Squeezing the most out of life | An Aussie and a Colombian living life with a wandering spirit. Eight years together & over 60 countries up our sleeves, we're sharing the love |

Hiking to the volcanic hot springs of Mount Rinjani


The second day would see us trekking all the way down to the volcanic crater lake for a soak in the hot springs and then back up again to camp on the other side of the rim. Basically about six to seven hours of walking. I was worried that after the effort of hiking the first day of Mt Rinjani that I wouldn’t be able to walk without a lot of knee pain.

Hardly anyone slept more than a few hours the first night – either from the cold or just general discomfort. The surprise for me being that I got up and walked around a bit for a stretch, no sign that my shit knee had been punished the day before, in fact I felt surprisingly good and ready for the down hill start. Thank Christ.


I can only put it down to bringing my own sleeping bag and keeping warm. Even though the trekking companies include tents, sleeping bags and a very thin ground sheet for you to sleep on, the quality of the gear is a little shabby. Because it gets really cold at the top of the volcano at night and the ground is a hard base of volcanic rock it’s actually difficult to get much sleep. I really wished I’d bought along my own sleeping mat after the first few hours of tossing and turning but the discomfort does force you out of bed before sunrise and the stars are incredibly clear right about then.


We set off downhill after a breakfast of super buttery banana pancakes and egg toasties. The cliff drop is steep and there are metal railings to hold on to along some of the way, regardless, it’s a very steep and slippery descent and you need to take it slow. Some poor girl tripped and died less than two years ago and it’s not the kind of place that you can easily get air lifted out of.


I set a cracking nana pace and focused on my feet, looking up occasionally to see the changing perspective of the crater. Eventually we made it to the lake after passing through a forest of pine trees, continuing down in to a valley of lush green until we reached some waterfalls. Huge waterfalls that dramatically pound the rocks right above a natural hot spring.


The hot springs are crowded, but so is the trail, people madly getting their sweaty trekking gear off to relish the heat flowing in to little natural pools. Even though you know you’ve got a tough, stink inducing climb all the way back up after lunch, the heat is kind of magical for aching limbs. We spent about an hour washing off the filth and then headed back to the lake for lunch.


Unfortunately the lake highlights the urgent problem facing Mt Rinjani right now – pollution. There are piles of rubbish all along the trail from people cooking – gas cannisters, plastic rubbish, water bottles and general filth, but around the lake the situation is very much in your face.


Stretching our legs eating veggie noodles in the sun, we were optimistic about the fact that we only had to make it to camp two, and from there we would be sitting right below the summit!

But the post lunch hike up was actually relentless and people were feeling the lack of energy after a sleepless night, a hot soak and a carbo loaded lunch. We pushed aside the thought of a lengthy siesta in the sun and started to hike. It rained for a couple of hours so we couldn’t see much, right when the trail turned in to hard rock, a sharp trail that could only be ascended with a whole lot of rock climbing and arm pulling action. It was really, really tough and along the way I regretted my decision to not bring a stash of Snickers bars.


Lidewei and I motivated each other to the camp site and when we got there the rain set in again. We couldn’t see a thing through the heavy white cloud, which meant we spent the night sitting in our tent chatting and trying to sleep, contemplating the 2.30am start required for the push to the summit – only 700 metres higher up but adding an extra 5-6 hours to the final day.

Could we do it, did we even want to?


For the other entries about the Mt Rinjani hike you might want to read day one and day three. I’ve added a few more images from the day here:

Social media whore us:

Related posts:

Floating around the sludgy markets of the Mekong Delta
Painting the town Chinese Red
Phuket - some people's idea of paradise
Back to Top

Write a Comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>