Fisticuffs in Rinjani

Lembar, 19 may 2019.
We land on the island of Lombok after 5 quiet hours by ferry. We had to fight to find the right harbor in Padangbai and refuse the “tourist” offers for speed boats but the savings and authenticity was worth it! Direction Kuta Lombok
, by taxi since bus are still not proposed… The driver speaks about politics and hopes wholeheartedly that Joko (current President of the country, not the tennisman) will be beaten after recounting the votes, without which, according to him, Indonesia will again experience disasters like the last 5 years (it’s true that they were not spared: earthquake in Lombok, then in Sulawesi, eruption in Java, etc.). 3 days later, on the 22nd, the re-election of Joko is proclaimed.

In Kuta, we spend a few pleasant days exploring the surrounding coasts (Pink Beach to the East which is not so pink as advertised and a little pricey, Mawi and Mawun to the West that are worth its) and surfing in Gerupuk on rather easy waves (for Cléa at least). The area is beautiful, rural and much less crowded than Bali South (the other Kuta).

Mawi Beach, at low tide surfers are rarer

It is also appreciable to encounter a moderate-looking Islam, contrary to what we read in the guides.

As we are in trust with our host, this one offers us to organise a trek to the famous Rinjani volcano, the second highest peak in the country (3726m). We accept, pay and find ourself, after a few hours of driving along villages in recontruction, in Senaru the entrance door of the area. “The Agency” welcomes us and explains our future itinerary: 7km of forest/jungle, 2km on the final slopes uncovered, bivouac at the edge of the crater and… That’s all! Since the earthquake of July 2018, impossible to go to the Lake, neither to hot water sources nor to the Summit. We feel cheated and a little silly not to have collected more information. We debate, we argue, and after multiple phone calls we understand that many intermediaries took their share of the cake (especially in Kuta). We end up giving up by demanding to recover some of the amount back to compensate for the false promises. Finally the walk is great (2000 m of elevation) and the final view, at the edge of the crater, is gorgious. The small cone in activity and the Summit are beautiul, and we see even Bali, the sea and the Gili Islands in the early morning!

View of the Rinjani crater (last eruption in 2016)

During the night, at the bivouac, we also have the “pleasure” of hearing our Chinese neighbors chating without ever whispering… It is even more irritating than monkeys and our second Finnish neighbor finally signify them a “shut-the-fuck-up”! Efficient:)

Bali sea below Caldera

On the 24th we reach Gili Air where we finish this week in Lombok with 2 nice days of biking, beach ad sorkeling on this tiny piece of paradise!

Next step : Flores and its famous dragons !

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