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Mount Rinjani Expedition - Ascending

The start of the journey always not a problem at all, as everyone all us is fully energize and excited to rock the trail. According to Maman, it will took us around one and a half hour to reach 1st check point, POS1. The trail along the way is quite flat with some minor climb on certain part of it. We did pass through a rough 10 minutes walk across a small forest, and basically after that, it is no shade at all. The trail rolling from time to time but of course there is more on elevating to higher ground. Along the way, you will come across so many hikers that wish to challenge themselves, and also lots of potter that carrying loads up to 40 KG yet still walking faster than us! Overall, it is still manageable but with the load from our backpack stuff, it was quite a challenge too.

The weather of the day, perfect!

Most of the trail are along dry grasses covered with dust.

All those ninja are well prepared, but indeed they did a right choice.

Find a good spot and it is your public toilet here.

Two thumb up!

Priceless view on Mount Rinjani.

FLZ team both mentally and physically boosted on the trail.

Passing through a dry river.

First major climb to the higher ground.

Salute to all the potters along the trail, furthermore most of them just wearing slippers!

Walking through a small forest.

Group of potters and other hikers.

Good view is one thing, fully expose to sun ray is yet another problem.

At this point, everybody still doing well.

It will be a disaster to have fire on this wide dry area.

We are quite near now to POS1.

Here we are at POS1 check point.

Another 1.4 KM to go towards POS2.

FLZ team via POS1 check point.

Group of hikers resting at POS1.

Strong pretty lady with her pal and guide resting here as well.

Knowing that our lunch are waiting for us in POS2, we just have a slight rest here around 15 minutes before heading on to POS2 which was not far from POS1. From far, we can already see gathering point of POS2 and it only took us around 30 minutes to reach there.

Different from POS1, many potters have the camp setup here and prepare lunch for their respective hikers. Maman and Rendy bring us to our camp and we say hi to our potters, there are 5 of them in total. While waiting for the food to be prepared, we wander around and enjoy breathtaking view surrounding the area. For a brief moment, the cloud was so thick in the area that cause the sky to darken which looks like it going to rain, but seem it is only thick mist around the area, beyond the mist is still great blue sky and hot sun.

We have our main course and fruits which is well prepared by potters team before proceed with our journey.

Journey continue.

Don't assume, it was just sweating. :D

Another hike at the front to reach POS2.

There is some officer doing random check on this bridge to make sure valid registration is done to cross this bridge.

Here we are at POS2 now.

Next check point POS3, 1.7 KM to go.

Many tents and camps scattered around the area.

Waiting for our lunch to be prepared.

Our guides and potters.

Thanks for all the hard work throughout the journey.

Thick mist covering the area at these time.

Other group of potter preparing food for their hikers as well.

View towards the lower ground, we can see the edge of the island against the sea.

Colorful tents scattered around.

The thick mist slowly dissolve, and the blue sky had returned.

But our food is still not ready.

Finally it is ready, good combination of dishes to boost our energy.

Is time to continue our journey after the meal.

You tend to be loosen a bit after a great meal, hence we are kinda relax for the next phase of hike which is still quite manageable up and down hill road along the way. It took us another hour of walk to reach POS 3 finally. There are some other group that having their lunch break here instead of POS 2, probably to avoid the crowd there. Beside, there are also some group that start to setup their camp here as well, probably call it a day for their hike. We have a minor break here and here we go toughest part of the day waiting for us.

Strong Maman leading the way all the time for us even with only slipper!

Perhaps is the remainder of lava flowing through during previous eruption.

No rush, take a break.

Say hi to POS 3.

VS manage to get a spot under roof despite the crowd, what a genius!

The rest of the resting crowd without a shade.

Lots of monkey are here in the photo, try to spot them!

Some of the camper setting up their camp here.

Sneak peek to the next phase of.... nightmare.

Casual group photo before proceeding.

OK, from POS 3 over to our destination of the day, the Crater Rim was only another 2.2 KM to go. Well, we have plenty of time, and we are not worried at all as it was not too far either. However in reality, when we start to hike the path uphill just for a while from POS 3, we start to realize it was not easy at all from now onward. The trail getting more slippery, steepness level increase, and vertical step become at least a foot or two each step we are progressing. In my opinion, this was only the start of real hiking experience in Mount Rinjani.

There was 5 hills session here, with each of them have a small flat area for rest before proceed to the next one. When we thought that first 2 hills are tough, the reality told us the real meaning of tough on the other 3. Few of us really suffering throughout this hike session but due to the great weather on the day, we can see the peak very clearly along the hike, which potentially be one of the reason that motivate us to reach Crater Rim as soon as possible.

Here come the challenging part.

Each step is now tougher than what we experience earlier.

Fellow tourists having their rest before hitting the cloudy path.

Kim and Shawn having a rest too.

Over the cloud, the view getting clearer as we continue our hike.

Time for some rest, this should be the buffer area between 2nd and 3rd hill.

This is me.

Truly salute all the potters and the guides that working very hard along the trail.

Good flat area to rest before proceeding.

Start to see the blue sky!

This for sure boost of our adrenaline to continue our hike restlessly for a better view up there.

Manage to see the peak on far left now!

Almost manage to reach the end of 4th hill which reside in an area surrounded by many trees.

Look back at the path that we came from, what a hike!

Good place to rest with lots of shade.

Photogenic bald tree.

Priceless view toward the peak! Thanks for the great great weather!

Here we are at the buffer area between 4th and 5th hill, one more to go!

More time spend here just to enjoy this view, from this perfect angle.

Here we are, the six of us with the peak.

Solo shot - Kim.

Solo shot - Vooi Sian.

Solo shot - John.

Solo shot - Shawn.

Solo shot - Tze Siang.