Many say that Lombok - Bali is almost, but without the huge influx of tourists. To some extent I agree - something from Bali in it. But it's a whole different world, rather reminiscent of Java, except that a desert.
Lombok - medium-sized island, lots of Bali. It is one released peak - Mount Rinjani, and lots of hills. Lombok - a volcano, it is the beaches, this field is a village, it's a wild jungle. Just a little bit. Unlike Bali, Lombok Island Muslim, so that everywhere the mosque. But, as we were told later, local Islam is not quite standard - it has incorporated elements of old folk beliefs. Prayer is read only 3 times a day instead of 5, as usual.
All the people who were taken us very well spoken in English. Airport on Lombok big and new, so it's a lonely place soon became a popular resort, as its famous neighbor. We were on Lombok four days - one spent on the beach, and three to climb mountains. But about everything in order. We stayed in a hotel on the beach just north of the popular tourist town Singiggi. The fact that we are not in the town, we learned just arrived at the hotel late at night from the airport. Hotel (Alang Alang Beach resort) is small, but with a true Indonesian style. In Balinese style. With two swimming pools and a private beach. We had a gorgeous room with a large terrace (although I ordered the cheapest). Soap and the food was served in a stylized beige ceramic pot, fed delicious. Beach with white and black sand on the half, a small amount of coral - but they do not interfere with swimming. By the way, the corals are very beautiful and unusual - white, blue .. I found fossilized jellyfish! And the sea - a warm (but not hot, as in Singapore), and completely transparent blue! And, of course, clean. The waves are small, and you can swim and swim. To get out of it you do not want! On the shore pine and palm trees. Paradise.
We were almost the only occupants in the hotel, in spite of the tourist season. We were told that the main flow of tourists hanging out in the Singiggi. Took the bikes went to see. Located along the main street travel agencies and cafes. Locals pretty pristavuchie, but hearing and eye pleasing inviting treasured words on signs - Sumbawa, Sulawesi, Flores .. All of these islands of Lombok is easily accessible - with tours or on the shuttle (and apparently the ferry). Influx of tourists did not notice - sometimes met white people, but mostly the streets and cafes were deserted (maybe the fact that we were in the middle of the day?). The main road runs along the beach, with its stunning views of the bay and the islands of Gili (where drained and more tourists).
The evening began our trek. We booked it through a company Rinjani Trekking Club, which is the only appropriate answer to my questions in the letters. In the evening they took us out of the hotel and taken to a guest at the starting point of recovery, which began the next morning. Hike to three days (or rather, two and a half) and two nights in tents included food, guides and porters.
In Rinjani can walk without an organized tour. But be sure to take a guide. It costs much cheaper, but the tourist himself should take care of food, tents, water, wood, etc. Can also be ordered separately porters (they unfortunately are quite a penny, and have loads 40+ pounds!). But all this is easier to do if the long ride and when you have all of the equipment itself. For the same disposable and short-term travelers like us, easier to order complete with tour, which, though more expensive, but provides full tourists all possible comfort on the mountain.
We were brought to a simple (but quite expensive) Guest at the foot of the mountain. He is the only one in this village, so if you do not want to get up at 3 in the morning and three hours to go before the start of the path, we have to sleep in it. In the morning, wake up in the morning before 6i. Promised us to come at 6:30, but came after .. We ordered 7 and tomorrow and for a long time waiting for him. Logistics, alas, is lame (why not order the night before and did not make our exit at 6:30 ??). As a result, at the beginning of the ninth, we finally reached the road.
On the mountain there are two routes - from the village Sembalun Lawang (Sembalun Lawang) or from the village Senaro (Senaru). Sembalun (1150 m), from where we started, is at 550 meters above Senaro (600 m), so go out of it a little easier. Mountain - is a huge extinct volcano standing ring of several kilometers. In the crater there is a lake with enticing blue water. And in the middle of the lake - the youngest volcano (baby, Gunung Barujari), there were only 7 years ago. The standard route - a climb Rinjani, the outer ring (2650 meters), go down to the lake (2000 m), then back up to the crater (2650 m), and go to another village, so as not to pass through the same place twice. The path from both villages is divided into three "position" in terms of rest. Position 1 near the beginning, before the second walk a little more complicated. A 3 position is before the steep ascent to the top.
We came out of Sembaluna and moved first to pochtirovnym fields in the mountains. On our side of the route to the rise of the first two segments was quite insignificant. We have stunning views of the alpine meadows and mountains. Indonesian cows were grazing around. Lombok on their necks tied wooden bells, so all fields worth musical din, which differs from ksilofonovoy music Bali, but still something with it echoes. This live orchestra filled the air, diluting the heat and trilling insects. At times, the field crossed the ravine filled with stones - as stone rivers. These rivers we have not seen. The further we went, the more the Avalanche streams meet. The stones were cold and metallic, it is not similar to sedimentary rocks. Before lifting fed us lunch. I must say that all three days were fed for slaughter and very tasty. Rather complex dishes prepared with lots of ingredients. The kitchen looked like a standard Indonesian (and not at all reminiscent of Bali), but was much tastier than in Java or Sumatra. Our dinner viewed Hungry Monkey, resembles a regular long-tailed macaques, but with a thicker coat and less arrogant face.
The landscape has changed. Boulders of lava became more grass less. Trees periodically come across at any height. Was cool - we entered the cloud layer. I used to think that you are inside the cloud in a daze (from the airplane window is exactly what it seems), but in fact there is no fog - just tight white sky and the sun's heat does not go inside. Rather like a dome. The air is a little wet, a strong wind blows. Going from this becomes much easier. The climb was quite heavy, especially us the habit. When we went up above the clouds, the wind stopped and the sun was shining, though, is not particularly warmed. The last 100 meters up seemed endless, but finally we are on the rim of the crater! We are seeing a ring volcano, but the lake and the baby hidden veil of clouds. The sun was still high, but soon it will be hidden behind the opposite wall of the crater. On the background you can see the sun Agung - the highest mountain in Bali. In the other hand - flat top Sumbawa. Gradually cloud over the lake swam through a single valley in the chain and we saw the crater lake. Small volcano remained hidden his acting parent.
Our guide and porters promptly pitched tents us, including a separate toilet (in the absence of the bushes it was needed). In the distance were other camps, but the tourists were not very many. Wind at sunset and had not increased dosmatrivaya sunset and the stars immediately hide "home." The kit includes a sleeping mats and thin-litter. Dinner of fried rice again was a success.
We woke up before dawn and we rushed to meet the dawn. As always, in the mountains, he inexpressible. The sun rose, and the wind died down, but did not get any warmer. We had breakfast and headed to the most difficult day in the campaign - we had to go down to the lake, climb back into the crater and back down half way to the bottom. Already starts to hurt and indignant feet barely survived the first descent.
In contrast to the hot sulfur lake in the crater Idzhena, it turned cold. On the banks besides tourists were full of local fishermen .. Who would have thought that in the salty volcanic lake with fish! Fishermen mostly residents Sembalun Lavanga, are extremely disrespectful to his native land. Constantly gets wrappers, wrappers, toilet paper and feces all the way to the lake, especially along the banks of killing the romance. Ten minutes from the beach, in the only river flowing out of the lake, there are hot springs. He beat out of the rock and around stones fenced person whirlpool tub for four. Made their way from the bottom of the cold keys, so that you are sitting in the pleasantly warm water, and then the ass and looking froze. Air at two thousand meters is not hot, so that even the sun cool. Hot spring went well, but after any desire to go anywhere, let alone climb the mountain for another three hours, completely lost. Even immersion in cold lake did not return fighting spirit. But nothing to do, had dutifully immerse yourself in lunch and climb up.
This rise is famous for its steepness. We were once again pleased that chose the path precisely in this direction, as to descend on the slope would be extremely unpleasant. Again passed through the clouds, we lost last breath and finally were over. It offers a great view of the serene lake, shining blue in the bright rays of the sun tending to the clouds, to a small but formidable volcano and the hole in his hillside just below the crater, and of all the impressive volcanic ring of the parent.
But to enjoy the views we have not had for a long time - had another three hours of descent more than a kilometer, which wanted to have time to finish before dark. The first hour and a half way passed along the sandy slope on which we have fallen countless times, as tired legs stubbornly refused to stay on a slippery surface. Then we went into the jungle. Became warmer, but darker. Now had to ride in the roots of trees that would be even much nicer sand, but accumulating fatigue did not give proper feel the buzz. Descended slowly, and although almost did not stop to take photographs, came much later than expected and the last hour of walking along the dark. Jungle around mysteriously rustling, whistling, squeaking, but their inhabitants no we have not met.
That night our tents stood next to the other in the middle of the road. It turns out that there are a huge number of fans to walk through the jungle the night away, so do not sleep soundly. But dinner and breakfast curry soup with pineapple and tomatoes (rendered divinely delicious) went to cheer. The last three or four hours of descent in the morning already starts to hurt his feet seemed like an eternity. Our good porters for the last spurt gave us a stick, which greatly facilitated the process. Last hour walking along the village - around the fence of bamboo uveshenny marvelous flowers and huts made of palm branches. It is evident that people live very rich, but you do not feel sadness.
Senaro where we finally arrived, three very famous for beautiful waterfalls. Unfortunately, fatigue and lack of time did not give us the opportunity to see them. We got in the car and fast scroll wheel moved to the pier to catch the boat, pulling us in Bali, where we had a half day gallop around the island before the last overnight stay in Indonesia. We drove through the rice fields and villages - less heaped than in Bali, but no less lovely. Periodically come across horse carts, fun ringing in the street.
On the pier stood in line - boats and schedule time for their departure did not coincide. Our gone almost half an hour before. First we stopped at two Gili - Air and Trawangan. At last it was filled with loud noisy tanned Australian youth, which fortunately quickly put in ear earphones and fell silent. Two hours later, we landed on the shores of Bali ...