Volcano Mt. Rinjani is one of the top trekking destinations in the world.
I was told by many it was one of the hardest treks they have ever done but so worth it. I knew it was going to be tough but I had no idea how tough. I was also told trekking the mountain this time of year was going to be even more challenging because the rainy season had just begun and they officially close the park Jan 1st for the season. How could I pass this up, it is a once in a life time opportunity? I said yes.
In my group, there were three trekkers, including myself, two porters, and one guide.
(I had so much respect for the Porters who were carrying up to 55lbs of our food water and camping gear wearing either flip flops or going barefoot.)
Since I was the only turtle among the hares, I was left to trek alone. Two hours before the crest I ran into another group from Belgium. They became my support team. When I injured my knee, they wrapped it up and found me a walking stick.
(Photos of the trail.)
I reached the top and discovered my group had arrived two hours before me.
The next morning the sun came up, the banana pancakes were on the griddle, and the view was a slice of heaven.
After much oohing and ahhing it was time to begin our descent.
(A baby volcano at the crest of Mt. Rinjani)
(The view from the east side of Mt. Rinjani shows the Gilli Islands and in the distance you can see Mt. Agung Volcano)
Again, I was left to make my way down without my guide or my group.
On this trek I was asked countless times by other trekkers; where is your guide? I said he is with the rest of my group.
I found myself taking on the victim role and becoming frustrated and upset with him because I paid for his service and he was not there for me. Especially on the second day when my right knee gave out on me and because I was too slow I also lost out on lunch.
I share this with you because I had expectations of how this trekking experience was supposed to pan out. When those expectations were not satisfied, I created suffering upon myself.
Approximately halfway down we stopped to rest, and I got separated from the Belgium gang and was asked to join a mother-daughter team from Holland. The mother had injured both her knees. They shared their lunch with me, and we gimped along together, and then Mother Nature decided to pay us a call, in the form of a monsoon. It rained for the entire rest of our expedition.
(Our trail under water as we exited the park)
(The mother and daughter from Holland,their porters and myself. I asked the guide to stand under the hatch back of the SUV to take the picture so my camera would not get wet.)
This journey taught me several things:
-Silence is a golden teacher. It’s here where I find my strength.
-Each person who enters my life brings me a gift.
-My expectations of how I think life should unfold can cause pain and suffering.
-A source more powerful than myself is always with me. It’s up to me to keep my eyes and my heart open to the gifts that are always being offered to me. Sometimes I don’t have to pay for them.