Team! Steph and I have survived climbing Mount Rinjani! It was AMAZING! However it was also really really hard. The first day was about 8 hours of climbing up to camp 1 at 2666 meters. That wasn't too bad but was nice and hot. The second day however was a doozie.
We went to sleep day 1 at 8pm on the mountain and woke up at 2 AM to ascent to the summit in time for sunrise. Climbing by headlamp for 2.5 hours we arrived at the top at 5:15 a little early to say the least. Facing 2-4*C temperature Steph and I sat waiting for the sun to come up. Claiming to be cold and faking shivers Steph snuggled up to me. I however wasn't cold so I can only assume this was a plot to get closer. Clever girl.
Finally when the sun came up it was spectacular. I have lots of photos and may try and get them updated soon. However without wifi I can't get them off my phone (and there is nowhere to plug in my camera).
Following the summit we made it back to camp only to find a family of grey monkeys hanging out at our tents hunting for food. In total I counted 28 of them. At this point I discovered Steph has a fear of monkeys so once again I came to the rescue and defended her from these 15 pound enemies. I really am a hero. At one point I even carried the communal water (which I only dropped once when I fell).
Day two was long, waking up at 2AM we hiked more or less non stop until 4pm having gone from camp 1 (2666M) -> Summit 3700M -> Crater lake 2000M -> Crater Rim camp 2 2600M. Big day.
We hunkered down and slept, asleep at 7pm as soon as the sun went down. We got up at 6AM and hiked the remaining 9km to Senaru and collapsed. The last hour it rained which was actually quite refreshing.
The whole experience was incredible. The most spectacular of all was the two porters carrying 30kg each tethered to a shoot of bamboo and our guide who couldn't have been more than 100 pounds carrying all 20 (1.5L) water bottles. They had our tent, food, snacks, pots and pans. And not only that, they did the entire hike in flip flops. I couldn't imagine how much you would have to pay someone to do that in canada, but apparently they made "good money" (we assume around 100 000 Rb which would work out to 11$CAD a day) as opposed to being in the rice field which make roughly 20-30 000 Rb. Steph and I wondered where the water was coming from until our porter, a 29 year old veteran of 12 years on the mountain pulled out the first of many water bottles for us. We felt guilty and continually tried to double up but they refused to make us do any more than the minimum amount of work.
Additionally I don't know how to work this into my story, but the food, we ate beyond comfort every single meal, 3 times a day. Today Steph and I pleaded not to have lunch because we were still full from breakfast (And the previous dinner).
The tour group (John's Adventures) was one of the more expensive at roughly 200CAD a person, however in seeing the service we were given over the other groups on the mountain, it was worth every penny (we had an air mattress in our tent which they had set up for us before we got to camp each night).
Following the trek, we were driven 4 hours to Kuta Lombok. We got in late so I haven't seen much of the terrain yet, but it is supposed to be the quiet sibling of Bali. Similar beach and surf but no crowds which so far seems about right.
We don't know how long we will be staying here, we need to meet Corinne and Erich in Kuala Lumpur on the 20th, so time will tell.
Tomorrow, we surf and do laundry which desperately needs done following that hike. I will be tipping the night off with a large Bintang, the only beer I can find in Indonesia.
Take Care everyone!