Indonesia: No It Did Not Burn Down IX – Lombok: Meet Rinjani
You can see Rinjani from the distance only during good visibility, mostly when sun rises. During the day clouds wrap the crater. If you don’t know its contours you would be only guessing where it is exactly. Rinjani volcano is the only place in Lomboku entirely consumed by tourism. One- or multiple-day adventure tours are organized. The crater, however, takes usually three days. It is forbidden to go there without a guide as you can learn at many visitor centers. However, we happened to meet some people who were there on their own.
You can buy the field trip anywhere on the island. You would fare the best in the north, though. There is also the mountain. The two major companies organizing trips there are Rinjani Trek Centre in Senar and Rinjani Information Centre in Sembalun. You can purchase trip up Rinjani in ports (mostly Senggigi), in Lombok (south), or the islands north to Lombok. These islands are called Gili Islands. Gili Trawangan is the most frequented by people. Gili Meno is the smallest and least crowded. Gili Air is the closest to the mainland and basically combines the characteristics of other two islands. The best sunrise over Rinjani is view from the east of these islands. However, it is not particularly affordable to buy a trip to Rinjani on these islands. On Gili Meno, it would cost around 1 900 000 IDR per person (ca. 3 800 Kč). Various agencies have different offering of overnight accommodation quality (tents, foam mates, sleeping bags) or type of food they give you for a trip.
In the port of Bangsal we managed to cut down the price of a three-day trip to 1 100 000 IDR per person (ca. 2 200 CZK). We would be part of a group of 10 (had we paid more we would had been in a smaller group). It is necessary to be strict when bargaining. Our friends who had bought the trip just couple of days before told us they paid as little as 1 000 000 IDR, i.e. “only” 2 000 CZK per person. Truly the lowest price you can get. I mention the prices to give you some overview of how much you may pay.
Gili Islands is better to see only after the volcano. The islands are on the itinerary. In addition, it covers complete transportation from the start of the climb, then there is food, tent and foam mat rental, a guide, a bearer (if needed), the way back to the port + transport onto the Gili Islands. Tourists always leave their backpack at the tourist agency. People take only a small backpack. Inside should be warm clothes, sun cream, and a bottle of water. When we asked we always were given the latter. Also, take some fruits or cookies with you because the food the give you may not be enough.
So we are ready to set off! Be a part of our expedition. Join us in a tour along the crater’s edge which is going to start next Monday.
Text and photos: Martina Brožková
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