We stopped at the strategically placed Post 1 just in time. These Rinjani route developers knew what they were doing because Post 1 springs up right about the time you are ready to give up and head back down the trail. Oggy and Titi had moved on ahead to Post 2 to prep lunch, so our short stay at Post 1 was what I like to call a Baby Break.
Sadly, I started taking these Baby Breaks every 50 steps or so. Bless Royal for never, ever criticizing me and my baby breaks. Hell, even he was singing, "Post 2, where are you," every five minutes. See, it's not just me!
Anyway, when we show up at Post 2, Oggy and Titi are in the midst of preparing lunch and I straight up collapse on my little sleeping pad. I dozed off into a full half hour nap before the best little lunch ever was laid out in front of me: fried tempeh, rice (nasi) and noodle soup with a big fat hard boiled egg floating around in the murky broth. It was delicious.
Then the rain came...and of course I didn't have a rain jacket, since I'd opted not to bring one--that whole hauling thing again. No matter, it was gone in a flash and I was already filthy, muggy, and sticky. I welcomed the rain and just wanted it to wash all my misery away (or at least my legs misery).
When you come upon the crater rim, it's pretty dang majestic, especially since you have just navigated your way through clouds. Lots and lots of wet cloud whispers. The boys had already RAN ahead, made dinner (fried rice with shrimp crackers) and set up my bright blue tent (away from the other trekkers, per my instructions). I also don't like being in the midst of crowds...I guess I have issues, huh?
We'd gotten up there just before the sun started making its way toward the horizon and it was honest-to-God freezing. Once again, I was totally unprepared, but I was so happy to be able to lay down that I didn't care. Royal led me down a path to some fresh springs so I could rinse off, and I came out more caked in mud than when I went down. My motto had become, "If we go down, we must go up..." and I was so depressed to head downhill to this pool of spring water. That meant I had to climb again...agggghhhhh! My boy Royal was chipper as a mountain goat, though, just leaping across rocks and gleefully scrubbing his face and feet. Clean as a whistle, that one...and belting Indonesia love tunes the whole time.
I was totally delighted to have made it through Day 1, though. To quote a bit from my journal writings on that lovely evening---written by candlelight in a tent perched on a crater rim watching wild monkey's watch me, no less...
#1 Holy f*cking sh*t
#2 Holy f*cking sh*t