We are leaving Bali on Thursday the 8th of November to Gili Island with Antoine and Malik.
A bus and the fast ferry from Kuta brought us in less than 5 hours to the first Gili Island: Gili Trawangan.
As soon as we step onto the white sand beach, thousands of locals come to you to sell you their cheap rooms, hotel or restaurants. The good side of it is that you can negotiate on the spot with them. Caroline starts to talk with one of them and will finally negotiate a good room for the next days.
Originally, we planned to go to Gili Island only the three of us (Antoine, Malik and myself) .
However, we had some communication issues (in French) and Malik bought 4 returns ticket. So Caroline came with us,. instead of staying by herself in Bali. Which, I think is much better.
We planned as well to stay only the day and leave Gili Island by mid-afternoon to reach our trek start point in Lombok.
No communication issues this time. Two events make us to decide to stay a bit further.
First, Gili Island itself. What a nice place, white sand beach, warm and clear water, snorkelling sites at your hotel doorstep with thousand of fish and turtles. It is as well an island where life hasn’t changed for the last ten to twenty years… no cars, no bikes but just horses and “caleches” and bikes. Hum, ok, I guess this is more a tourist thing. But anyway, it is good to be away from busy, noisy and stinky Kuta in Bali.
Secondly, we managed to book a trek including a start from Gili Island including the 3 hours transport to get to Senaru (public boat and car)
So we have decided to spend the whole day and night in Gili. I guess sometimes, you need to make some tough decisions in life.
Next morning, we leaving Gili at 7am and starting our trek from Senaru at 11am. On schedule.
Our guide is the young Adi, 21 years old who does this job since a year.
The other part of our group is composed of a couple from Singapor and two porters who carry 25kg of food, tent, sleeping bad and water on a bamboo stick…
They left Senaru around 7am, so basically, we have to catch up before the lunch break.
Today program is 2000m climb up to the first rim of Rejani crater where we will spend our first night. The first part of the climb is in the jungle very hot and humide.. We are sweating so quickly…
Our young guide is from Lombok like the rest of his family. Compared to Bali, Lombok is composed in majority of Muslims. People are nicer maybe due to the fact that tourism is not yet developed as its sister Bali. People says that Lombok is like Bali 40 years ago.
Today, after 20min of trek, he is already tired. He says he hasn’t done the trek for the last two weeks (it is currently the “low” season), so he needs to get back in. Antoine tells him he can carry his bag or take some weight off. He will refuse until finally he gives Antoine two full bottle of water. His bag weights around 30kg..
At the lunch break, we have caught up the porters and rest of our group. The porters are quite impressive with their bamboo stick and the weight they carry. I don’t know how much they are paid for this, but this make you realize that we are lucky. They don’t wear proper shoes, or trekking equipment as we call it. Just torn tee-shirts and a pair of worn tongues… wouahh..
After the break, we keep going up in the jungle but the sun disappears behind a thick fog. At least it is less hot, but we can’t see without difficulties the monkeys..
As we are approaching the crater rim, the fog and thick vegetation disappear to let the blue sky and short yellow grass. We can see now from time to time the crater rim although we are still 600m below. The last meters to climb will be the hardest ones of the days.
Finally we arrived: the view from both sides is beautiful and we are just on time for the sunset.
We can see as well the summit we will be climbing in two days.
The porters are already cooking for us a great dish. Maybe the best food I have ever eaten at 2600m.
We realize that we don’t need a lot to be happy . I will have to review my camping standards when I come back to Australia.
The next morning, Saturday 10th of November, we wake up at 5.45am to start going down into the crater where there is a lake.
This time it is 1000m to go down. Three hours later, we are at the lake and go straight to the hot water springs.
After a good lunch (again well done guys), we are climbing up back to 2600m but on the other side of the crater rim to be just underneath the summit.
The view is still impressive, but it starts to be hot again, although we are at 2100m.
Lucky us, the clouds are back and we completing the climb with a “fresh” weather.
The base camp is installed on the rim itself with on the right, the crater and the new cone (from 1995 eruption) and on the left the summit of the rejani at 3726m
Diner a 6pm with the sunset…
Once again, the view and landscape is breath taking. On the right hand a glass of tea, on the left hand, a Gado-Gado cooked at 2600m (much better than the one we ate at Bali ), the head in the clouds and the foot above nothing.
In the bed at 7pm, next morning we wake up at 2am to start climbing the last 1700m between us and the summit.
2am is quite rough, especially when you know it will be tough… A quick breakfast and here we go at 2.30am with your fleece, jacket, head lamps, pants..
The climb can be divided into 3 parts:
- The first one quite steeply to reach the second crete leading to the summit.
- The second one quite easy on the crete itself. We could rest before the third one
- The third one, the last one and the toughest one. The walk is very steeply, cold and windy (enough to freeze your hands if you have no gloves) and a sandy ground…
We walking the three parts without difficulties. But the little story this time is our guide. Again today, not in a good shape. At the beginning of the third part, he asked for a break where he fell asleep. But he didn’t wake up straight away, although we called him and even shacked him… We got scared a bit as we thought he fainted… We will leave him here, and catch up with him on the way down from the summit.
The last walk is really tough. It is called outside, but you are sweating underneath the layers of clothes you wear. The legs start to be painful, and the wind stronger and colder… At this time I have a bit of panic time when Antoine throws at me: “the sun is almost there”… I accelerate my pace cause I must be up there before the sunset.
But so happy and proud to be arrived at 3726m. A little sign, hand written, is left over for the pictures.
We are on the first seats for the sunset… We planned to stay 15min but finally stayed one hour talking with the other valourous trekkers. So it took us 2hrs and half to climb up which is not too bad, compared to the 3 hours / 3hours and half it takes in average.
The descent is another story. Done in 45 min… We just ran with behind us a large dust smoke. Adi was with us, and he litteraly flew.
Breakfast again, it is only 8am and we are awake since 6 hours..
We continue our descent still running until Sembalunlawang. We arrive black of dust everywhere. On the clothes, the face and inside the nose.
We are driven back to senaru at the back of an ute. This is not quite comfy. The road is not “flat” and to any Australian or European standard.
Back to Gili Trawangan at the end of the day where Caroline was waiting for me. My legs will be painful for the next 3 days.
A big thanks to Antoine and Malik for sharing this great adventure.!!!!