Rinjani by DC

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Segara Anak Lake view from Pelawangan Sembalun

The 2018 trekking season started on 1 April and this month Dian Cahyadi, co-owner of The Lombok Guide, climbed Mt Rinjani for his annual clean-up of the volcano.

Dian and friends climb Rinjani at the beginning of the trekking season every year to spend a week collecting rubbish on the trails and talking to trekkers about waste management… as well as enjoying their time on the volcano they love, of course!

This is the 5th consecutive year that Dian’s group has climbed Rinjani for their annual cleanup and waste management education project, and this year they collected just over 300 kg of rubbish.

That’s a sad start to the trekking season and we can only imagine how much rubbish will be on the volcano during the peak season in July and August!

Trek to the summit

At 3,726m above sea level, Mt Rinjani is the second highest volcano in Indonesia and arguably the most important tourist attraction on Lombok. Around 100,000 people visited the volcano during the April to December trekking season last year.

Rinjani is famous not just for its impressive height but also for its incredible beauty. The volcano is surrounded by tropical rainforest on the lower slopes with savannah plains on the upper slopes, and is topped with a jagged peak of rocks on the summit.

The huge caldera within the volcano is around 4 km wide and is almost filled by a beautiful lake, Danau Segara Anak (‘Child of the Sea’ Lake). The lake is around 230m deep and contains plentiful fish, as well as being home to birds and other wildlife.

Segara Anak to Aik Kalaq

Jutting from the crater’s edge, a smaller volcanic cone – Gunung Baru Jari – rises out of the lake, frequently sending out plumes of smoke and ash. This cone was formed a couple of hundred years ago and is still active, although it usually poses no danger to trekkers.

Everyone who climbs Rinjani agrees that the beauty of the volcano and its crater lake are well worth the gruelling climb... and yet, in almost all of the articles and blogs written about Rinjani, the writers lament the amount of rubbish that litters the mountain trails and the shores of the beautiful lake.

Over the coming months, thousands of people will climb the volcano every day, peaking during the ‘high season’ months of July and August, when the national park will be exposed to continuous flows of new trekkers.

Rubbish on the summitThis equates to potentially tonnes of waste being dumped on the trails leading up the mountain, as well as at the campsite on the lake.

Hence, Dian’s annual pilgrimage up the mountain to do a small part in picking up other peoples’ trash and talking to trekkers, guides and porters to educate them about waste management on Rinjani.

Fortunately, The Lombok Guide is not the only group doing this important work – over the years it has been very encouraging to see many other groups and even schools joining in this unofficial campaign to “Save Rinjani”.

This year Dian climbed with Rudy, Maman, Uncle 9, Mip, and Dai together with their awesome environmentally-aware porters, Hanan, Agus and Yurit. They spent 7 days checking conditions on the volcano and collecting rubbish, and came back with this report:

“As in previous years, the rubbish situation is very bad – even though the 2018 trekking season only commenced on 1 April. We were shocked to see rubbish everywhere, including on the summit!

Even though we have had numerous meetings with the government and national park authority – who have made half-hearted efforts over the past year – a real commitment to waste management has not been made.

Of course, part of the problem is education. Indonesians are notorious for just throwing their rubbish around wherever they are and nobody tells them not to do it. It’s a habit that’s passed down through generations and little has been done by governments to teach people any better.

Rubbish on the lakeThe problem on Rinjani is that there are no solutions. There are no established waste management systems: rubbish bins, rubbish collection services, land fill sites, composting toilets, etc.
It’s a problem throughout Indonesia but with Rinjani, we can at least target this one area... this one natural and beautiful icon of Lombok.

And so it was that we spent seven days picking up rubbish on Rinjani. Our group walked along the winding paths collecting other people’s plastic bags, bottles, wrappers and toilet paper.

The problem doesn’t only exist on the mountain trails. Walk a couple of metres off the paths and there are plastic bags and piles of rubbish from where people have stopped to have a break and have a snack. And everywhere, the toilet paper.

Even when we finally reached the lake, where many people camp when climbing Rinjani, our eyes homed in on the rubbish scattered around the tents.

Yes, of course, the lake is still stunningly beautiful and the volcanic cone of Baru Jari rising out of the lake is an awesome sight that inspires everyone who comes here.

But the rubbish that so carelessly disrespects this natural wonder made us all feel so frustrated.

Waste after campingMoving around the camps, we collected rubbish; sometimes silently, just letting the people watch, and other times, talking to the groups of local people and explaining what we were doing and why.

It made us so happy when others would start collecting up their rubbish too.”

Of course, waste management on and around the volcano should be the responsibility of the Mt Rinjani National Park Board (the BTNGR or Balai Taman Negara Gunung Rinjani).

The BTNGR collects billions of rupiah in National Park entry and trekking fees every year. From just 37,838 people who climbed Rinjani in 2013, by 2015 that figure almost doubled to 70, 705 climbers.

The official figures for 2016 were 93,018 people, with income earned by the park authority from April to September 2016 reported at Rp 5.085 billion (US $365,103).

In 2017, official figures total 82,779 – of which 39,659 park visitors were tourists and 43,120 were domestic travellers.  

Agus Budi Santosa, Head of the TNGR (Rinjani National Park management) said that income from Rinjani in 2017 totalled a whopping Rp 10,574 billion (approx US $760,000).

the lakeAs we approach 100,000 trekkers per season – and with Rinjani being awarded UNESCO Global Geopark status last month – it becomes imperative that the National Park Authority takes responsibility for waste management on the volcano.

10.5 billion rupiah equates to a hell of a lot of income from a mountain… and surely should be enough to cover regular rubbish collection teams, as well as provide solutions such as daily ranger patrols and decent toilets for trekkers.

In the meantime, we cannot afford to waste time waiting for the authorities to take responsibility.

For now, protecting Rinjani must be the duty of every person – local or tourist – who climbs the mountain. Before agreeing to book a trek, check if the local company will bring all rubbish back down at the end of the trek. If they don’t, find another company… there are plenty available.
If you love this natural wonder, the solution is in your hands – if you trek it up there, do the right thing and trek it down again.

Jika anda mencintai keajaiban alam ini, lakukanlah hal yang benar, apapun yang anda bawa naik ke atas Rinjani, seharusnyalah anda bawa turun kembali.
As we approach 100,000 trekkers
per season – and with Rinjani being
awarded UNESCO Global Geopark
status last month – it becomes
imperative that the National Park
Authority takes responsibility for
waste management on the volcano.
10.5 billion rupiah equates to
a hell of a lot of income from a
mountain… and surely should be
enough to cover regular rubbish
collection teams, as well as provide
solutions such as daily ranger
patrols and decent toilets for
Seiring dengan tercapainya 100,000
pendaki per musim pedakian - dan
dengan Rinjani yang dianugerahi status
UNESCO Global Geopark bulan lalu -
adalah sangat penting untuk Otoritas
Taman Nasional bertanggung jawab atas
pengelolaan limbah di gunung Rinjani.
10,5 milyar rupiah adalah jumlah
yang sangat besar yang dihasilkan
oleh sebuah gunung… dan tentunya
harus cukup untuk mendanai tim
pengumpulan sampah secara rutin,
serta menyediakan solusi seperti
petugas patroli harian dan toilet yang
layak untuk para pendaki.


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What's Hot

May is an important month for Muslims around the world as the holy fasting month of Ramadan will begin on 15 May this year.

Ramadan is a special time of reflection and self discipline for Indonesia’s Muslim community, with followers refraining from eating, drinking, smoking and extremes of emotion for an entire month.

Many people in Lombok will be following the fast, but visitors to our island shouldn’t let that worry them. Despite what mischievous people in Bali might tell you, it’s business as usual in Lombok!

All our restaurants and bars are open, hotels and resorts are doing brisk business, the weather is beautiful and visitors are welcomed at any time!

Come and enjoy your holiday and, if a local person asks you to buka puasa (the local term meaning to break the fast at sunset) with them, join them for the happy feast! 

A number of our restaurants and resorts will also be featuring special “Buka Puasa” menus during the month – so now is the time to try out some authentic and delicious foods that you will only find at this time of the year!

7 Secrets Resort & Wellness Retreat has recently completed construction of their stunning resort on Nipah Beach and is now open!

Nestled in the bay at the end of Nipah, just 20 minute’s drive north of Senggigi, 7 Secrets is a superb addition to high-end Lombok accommodation. No expense has been spared in the creation of a truly luxurious resort and the end result is breath-taking!

The magnificent infinity pool, L’Angelo Blanco Restaurant and the beach club overlook the picture perfect white sand beach at Nipah – one of the nicest beaches on the West Coast!

Visit during the ‘soft opening’ period over the next month and enjoy cocktails on the beachfront, culinary masterpieces from L’Angelo Blanco or a special menu for the fasting month in the Majesty Restaurant, which features the largest crystal chandelier installation in the world! See page 11.

Also new, White Elephant Restaurant at Puri Mas Luxury Spa in Kerandangan opens on 16 May!

Set in the lush and peaceful gardens of the Spa Resort, this beautifully decorated restaurant exudes style but, surprisingly, doesn’t have a high price tag.

Guests can relax in the genteel surroundings and enjoy all day dining (including all day breakfast), as well lunch and dinner from very reasonably priced menus. Cuisine focuses on well-prepared Indonesian meals and Lombok specialties, together with delicious international fare – all prepared in-house.

Freshly-brewed coffees and teas, fresh juices and full bar amenities are also available.

To celebrate the restaurant’s ‘soft opening’ during Ramadan, guests can enjoy a
delicious 3-course dinner with choices from the Indonesian menu for just Rp 150,000++ (with some tasty complimentary treats). See details on page 39.

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Gili Air Debacle

In late 2016, the NTB provincial government demanded the demolition of all buildings on the beachfront on the southeast coast of Gili Air – enforcing Indonesian building laws that state that any permanent buildings must be set back a minimum of 30 metres from the tide line on beaches.

Some businesses complied by voluntarily removing their beachfront buildings, while some were demolished by government teams and a few remained, locked in land disputes with the government.

After the demolitions, the government then started construction of a ring-road on Gili Air, replacing the existing road parallel to the beach. The new road ignored any previous construction and, in some cases, cut through existing buildings. Affected businesses were told to demolish the buildings in the new road’s path.

However, the government then turned its sights on Gili Trawangan – moving their demolition teams there – and didn’t finish the road works on Gili Air.

The new road couldn’t be used as it was only partially complete, leaving the ‘old road’ as the only thoroughfare for horse carts, bicycles and foot traffic on the island

Some businesses were stuck in limbo with a partially constructed road marked out along the beachfront and the existing road cutting through what was legally their land.

Late last month, the North Lombok government turned up on Gili Air to  enforce the ‘30m tide line building law’ and carry out more demolition of beachfront buildings.

There they were met by an angry mob of Gili Air locals complaining about the construction of the new road.

The North Lombok government (which manages the Gili islands) professed to know nothing about the construction of a new road and has demanded answers from the provincial government.

In the meantime, the North Lombok government has rejected plans for a new road and intends to revert to using the old road!

This means that some businesses who have already demolished their buildings to make way for the new road – and who have legally leased land from the provincial government and rebuilt their businesses as per the provincial government’s instructions – will now have their buildings demolished again!

It’s a crazy situation that leaves investors at the mercy of two different government offices who clearly do not coordinate with each other and who can give the order to demolish at a whim.

Investors beware!

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Orchid Day Spa and Beauty Salon celebrated its 10th Anniversary at Aruna Senggigi Resort on Sunday, 29 April.

Around 150 employees and guests enjoyed a buffet breakfast at the resort before heading to the pool for a morning of dancing and laughter, fun and games – with lots of prizes given away to lucky employees!

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The central government in Jakarta this year allocated a budget of Rp1.6 billion as initial funding for the construction of a bypass road from Lombok International Airport (LIA) to the Mandalika area in South Lombok.

However, the central government says this fund will now be cancelled and part of the fund will be used to finance the appraisal process of the price of land acquisition for the project and other supporting activities.

This was conveyed by H M Nursiah, Area Secretary Central Lombok, who said that the construction of the road is certainly going to go ahead but that the government would divert Rp 50 million to other areas.

“Naturally the central government diverted the budget, because the budget is for the physical construction of the road. Meanwhile, the land for road construction has not been acquired yet,” Nursiah explained.

“If the land is already available, then the construction process of the LIA - Mandalika road can go ahead,” he said.

“The central government prepared the budget, because it thought the land was already available. Whereas the local government can only begin the process of land acquisition this year, because the order was only ready at the end of the 2017 budget,” he explained.

“So this year we can only prepare the budget for the preparation of land acquisition. As for the budget for land acquisition, we are still waiting for appraisal results,” he added.

The result of appraisal will become the basis for the central government in preparing the budget allocation for land acquisition.

Funding for land acquisition will be shared by the Central Lombok government and the provincial NTB government.

According to the government, they roughly calculate that the road to be built is around 17 km long with a width of 100 metres; therefore the area of ​​land that must be acquired will be around 170 hectares.

Nursiah went on to say that if one hectare of land requires funding of about Rp 2 billion, then the government will need total funds amounting to Rp 340 billion to build the LIA to Mandalika road.

The central government has already allocated funds totalling Rp 1.7 trillion for the bypass project. However, because of miscommunication between the government departments, those funds will now be held over until the project can be commenced in 2019.

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Twenty-two Central Lombok residents have lodged a civil suit against Lombok government authorities, alleging abuse of their land rights when the government forced them to surrender their land to build the Lombok International Airport.

Although landowners gave in to compulsory land resumption back in 2010, they claim that they have not been fully compensated for their land until now.

The case has been filed in the Praya District Court and the lawsuit is being represented by lawyer Hamdan, of “Hamdan Law Office and Partners”.

“We are suing Angkasa Pura I [airport management], the Regent [Bupati] of Central Lombok, Zainul Majdi [the Governor of NTB], the Central Lombok DPRD [House of Representatives] and other related government offices,” Hamdan told reporters last week. “We will even sue the President to immediately fulfill the rights of the people not yet fulfilled to date.”

The lawsuit claims that the landowners have only received half of the payment for their land and that they were excluded from land surveys to measure the actual size of the land being resumed by the government; therefore there is no way of knowing how much they are still owed.

The residents, most of who live below the poverty line, demanded at the time that the land be re-measured with the owners present but they received no response from the government and Angkasa Pura (the airport authority) allegedly said that the matter was already finished.

“Based on this, the people have the right to sue the government and President Jokowi to immediately solve this problem, because so far the government seemed to cover the ears and close the eyes related to this problem. So we take the civil law path that applies in this country,” Hamdan added.

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lion airLion Air has temporarily closed the route from Solo (Java) to Lombok. The route is operated by Lion Air subsidiary, Wings Air.

A Lion Air spokesman said that some flights from Solo would be suspended for the time being “due to technical problems”.

The airline has suspended operating four routes from Solo, namely Lombok, Banjarmasin, Tasikmalaya, and Lampung.

The Solo - Lombok flights were halted on 28 April 2018 and the airline has not announced when flights will resume.

In separate news, Lion Air also announced that it would temporarily suspend flights between Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan and Lombok during the month of Ramadan.

Lion Air serves direct flights from Banjarmasin via Syamsudin Noor Airport to Lombok International Airport. The route will reopen after Idul Fitri.

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power banksA reminder to all our readers that power banks, lithium batteries, wooden matches and gas lighters are now classified as “dangerous goods” and cannot be carried into the passenger cabin on commercial flights in Indonesia.

The prohibition follows the issuance of an instruction by the Director General of Civil Aviation and is in accordance with stipulations published by theInternational Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and International Aviation Transport Association (IATA).

The prohibition applies to power banks with capacities of over 160 watt-hour (Wh) and is connected to past incidents in which these items have caught fire or exploded while a plane was in flight.

An in-flight fire occurred in China when a power bank exploded during a flight.

The ban on power banks is not absolute. Power banks rated below 100Wh can be carried on a flight. Power banks rated between 100Wh-160Wh must be approved by the airlines.

However, it is advisable to check with the airline in advance.

Power banks with a capacity exceeding 160wh are strictly forbidden in carry-on luggage and will be confiscated during x-ray screening.

The regulation applies to all domestic and international flights.

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©2018. Contributed by Malcolm Sinclair. Photos by Jack Stafford

Australian flagThe Dawn Service commemorating Anzac Day is a special annual tradition in Lombok, first hosted by The Beach Club in Senggigi for many years and now hosted by La Chill Bar every year.

In his opening address at this year’s Dawn Service, Malcolm Sinclair, Master of Ceremony, pointed out that although the day and date has its origin on the 25th April 1915 when the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps stormed the beaches of Gallipoli, the day had become far broader to include all those who have suffered at the hands of allied forces’ enemies in any conflicts.

This includes Indonesians who lost their lives or suffered under Japanese occupation.

He related that, during WWII in excess of 30,000 Indonesians, mainly from South Central Java, were rounded up and sent as forced labour to work on the Thai Burma Railway. There is no record of any returning.

Students from Lombok Learning Village conducted a major part of the Ceremony this year. The guest of honour was to be Pak Mangku, but unfortunately at the last minute illness prevented his attending.

Edy Romdam, Phoenix Warman, Jonathon McCarthy, Pak Mangku, Malcolm Sinclair, Missy May Renton, Stephen McCarthyPak Mangku is the Elder of the Village adjacent to Lombok Learning Village. Pak Mangku’s KTP (ID Card) says he is 91 years old; his family say perhaps older, he naturally claims to be a little younger. He only speaks Sasak and Balinese; virtually no Indonesian and no English.

Terry Renton, a teacher at the school, recalled meeting Pak Mangku and inviting him to talk to senior students. In Terry’s words, he was “a vessel of knowledge” on Lombok history – from the establishment of the Hindu Kingdom in Southern Lombok 600 years ago, the establishment of his village 300 years ago, knowledge of the first aircraft in Lombok and his personal recollections of the Japanese occupation of Lombok.

Senior students interviewed and recorded his recollections and have translated some, which were shared at the Ceremony.

Pak Mangku was present when the Japanese bombed Ampenam Harbour on the day prior to invasion.

He recalls children running excitedly to the beachfront when the bangs and splashes began, thinking they were fireworks – only to be terrified as the bombs started falling on the beach around them.

Late the following afternoon, the Japanese forces came ashore in landing craft with tanks and mobile infantry. They charged through into Mataram and, in no time, overwhelmed the token Dutch defences. The children continued to play in the bomb craters.

Another of Pak Mangku’s memories is when he, along with other young men, were forced under armed guards, to plant and tend cotton in the Batu Layer area to support the Japanese war effort. They were forced to work naked so as not to carry concealed knifes or steal from their captors.

The Lombok Learning Village Students participating were Edy Romdam and Jonathon McCarthy (Flag Party), and those relating Pak Mangku’s memories: Missy May Renton, Stephen McCarthy and Phoenix Warman.

Before closing, the MC mentioned two ANZACS  with close connections to Lombok residents that were lost in WWI and WWII.

Charles Ashbourne Treadgold, Tony Treadgold’s Great Uncle, who participated in the second wave of landings on the 25th April 1915 as a member of the 5th Battalion. On the 6th May, along with British, French, Australian and New Zealand forces, he participated in the second Battle of Karithia. He, along with 1,055 Members of the 2nd Brigade, were lost in one hour.

Evan Maddox’s father, Cpl Roy Wesley Maddox – a Rat of Tobruk – died of wounds on 15th December 1945.

As the sun rose over the beach in Batu Bolong, the gathering held one minute’s silence in memory of those lost to war.

The simple commemorative ceremony was followed by a sausage sizzle ‘Gunfire Breakfast’, where old and young alike reflected on the meaning of the day.

Anzac Day at La Chill 1 Anzac Day at La Chill 2
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Anzac Day at La Chill 5 Anzac Day at La Chill 6
Anzac Day at La Chill 7 Anzac Day at La Chill 8
Anzac Day at La Chill 9 Anzac Day at La Chill 19
Anzac Day at La Chill 20  
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Take Some Time Out

In the confessional, the young boy says: “Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I have been with a loose girl.”

“Is that you, little Joey Pagano?” the priest asks.

“Yes, Father, it is,” Joey replies.

“And who was the girl you were with?”

“I can’t tell you, Father. I don’t want to ruin her reputation.”

“Well, Joey, I’m sure to find out her name sooner or later so you may as well tell me now. Was it Tina Minetti?”

“I cannot say,” Joey replies.

“Was it Teresa Mazzarelli?”

“I'll never tell,” Joey mutters.

“Was it Nina Capelli?”

“I'm sorry, but I cannot name her,” says Joey.

“Was it Cathy Piriano?”

“My lips are sealed.”

confessional“Was it Rosa D’Angelo, then?”

“Please, Father! I cannot tell you,” Joey gasps in despair.

The priest sighs in frustration and says, “You’re very tight lipped, and I admire that. But you’ve sinned and you have to atone. You cannot be an altar boy now for 4 months. Now you go and behave yourself.”

Joey walks back to his pew, and his friend Franco slides over and whispers, “What’d you get?”

Joey smiles and says, “Four months vacation and five good leads...”

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