Mt. Rinjani, Where the Community Manage the Treks

April 28, 2007 at 8:23 pm Leave a comment

Other peaks nearby are Mt. Baru, Mt Sangkareang, Mt. Buang, Mt Kondo and Mt Manuk. These mountains separated to each others by wide valleys and deep gullies with steep rock slopes. There is a lake called Segara Anak (2,008 m) on the valley Wes of Mt. Rinjani. The water smells of sulfur with temperature varies from place to place, from cold to warm and hot. An active volcano (Mt. Baru) is growing in the lake. Gunung Rinjani National Park lies within a major bio-geographical transition zone (Wallcaeae), where the flora and fauna of South East Asia meets that of Australasia. The National Park, one of over 40 throughout Indonesia, was established in 1997. For the people of Lombok, Sasak and Balinese alike, Mt. Rinjani is revered as a sacred place and abode of deities. The crater lake is a pilgrimage destination for tens of thousand each year. Pilgrims place offering in the water and bathe away ailments in the hot springs.
For visitors, the three-day Rinjani trek route from Senaru to the crater rim, down to the Crater Lake then on to Sembalun Lawang, is considered one of the best treks in South East Asia. Trekkers that are more adventurous aim for the summit, it best reached from Sembalun Lawang returning after four days to Senaru. To assist with conservation and ensure that communities on the boundary of the National Park benefit from tourism revenues, the Rinjani Trek is managed by a partnership of National Park officials, the public and private sectors of the Lombok tourism industry and community representatives. Community run cooperatives coordinate the Trek at the Rinjani Trek Center (RTC) in Senaru and the Rinjani Information Center (RIC) in Sembalun Lawang. Each has roster system for guides and porters, village tour activities and handicraft sales.
Revenue from tourism activities and entry fees is used for conservation, raining, management and assisting the National Park with maintenance of the Rinjani Trek, thus ensuring sustainability. Overseeing and supporting these activities is the Rinjani Trek Management Board, combining the authority of the central government (National Park) and local government (tourism office), with the voices of Lombok tourisms private sector, and the boundary communities. This institutional model is unique in Indonesia and considered an example for practical implementation of the ideals of ecotourism.
Getting There
The Rinjani Trek Center can manage the transport to Senaru or Sembalun Lawang. These two village can be reached by private and charter vehicle, or by public bus. Form the west, catch a bemo to Anyar, from where bemos travel to Senaru about every 20 minutes until 4 pm. If you are coming from, or going to, eastern Lombok, get off at the junction near Bayan (your driver will know it), from where bemos go to Senaru. To Sembalun Lawang and Sembalun Bumbun, from Kali Putih to the north, a few bemos run along the rough road to both villages, usually only in the morning.
Where to Stay
You can spend a night at the cheap hotels around Sembalun and Senaru area with varied price and facilities. It’s also possible to stay in private houses.
Dining Guide
Before start trekking, hiking or climbing, be sure that you already eat, or you can bring some food and drink from your places of stay.
Moving Around
If you want to go to the top, it might be better to go directly to Sembalun Lawang and start walking from there.
If you just want to go to the crater rim and into the crater, then you can start from Senaru.
Other Things to See or Do
Beside the mountain itself, other things for you to do or see is:
CavesOne of the three famous caves (Goa Susu, Goa Payung, dan Goa Manik), Susu Cave is a good place for self reflection and is often used as a place to meditate.
Healing Hot SpringsAiq Kalak means hot water and it is used to cure various deseases. One of the hot springs is named Pangkereman Jembangan which is meant a place for dipping. The water which spurts out of the spring is very hot. People also use the hot spring to make medicine from coconut cream. After dipping a bottle of coconut cream in the hot spring if the liquid becomes clear oily it can be used as medicinal oil. Then the medicinal oil is used for good things and is called Siu Satus Tunggal or in Bayan language Siu Satunggal which means that it can be used to cure a thousand kinds of desease.
Segara Anak LakeSegara Anak Lake is so wide it appears like the sea with its blue water. The name Segara Anak means child of the sea. Segara Anak Lake holds various mysteries and invisible power.
Local StrawberryThis plant grows along the route to Mt. Rinjani. It has thorns like the rose and the fruit is red like strawberry. It has a sweet and slightly sour taste and is good to eat when trekkers are hungry and thirsty.
Eternal Flower or EdelweisThe plant or the flowers should not be taken because it grows in the park and in the mysterious world of the spirit kingdom. In the past, someone who wanted this flower must be brave enough to fight and gamble his soul. That is why the flower is called Sandar Nyawa. The flower has never wilted and is as old as the mysterious spirits.
The Peak of RinjaniThe people of Lombok believe that the peak of Mt. Rinjani is where Dewi Anjani, the queen spirit and ruler of Mt. Rinjani lives. To the south-east from the peak in a sea of dust called Segara Muncar is the invisible palace of the queen Dewi Anjani and her followers.
Mount Baru JariGunung Baru is the name of the new volcano which emerged in the center of Segara Anak Lake. People believe that Gunung Baru is the navel of Mt. Rinjani. That is why if Gunung Baru erupted it will not harm the people of Lombok unless the eruption is from the peak of Mt. Rinjani.
Souvenir Tips
On Lombok there is more crafts than art. The main crafts of Lombok are practical items made for everyday use, but showing great skills and finish, traditional techniques and natural, locals materials. You can take Lombok pottery and limestone, traditional hand weaving, wooden mask, boxes, primitive carvings also Lombok pearls as part of your souvenirs.
Travel Tips
The climb is not to be taken lightly ! You definitely need good hiking boots. Once you arrive at 2700 m (crater rim) it tends to get cold and windy, so you need warm clothes. Don’t go there during the rainy season since paths will be slippery.
It’s better to have your own sleeping bags. But, if you don’t have one, they can be hired.
Tents can be rented

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