I’m just going to say it – I’m definitely in the minority, but for me, the trek was not worth it.
Why? It’s bloody steep and scary. I don’t know why I seemed to be the only one absolutely terrified.
We booked a three day, two night trek starting from Sembalun village, but on the way up on day one, I knew already that I would only spend that one night up on the crater rim and would go back down to civilisation the next day. Though, I was terrified about the prospect of having to go down. At night, in the tent, it took me a while to fall asleep as my heart couldn’t stop racing.
The start of the trek
One of our porters
Going up, I was scared, but I wasn’t terrified. I’ve always been more scared of going down then going up. Day 1 was hard, our guide and Artur had to hold my hand and pull me up in some parts, but I didn’t cry. Going down I cried at least six times. I didn’t have hiking boots so trekked in my running shoes. Though they look like they have a bit of grip, they turned out to be super slippery. The climb up the mountain from the Sembalun side is super dusty and this dirt is slippery. Artur literally had to drag me down the mountain. (After having gotten up at 2am to climb up to the summit and back.) I didn’t have much to eat for breakfast, so was lacking energy and my legs were wobbly, even when I was walking on flat ground.
Unhappy, midway down the mountain
Our group was a group of eleven, however four others decided to also cut the trek short and go back down on day two. Going down the mountain, I was an hour and a half behind the others, however we ended up running into them as they were carrying a guy who broke his ankle. We had lunch, where I gained some energy, and head off to finish the trek while the other guys stayed behind to help the injured guy. It was around 4pm when we finally reached the end and piled into the pickup truck for another one hour nauseating drive back to Senaru. Oh, and the trek left three of my toenails (including one big one) dead.
The view from the top, which I did not experience