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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Lombok

Lombok is an island due east of Bali, geographically almost the same size of Bali; Lombok is a quiet alternate to cheaper- not as cheap and tranquil as in the past but better and cheaper than Bali, but don't get me wrong, i still love the Ubud side of Bali nonetheless. After-all, Bali was my second solo backpacking trip, it's a sentiment that's so primal and essential for my crafts.

Climate
Lombok has two seasons, wet and dry. Wet season generally runs from November to February, with heavy monsoon rainfall, humid and hot. Dry season from March to October, fine weather with clear and hot temperatures around 28°C. Breeze through the month of August to September. Best travel month from May to September. (and of course, due to global warming, this is probably inaccurate)



Average Costs
Accommodation
   1. Dorm (Backpacker)- IDR60k- 110k
   2. Budget Hotel- IDR110k- 225k
   3. Three Stars Hotel- IDR200k- 350k

Food
   1. Local Market- IDR10k- 25k (local eateries store)
   2. Local Restaurant- IDR30k- 55k (Fried Rice, Noodles)
   3. Beach-side Restaurant- IDR55k- 80k (Taliwang Chicken, Curry Dish, Fish)
   4. Seafood Platters for Two (Lobster, Prawn, Fish, Squid, Oyster)- IDR400k

Transport
   1. Taxi from Airport to Senaru- IDR300k (included in hiking trip package)
   2. Taxi from Senaru to Senggigi- IDR350k- 400k (included in hiking trip package)
   3. Taxi from Senggigi to Airport- IDR250k-300k
   (There are shutter buses as well)

Activities
   1. Mount Rinjani Trekking via Senaru
       - Rim Hike 2D1N- IDR150k- IDR160k
       - Lake Hike 2D1N- IDR150k- IDR160k
       - Summit Hike 3D2N- IDR340k- 350k
       (Green Rinjani offers most reasonable rates, also support tree planting!)
   2. Snorkeling- Gili Islands (Trawangan, Meno, Air)- IDR650k -900k
   3. Diving-

++Shot on Nikon D700 + Nikkor 105mm f2.0 occasionally Nikkor 20mm f2.8 & GoPro++ 

SENARU- GATEWAY TO MT. RINJANI

Touched down Lombok Airport, we were picked up by trekking agency, 2 hours ride from Airport to Senaru. Checked in Pondok Senaru Cottages arranged by trekking agency (Green Rinjani). So, you just need to source out your trekking trip, they will arrange everything for you (well almost). A basic lodge but the best view and strategic location (600m above sea level), it sits right in front of Sendang Gile waterfall entrance. Settle down our belongings and head for waterfall, an easy 20 min walk down a graded trail from Senaru Village.

Pondok Senaru Cottages Restaurant with an amazing view.

Breathtaking!

Clean and super cold!

Pool at Sendang Gile isn't deep- but good enough for a soak amongst the stunning surrounding.

Night falls around 6pm local time, we had a quick dinner across Pondok Senaru for some nice and simple local food (Fried rice, Noodle). 

Ready for the rim hike.

Nominated as UNESCO World Geopark.

TREKKING MT. RINJANI

Mount Rinjani, a spectacular attraction in the heart of Lombok, a second tallest volcano in Indonesia, stands at 3,726-meter. An active volcano, last eruption in October 2004. Tourism in Lombok flourished from the growing trekkers and hikers, despite the dangerously active volcano, people are allowed to climb all the way up to the crater. On top of the volcano is a 6-km wide caldera, contains hotsprings and partially filled by water coming from crater lake, "Segara Anak". 

This is not a trek or hike for everyone, trails are steep and slippery, it takes 5.5 hours to rim, 1 hour rest. Before the climb, make sure to have just enough clothes for hike, and windbreaker for an overnight stay at rim (10-12°C). 

Hike through savanna and forest area.

Lunch break at POS 2, after 2 hours.

It's amazing that how these portals manage to carry stove and gas along the hike and make a feast!

1 hour rest, my thighs started to cramp due to the weight of camera equipment :(  

Path begins to rise, elevated steep and slippery.

Hike through the sandy path.

Tree planting :)

It get colder nearing the rim.

Hike from POS2 to POS3, 2.5 hours.

It gets tougher with sands and rocks trek, thigh muscle at its max capacity.

Beautiful surrounding during the hike. 

It took us 5.5 hours to our basecamp.

Drift like clouds, across beautiful lands, an unfathomable journey of endless awesomeness!

6-km wide caldera.

Crater rim, Breathtaking!

All pay off despite the difficult trek!

Dinner over sunset above clouds.

Endless scroll of awesomeness!

Temperature drop abruptly after night falls, it was freezing! Windbreaker and long john is highly recommended, without proper wears, we spent our night hiding in the tent. 

A night of thousand stars.

Awe in nature's best combination of beauty and danger, desolate yet so beautiful, a demanding trek of muscle and strength, makes it worthwhile. Trekking down Mount Rinjani took us another 4 hours, putting fitness level onto another round of test. 

Break of dawn, mountain top bask in sun.

SENARU TO SENGGIGI (GILI'S)

Got back to the Pondok Senaru to collect our luggage, carry onto our next adventure, Senggigi, another 2 hours private car ride to Sengigi, included in our trekking package. Reached Puri Bunga Beach Cottages, sourcing for a next day snorkeling trip to Gili's. A hotel worth recommend, room is well equipped, large, with a open air bathroom; we had a room at the top, it was a bit of effort getting to the room especially after a hike, but we had great view.

Trying out some of the local cuisine at Senggigi Town.

Arching from northwest corner of Lombok, Gili Islands are three islands where the sand are powdery white and water in sparkling turquoise. 1.5 hours boat-ride from Senggigi Beach to Gili's island (Trawangan, Meno and Air). 

Snorkeling!

IDR900k for an 8 hours Snorkeling with private boat, we are free to stay as long as we want at any of the 3 islands, pretty luxury for the service! The Gili Islands were only discovered 30 years ago by seafaring Bugis people from Sulawesi, and was later developed into a hippy party islands. 

Last night at Lombok, stroll along the town of Senggigi.

And yes, we did splurge a little bit on the last night, seafood platters, red snapper and salmon!

The Taman Restaurant.

LEAVING LOMBOK

We spent 5D4N in Lombok, an endless scroll of amazing adventures from mountain top to sea bed. A place more than just a mirror of Bali as acclaimed by many, this is special. Witnessing unbelievable view from rim top, a fantastic feat of accomplishment. A sad note was the amount of trash not only at campsite, on the trails as well, I'm glad we'd opted for Green Rinjani, they didn't leave a single trace of trash behind, and we managed to plant 2 trees along the trek.

Breakfast at Puri Bunga.

The Hangover.

JW.