Paradise for Hikers, Rinjani, Agung & Bromo
Growing up in the Netherlands means no mountains or volcanoes and no exciting hiking trails whatsoever. When my parents took me for the summer holidays to Austria, Switzerland, and France I directly felt attractive to the massive mountains in the Alps. Many times afterward I’d visit France to do some hiking and cycling.
Now I’m living as a Dutch expat in Indonesia and I can assure you it’s paradise for hiking lovers. Indonesia as a country has the largest number of volcanoes worldwide. There are more than 400 volcanoes and 129 of them are still active. In the last 4 years, I’ve been blessed being able to climb a few of them and enjoy the wonderful sceneries from above the clouds.
Let’s start with one of the hardest volcanoes I’ve climbed last years, Gunung Rinjani. You can find Gunung Rinjani in the North of Lombok, Lombok is the Island next to famous and well known Bali.
If you start from Senaru it takes 2 days and 2 nights to reach the summit. I’d climbed this mountain with my younger brother and 2 good friends which motivated me to give everything to reach the summit before sunrise. Exhausted but proud that I reached the summit around 45 minutes before sunrise I found out that It was freezing cold at the top. All the people who came after me just before the sunrise did not experience the cold I felt at that moment.
You will never forget the amazing scenery at the top of the Gunung Rinjani, although it is hard to climb it is more than worth it. I enjoyed the way down less than up because my concentration was less that moment and I fall down a few times.
The Gunung Agung is the highest volcano on paradise Island Bali but the volcano is not active anymore. You can start your hike from Pura Pasar Agung or Pura Besakih, I’d choose to start from Pura Pasar Agung and from what I heard it was a good choice. To be honest I did not expect it would be a hard climb but it turns out to be. You will start around midnight and reach the top around 5 AM. The view is amazing and you can see the top of the Gunung Rinjani rising above the clouds. The track to the top is a bit dangerous because the road is quite steep.
Java is the busiest island in Indonesia with over 130 million people living on it. In the east, you can find Gunung Bromo rising above the clouds. Gunung Bromo is the most popular volcano on this island and climbed by many tourists every year. The climb is not so hard as the Gunung Rinjani or Gunung Agung but the view is magical. It’s the landscape which makes this place unique and totally different than any other volcano. It’s about 7 hours from the tourist area in Bali by motorbike but you can also choose to take the plane or bus. With 2392 meter it’s not that high compared to other volcanoes in Indonesia but the atmosphere is amazing. Gunung Bromo sits in the middle of a plain which is called the sea of sand and it’s a protected nature reserve. Bromo wasn’t hard to climb but the area inspired me so much that after I climb this volcano I promised myself to climb a lot more, and I did.