Mount Rinjani’s crater lake is named Segara Anak – or Child of the Sea – because of its blue colour reminiscent of the ocean. Alman, our guide, had shared that it was formed when the volcano’s predecessor, Mount Samalas erupted and collapsed in 1257, leaving the caldera lake behind.
A recent 2013 study revealed that Mt Samalas’ eruption was felt around the world – eight times as large as Krakatau’s (1883) and twice that of Tambora (1815) – possibly wiping out the ancient Lombok Kingdom’s capital of Pamatan.
This means that a ‘Pompeii of the Far East’ could well be buried right beneath our feet as we hiked across Mt Rinjani, blown away by the beauty. Who knew?
Hiking down to the crater
After our achievement unlocked up the summit that morning, it was time to hike down to the crater lake! Once again, the terrain this time was a bit different from before, mostly of steep rocks – requiring to go on all fours at times. The 3.5 hrs descend felt like forever.
Halfway through, we were almost shocked when we looked back to realize how far and steep we’ve come.
Bridges along the way to cross deep larva tracks
By the time we arrived at the lake (with much relief), it was almost dark. Just enough time to catch a glimpse of our perfect campsite by the lake before we had to whip out our headlamps for dinner.
Tranquility at the lake as night falls
It had been 2 consecutive days of trekking steep slopes and without shower. We were sticky as hell. Our legs were starting to feel the strain. Suddenly, hot springs in the middle of the night seemed like a brilliant idea.
“15min” our guide had said – and off we were.
For a good bath, we had to navigate through overgrown grass and steep rocks lit only with our headlamps. Of course, we started to curse ourselves halfway through for the bad decision, but all doubt faded away when we finally arrived.
The water was soothingly warm. It was an “aah” moment when we soaked our fatigued body full in the water. We switched off our headlamps and it was pitch black, except for the glittered sky above. For awhile, we simply laid there and let the water soothe our aching legs, watching the stars and listening to the thundering sound of the waterfall nearby, whose silhouette we could faintly make out.
You can imagine we had a really deep sleep that night.
The next morning, we were greeted with a gorgeous view of the lake.
Room with a first-class view
The sky and waters light up with the sun
Breakfast by the lake
Curious about where we hiked last night, we decided to go check it out after breakfast. And this was what we saw:
A completely different experience in the day
Worth a hike for the second time
The place reminded me of Middle Earth, I couldn’t stop humming the Lord of the Rings theme song in my head.
It was truly amazing how different the two hiking experiences were. Luckily we had decided to check it out again – how oblivious to all these beauty we were in the dark!
This time, the shallow hot springs pools didn’t seem as appealing though.
Soaking only our legs this time
We decided to go back for a swim in the lake instead.
A super refreshing dip
The porters also taught us how to catch fish with…. rocks. Seriously, they simply scanned from the surface for any signs of movement and skilfully threw a rock to concuss the unsuspecting fish. Without any rod or net, they actually managed to catch tens of fish!
A huge bunch of fish
And fried it!
Additional food for lunch
Silly KT had tried very hard to fish too, but to no avail, losing the spear to the fish instead.
What a great way to spend a relaxing morning The day at Segara Anak – waking up to the morning rays on the mountains, trekking to the waterfalls, swimming in the clear blue waters and (trying to) fish - was probably my favourite of the trip.
Picnic lunch by the lake
After lunch, it was time to pack up again and head upwards to the other side of the crater rim.