The porters of Mount Rinjani. Located on the island of Lombok, Mount Rinjani is Indonesia’s second highest volcano. Last year, 70,000 adventurers visited the mountain, including more than 27,000 foreign tourists from about 60 countries. Most of them used porters to carry their tents, supplies and belongings up the 3,726m mountain. Hikers begin the ascent from the villages of Sembalun Lawang and Senaru, where the porters come from. Some are farmers in the villages, but they are reliant on the income from work as porters. This area is well known for its production of vegetables, and also the export of its manual labor. Many men and woman here have spent periods working in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, as local jobs are hard to find. For less than $US20 a day, porters carry up to 40kg of stuff – in hot sun, freezing wind or tropical rain. They carry the heavy loads in simple baskets on a bamboo pole across their shoulders, and prefer to wear flip-flop sandals on their feet.
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