When the Fog Lifts: October’s Your Shot/Travel
Published in the October issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine.
Photograph and text by HELMINADIA RANFORD
I first glimpsed Mount Rinjani and its and its beautiful crater lake, Segara Anak, a few years ago–from an airplane while traveling to my hometown of Flores, Indonesia. Last November, at the beginning of Indonesia’s rainy season, a friend and I decided to hike to Rinjani, an active volcano that rises 12,224 feet on the Indonesian island of Lombok. The trek to its rim is considered one of the most difficult in Southeast Asia. It was my first visit to Rinjani, and the hike proved more strenuous than I had expected. About an hour after hitting the trail, as we were passing through the rain forest, a downpour started, turning the trail into a small creek for much of the ascent to our campsite, situated just below the crater rim. We climbed steadily until dark. The next morning, we woke up at 3 a.m. and set out for the final push in order to reach the rim by sunrise. We had hoped for a great view of the smoking mountain. Instead, a foggy scene greeted us. After 20 or 30 minutes of waiting, suddenly the sun came out. The fog dissipated to reveal this gorgeous green lake ringed by yellow iron deposits. Capturing this photo was like a dream.
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