In summer 1997 I visited Indonesia for the first time. On the same day of arrival I reached Padangbai, the est-port wich connects Bali with Lombok On the next morning I took the ferry over to Lombok . After four hours the boat entered the port of Mataram.
My next Idea was to climb Mount-Rinjani the volcano in the north of Lombok which is 3726m high. From Senaru, a small village in the north, that is easy to reach by car. After I sorted out my equipment for the next three days ,we left the village on a small path towards a small house , where people pay the entrance fee about 3 US$. After the next 30 meters a second guy was shouting , a other house where we had to register .
I started with three porters, after a steep and slippery climb for about six hours we reached camp two, everybody was cooking tee and lunch . One my guides returned to his village. "You know tonight big ceremony at my village byebye...". On the whole trek we met many locals ,they carried offers for the gods. The path doesn't seem to get better for the next few hours. Big roots, mud and stones made the whole the pathquite hard to walk. After about nine hours we arrived at camp three, where a fire was burning and we started to cook dinner.
The next morning we left at 4:30 to see the sunrise, whit a great view over to Bali and the 3 Gili-islands we reached the rim after a two hours walk uphill, between rocks and stones. On the rim we had a short break to take a few photos of the scenery .Close where we reached the rim, we left in direction crater, a steep decent path between the huge cliffs that surround a blue lake in the crater.
In the crater
With my photoequipment on the back I had my
problems on the steep way down .Not so my guide,
he jumped from rock to rock.
Early in the morning a great view over to Bali.
Some locals we met ,came the same way up ,
climbing like masters. Porters bringing presents
for the gods, like this men with a ckicken.
From the lowland slowely the fog started
to cover the upper forest, so we could only see the silouettes of them.
A perfect time to take some good photos, I only had to wait for the
right moment while the fog was passing through the scenery.
There are hot springs close to the lake ,where me and my guide
had a hot bath in the steaming water. There are a few people who
built their tents not far from the springs.
After a 4 hour brake we took off to turn back to camp 3 uphill again over the
rim and into a foggy descend. A last look back in the huge crater where there's a little volcano still smoking.
On the way back to Senaru we took a other route. Back in the village we drank a last coke before I left to carry on to Sumbawa which was my connection to the Komodo-islands.
From Sape the est-port on Sumbawa, I tried to get a boat direct to the Komodo-island ,but at that time there was only one option and this was to take a boat direct to Flores. After 7 hours the ferry arrived at Labuhan Bajo. A small port, rich of fishing boats . After we I settled dawn on a nice place not far from the port, I met some other travelers ,they left to Ruteng a traditional village. So I joined them,and which we reached Ruteng after 4 hours Busride. A big place surrounded by some old straw houses.
After we left the minibus, some of the inhabitants came outside to check the new visitors, and invited us to see one of these houses from inside. In there was a old man sitting who hold a big book in his hands ,where visitors could spend some money and write their names down ,to support the village.
While the kids where playing outside the others spend their time inside the house. Soon as they saw my camera, my chance to take any pictures was gone. With their faces close to the lens trying to see something through it .It's always fun to show them some of their friends through the lens, that's also a god chance to take them on photo. Others hide behind doors, or run away while you try to show them .
From Flores we left for a fourday trip over Rinca which is a small Island before we reached Komodo. The trip takes about 45 minutes to Rinca, a short stop and the captain called us back. So the next stop was the place I was dreaming for a long time. Komodo Island known for it's huge lizards.
They reach a length of 3,5m, and are as high as a big dog when they stand on their frontlegs. A huge head and big eyes that follow each steps you do. A few years ago the locals use to hang goats upside down on trees, to show tourists how radical these animals are .But they stopped it for some reason. The architecture around these animals also has to be secure, so peoples build their houses 1 to 2meters high on wooden poles. Not a lot but a few reports where made that babies where missing in the villages .
Our guide told a young boy who traveled whit his mother, to stay close to her, because they do not have enough respect of a small creature like a nine year old boy! I heard only one story about a tourist who has been eaten by the dragons, he was Swiss !
Back to Lombok by boat
From Komodo we continued over the north of Sumbava to Lombok . During four days we spent on the boat, we had a great time, followed by dolphins and lots of flying fishes, two times a day the captain took course to the next bay for snorkeling above great coral reefs.
Between small islands we passed the calm sea, from far we could recognize mount Rinjani trough the clouds .
In Labuhan Lombok we spent the night ,before we jumped off next morning back to Bali