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Being a “yes girl” — it’s a philosophy I live by, and it’s also how I found myself on a three day expedition to hike Lombok’s sacred volcano, Gunung Rinjani, on less than forty eight hours notice. It’s been three days since we returned and I’m still walking like a robot thanks to stiff muscles.

We had a rough time upon arrival back to Gili Trawangan. Anders and I returned to a house that — surprise! — had no running water. Not really the most welcome discovery while caked in three days of dirt, sweat, and tears. After finally getting a shower around 10pm, I collapsed into bed only to wake up three hours later when the power went out. High altitude sunburns and a lack of a fan do not mix, and I spent the rest of the night rolling around in a feverish misery. With morning came the realization that my laptop charger was practically in two pieces and with the nearest Apple retailer over a day’s trav — oh wait, sorry, did you not come here to listen to me complain about a comically bad twenty four hour period culminating in me lying in the fetal position sobbing on the ground? You came here for travel photos instead? Mkay. Let’s move on then.

I’m still flicking through my photos and marveling that I was really looking at those sights with my own two eyes not so long ago. I’m itching to blog about this experience as soon as possible. For now, here’s a little preview in the form of Photo of the Week!

Photo A
Hiking Mount RinjaniAnders and one of our Herculean porters high above the clouds

Photo B
Hiking Mount RinjaniInside the caldera

Photo C

Week-112
Week-112

Ascending through the rainforest, and the view of Bali and the Gilis from the crater rim

Photo D
Monkey on Mount RinjaniA monkey hanging out at the base of the summit

Photo E
Flowers on Mount RinjaniBeautiful flowers welcoming us back down to sea level

Which photo is your favorite?

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48 Comments...
  • Lily
    August 4 2013

    They are all fantastic!!! I can’t wait to read the blog.
    I think photo D is my favorite… my they really all are amazing πŸ™‚
    Lily recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 4 2013

      Thanks Lily! Photos with monkeys always have an advantage… I think they need to have some kind of cuteness handicap πŸ™‚

  • Dave
    August 4 2013

    Tough choice between A and D… love the silhouette, but the vibrant colours are nice too… hmmmm

    • Meihoukai
      August 4 2013

      Thanks for voting Dave! I’m a sucker for silhouettes.

  • memographer
    August 4 2013

    All photos are great, Meihoukai!
    For me Photo D would be #1 for its uniqueness. Photo A would be #2.
    memographer recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 4 2013

      Yeah, we all commented when we were there how we liked the monkeys, as they reminded us we weren’t in Canada πŸ™‚ Definitely gives a unique sense of place!

  • Melanie Fontaine
    August 4 2013

    Wow, that looks like an amazing hike! I can definitely imagine how hard it must have been, though! πŸ˜‰ My favorite are B and C – I love the view in B and the light in C is incredible!
    I actually just started a Photo of the Week series as well – inspired by your blog, of course! Thanks for the inspiration! πŸ™‚

    • Meihoukai
      August 4 2013

      I’m so happy to hear that Melanie! You’re the second reader who has done so πŸ™‚ I’m honored.

  • SkΓΊli
    August 4 2013

    I can just see that porter doing squats or lunges with that load….So A is my fave!
    SkΓΊli recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 4 2013

      And believe it or not… they did it all in flip flops!

  • Paul
    August 4 2013

    Love them all! Great work. If I have to pick a favourite I’ll go with D, but they’re all fantastic.

    • Meihoukai
      August 4 2013

      Thanks so much Paul! The photography opportunities got me through the tough hiking bits πŸ™‚ Appreciate the kind words.

  • Jade
    August 4 2013

    Holy moly. These photos are all amazing, it’s so hard to choose a favourite! Think it may have to be A though- I’m a sucker for above the cloud pictures! I remember another you took hiking in Hawaii (maybe Maui?) and it was breathtaking.

    This hike definitely looks like one of those ‘Oh my God why am I doing this? *3 hours later at the top* Oh right yeh, that’s why!” ones… stunning!

    • Meihoukai
      August 4 2013

      Yup, I was thinking on this hike that the last time I was above the clouds (and not in an airplane!) I was in Maui. Good memory!

  • Kaitie
    August 4 2013

    Um, this may be my favorite POTW ever! I can’t decide between B and D, but these are all amazing! What an awesome experience.
    Kaitie recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 4 2013

      Thanks Kaitie! I have to say it is one of my favorites ever as well. Thanks for voting!

  • Steve
    August 4 2013

    I’ll go for photo D.
    Steve recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 4 2013

      Looks like the readers have spoken πŸ™‚ So far, it’s D this week!

  • MONKEY!!!!!!!!

    • Meihoukai
      August 4 2013

      Ah, it’s not often I can get a definitive vote out of you! Success!

  • Lindsey
    August 4 2013

    Man that hike sounds brutal! I can’t decide if photo d or the second photo c is my favourite. Looks like an absolutely magical experience πŸ™‚
    Lindsey recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 4 2013

      Thanks Lindsey! It really was, can’t wait to share the rest of the photos and stories.

  • Ben
    August 4 2013

    Looking forward to this! Your photo’s look ridiculously awesome!

    I’m possibly gonna try this in Indonesia in December! Some pricing details would be great.

    • Meihoukai
      August 4 2013

      Hey Ben, I’ll put a lot more details into my full post on Rinjani, but I paid 1,000,000 rupiah in total including transport from Gili, food, porters, everything. Hope that helps!

      • Ben
        August 6 2013

        Sounds like pretty good value, looking forward to the big post. thanks.

  • Rika | Cubicle Throwdown
    August 4 2013

    Hmmm, this might be the first photo of the week I can’t decide on! Well done!
    Rika | Cubicle Throwdown recently posted..

  • Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)
    August 4 2013

    We’ve been thinking about doing that volcano trek when we reach Lombok, but I’m worried it might be too tough for us, so looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it! The views look stunning!
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 4 2013

      It was a CHALLENGE! Definitely full details coming soon. But whew.

  • Steven
    August 4 2013

    Great photos Meihoukai!! I thought the man with the baskets in the first photo was a statue! Silly me. I’m torn… I like them all so much!

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2013

      Ha, no statues on Rinjani πŸ™‚ Just super strong porters!

  • Ron
    August 5 2013

    I like D also but not just for the Monkey, but because it reminds me of Crater Lake in Oregon. I have good memories as a kid hiking there.

    There was no Monkey and that does add! LOL

    Thanks

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2013

      Exactly! The monkeys were really the only thing keeping this like looking from any other hike in North America!

  • Dad
    August 5 2013

    All great and look forward to the post of the hike. I like C best because of the view from the rim

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2013

      I think I’m going to have that one framed. It shows all the places I’ve been to in Indonesia in just one photo!

  • Caty
    August 5 2013

    Definitely B. It looks out of this world.Love it, can’t wait to read the full story.

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2013

      Thanks Caty! Glad to see a vote for that one, I love it too πŸ™‚

  • Yvonne
    August 5 2013

    Photo D definitely my favourite with C a very close second! What an amazing adventure, looking forward to reading all about it!

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2013

      Thanks Yvonne! I’m excited to get writing!

  • Devyn
    August 6 2013

    Wow!!! Amazing photos!!! I definitely wish I had done this hike! Will have to go back.
    Devyn recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 6 2013

      I always like to leave a place with a few un-ticked bucket list items. Not that I need excuses to come back πŸ™‚

  • john bourke
    August 6 2013

    Dear Meihoukai,In my humble opinion, A,B,C,D are as good or better than most photos that I have seen in National Geographic ….ETC…Really good…any kin to that Adams guy ?

    • Meihoukai
      August 6 2013

      Thanks John, that’s a big compliment and I appreciate it!

  • Kristen Noelle
    August 6 2013

    What!!! These photos are brilliant… I can usually narrow it down to two if I can’t pick a favorite, but nope, not this time.

    You just must not have the ability to turn down a challenge, I love that.

    • Meihoukai
      August 6 2013

      Ha, thanks Kristen πŸ™‚ I had a hard time narrowing it down to just these to post!

  • Heather
    August 6 2013

    I like the monkay! Because monkeys=fun
    Heather recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 6 2013

      Ha, I usually agree, though I have come across some fairly aggressive ones across Southeast Asia!

  • A!!!!!!!!!!!!