Friday, November 30, 2007

Rinjani - the trek Day 3

Day 3 -

Woke up to find it quite bright outside.obviously had
missed the sunrise. Me and Ila got out to take a look
at the scene outside. After a couple of snaps, Ila
(Yes, It is Ilavazhagan of "Thondan" fame) read
out his poem which he had composed probably last night.
Once he finds some time from his writing assignments,
I'll get hold of the poem.

After breakfast each of us set about finding a secluded
place to squat and u know do it.After a while of searching,
i managed to find a spot only to look up and find ravi
smiling down at me from about a hundred feet above me.
Oops!got to find another place. Finally everyone managed
to relieve themselves in privacy. We then set out for the
hot springs which was nearby. It was in fact a small
waterfall cascading in to a rather large puddle before
continuing downwards.The water was warm and we had
a hugely welcome bath after a couple of days.After the
refreshing dip, we headed back to the lake.And after lunch
we again started on the way up.

We found another party camped near us.We also found a few
more people on the way up.This stretch was characterised by
a lot more greenery,tall grass at first and then short shrubs.

It was quite tiring.There seemed to be two ways to overcome
the tiredness and increase the tempo.One way was to take a
deep breath and start walking really fast and keep pace with
the guide.This way would ensure a good lead ahead of the
others and so when you wait for the others to catch up and
then wait along with them, you have had an extended rest.
The other way was to detach oneself from the trek mentally,
either by chatting with a co-trekker (on any damn topic
under the sun) or just daydreaming.I did both at various
points in the trek. Other tactics were indulging in quizzing.
After a lot of climbing, we reached a spot where there was
a sign in the local language which said that the path ahead
was dangerous. Well it was definitely was a bit dangerous
as the trail narrowed down further and there was just about
enough space for a person to walk through. Lord of the rings
revisited. We could picture ourselves as frodo baggins
scaling the mountains to dispatch the ring. A few false
steps could lead to someone tumbling down a few hundred
feet.And with the load on our back, it was even tougher.
Still donno how those porters managed it.That's a lot
of skill involved apart from the obvious strength required.

Finally we reached the campsite at the other side of
the crater rim. We had trekked up to the crater rim,
went down to the lake in the crater and then trekked
up to the other side of the crater rim.The soil was very
dark and one could sense the volcanic nature of the
surroundings. Everyone got down to taking snaps of
themselves overlooking the lake. It became more misty
soon and the entire scene beame a bit spooky. We could
see gunung agung which is in Bali, the adjacent island
in the distance.

The porters were already there and had set up tents.
Some of them had gone to fetch firewood and soon
we had a small fire going. We drank some very watery
hot tea. Then made some soup using ready to make soup
powder. All these seemed like a gift from God for the
parched throats and tired bodies.

We were resting in the tents when someone called.
Went out to witness a captivating sunset. This was
one of the highlights of this eventful trek.
After dinner, we rested our tired asses as we had to
haul them up by 2 in the morning if we wanted to
catch sunrise at the summit.

Coming soon....The Grand finale...The Summit...

Rinjani - the trek Day 2

After nearly one year since we finished the trek, i have gathered whatever i can remember of day 2.Days 3 and 4 will follow soon.(Mind you...soon here is subject to the blogger's discretion).
Day 2-
I was welcomed out of the tent by droplets of rain. It was quite nippy. Slowly other heads emerged out of the tents. Breakfast was sandwich and fruits, biscuits and tea. Almost everyone polished off the sandwiches and biscuits in no time.
With the support party at POS II (pic:Leo)

I was struggling to finish off the fruits and
saw that the others also weren't making great progress. Except our man shyam. No evidence of anything that was once there on the plate.Ila gave up. For food appreciation,clinical precision in consumption, he was no match for the master.He said something similar.Can't rememer the exact words.
Well, breakfast over.what next.Fertilising the flora of course. It was still drizzling. The portable toilets that were promised were also not available. Each of us found a spot and squatted with our ponchos covering us.

Ila - On the way up to the crater rim (pic:me)

The trek resumed.Day 1 was characterized by thick vegetation and trails. day 2 brought out more of the volcano in rinjani. Dark grey soil reeking of volcanic debris interspersed with short bushes made for a picturesque landscape.The ascent was much steeper.For most of the trek, me and Ila were lagging behind.I especially found it tough at the start of day 2, more so because of the tripod in my bag which in the end was useless since i forgot the connector.I was really struggling and appreciated the company of an equally struggling ila.The occassional photo breaks also helped.We tried to ease the hard work by talking on just about anything under the sun from sivapurana to biotechnology.The terrain gradually changed to more rocky.A fairly long section of the trail was characterized by almost imaginary paths amidst the rocks.We were met on the way by an old lady who was coming down along with her daughter and son. She must have been atleast 60 years old.I was left wondering what on earth is she doing here rather than cooking for her grandchildren.Hope i would be as fit when i am as old.
After some hard work, we reached the crater rim.
The view of the lake from the rim was obscured by clouds.After the mandatory snaps, we headed dowhill towards the lake.The first few steps towards the lake was probably the most dangerous part of the trek.It was a near vertical drop.It was like getting down a rickety step ladder missing every alternate step.No frigging clue as to how the porters made it down with all that load.We saw them smoking their stuff and resting underneath. After

On the way up to the crater rim (pic: Ila)

walking downhill with a few ascents in between, we came to a point where we could catch a clear view of the lake and the volcano gunung baru at the centre of the lake.

Overlooking Gunung baru and Segara Anak Segara Anak - almost there

From there on we walked downhill without taking any major breaks along the way till we reached the lake. Finally...Segara Anak.It was huge. Shyam decided to go for a little swim.Had ila a bit worried as he couldn't get a sighter of his face.

Finally dinner arrived in front of a warm campfire. I had a bit of a headache and had lost appetite for food. Slowly revived by the warmth of the fire and by the encouragement of my companions, i had some food and some vodka. Dinner was rice and vegetable gravy which tasted like "aviyal".The non veg portion consisted of a piece of chicken. After dinner, decided to make use of the tripod (albeit without the connector),since i had taken all the trouble to bring it up here. We did manage to get some interesting shots.

Me, Ravi and Ila in front of the lake (pic:Leo)

Time to hit the sack.Made plans to get up early next day to catch the sunrise.As we eased into the sleeping bags, we could hear howling sounds which sounded more like wolves rather than dogs.Too tired to be afraid of anything,we knocked off.

The surreal threesome (pic:Ravi) The camp fire (pic:Ravi)

The panoramic view at the lake (pic:Leo)