When coming to Indonesia I was looking forward to seeing some lave. Apparently this is not possible anywhere in the country nowadays :(. Still, volcanoes are pretty awesome.
Next one on the list was Rinjani (3.7k) in Lombok. I went with my friend from Gili. The night before starting the climb we slept at a local family house in a nearby village. They had 10 chicken!
Rinjani is big business as it is not far from Bali and a porter at least is required and there is a step entrance fee. We try to dodge these unfair restrictions but we couldn’t as the local mafia wouldn’t rent as a tent without the porter. I wouldn’t mind the huge fee if they use the money to take care of the place. That was not the case, plenty of rubbish at campsites. We didn’t load our porter with any extra weight and the path was easy to follow and even we let him to stay at the campsite when doing the final climb to the summit.
The climb was tough and the views and landscape terrific. There were hot springs and and amazing lake with a small volcano in the middle.
It was great and we enjoyed it a lot but I was missing the friendly atmosphere from Semeru. Semeru was very social with a lot of sharing and encouragement words. Rinjani is about business and bule in package tours mainly. In these expeditions very often servants outnumber masters. You can see porters heavy loaded with chairs, lots of foods and drinks, setting toilets… A good option if you want to have in the mountain the same comfort standards as at home, strongly recommended if you suffer for colonial times nostalgia.
Someone can tell me that this creates jobs and it is good for locals. True that. They just have to sell out the place and local values to the tourist and construction industry to get money. It maybe a fair price, and they can follow a growth model that clearly have succeed in countries such as Spain or Greece.
After so many volcanoes I am thinking about adding “volcanoes” to the interests section of my CV, right between reading and anal sex.