The scramble to the top (altitude 3700m) was a bit of a mission - the final 1km was a
testing 45 degree scree-covered slope
. Marching on in the dark and cold with some difficulty, we made it to the summit and the view was well worth it. Going down was much easier as it involved some skiing down the lava scree and we continued down to the lake where there were some hot springs in which to rejuvenate ourselves. We kept going for what seemed like ages up the other side of the crater rim and down again the other side
before making camp. By the evening we had been walking uphill and downhill for 14 hours and it felt like it.
The next day we made it back to Senaru. This involved mostly walking in forest where we met some local monkeys who were happy to relieve us of our marie biscuits. From Senaru we took a bemo for a couple of hours to Sengiggi where we checked-in to a place with air con and hot water to recover...luxury! The 3-day hike up Mt Rinjani was hard work but definitely worth it.
From Gili Meno we travelled North across Lombok to a little village called Senaru, located in the foothills of Mt Rinjani (a volcano that last erupted in 1994). The next day we set off early with another English chap called Graham and spent a sweaty day climbing up to the crater rim of the volcano. Luckily we had a local guide to show us the way and a couple of porters to carry the heavy stuff. They made us look like wimps as they were all kitted-out in flip-flops! We made camp in the clouds that evening with a fantastic view of the crater lake. Someone had to be posted on monkey watch as the cheeky little things have been known to raid tourists' camps! After some tea it was early to bed as the next morning we were up at 2.30am in order to get to the summit in time for sunrise.