quick stops to catch our breath and take some photos. It would be a waste not to capture. :) and this was just before we started the "7 Bukit Penyesalan" as mentioned by Mas Azmi the night before.

The first 3 hills were o-k-a-y but tiring enough. We stopped for a quick rest as we reached every hill to catch our breath yang macam kura-kura semput. We met a group of Malaysians here who were going down and guess what? They were encouraging and at the same time discouraging us hahah sabar je.
But the 4th to 7th hill was the most challenging. Slippery tracks, annoying pebbles and steep terrains. The night before Mas Azmi told us while pointing at the route map, "Di bukit ini ramai yang rasa yesal, tapi mau patah balik tu udah terlalu jauh". I had to agree kahkah. The altitude was getting higher. We had to use our trekking poles to get a good grip and support. Furthermore, the dust from the terrain got into nose and mouth as we breathe. We didn't saw that coming thus facial mask was not in the list of things to bring.

But what amazed me was actually seeing the porters walk past us with all the stuffs placed and tied onto a pole and carried on their shoulder. Some of them weren't event wearing shoes or proper hiking clothes and equipment. They are just sooo katang. :(

Towards the end of bukit penyesalan. Faking the smile.

A short rest before the final hike before reaching the basecamp. Enjoying the view and feeling the mist.

Motivation haha.

Aaaaand we reached basecamp! :D

Let the rest of the pictures do the talking
(cos I'm tired typing)

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