Our group reunited when we reached the vehicle stop. It was time for us to trek together.
Being always the hungry one, I took my pack of Nagaraya cracker nuts to eat as we started walking. No one seemed to share my enthusiasm for the crackers so I enjoyed it by myself.
Our tour guide also served as our paparazzi as she kept taking pictures of our group with her pink camera. We were informed that the trek could take one hour to one hour and thirty minutes, depending on our pacing. With the way we kept taking pictures at every stop, I figured we would be taking much longer than anticipated.
The trek started a bit easy with a wide road ahead of us. As we progressed, the path became more difficult. While it was still wide, some of the lahar have been chiseled away by the waterflow caused by the rains.
Eventually, the path became smaller and more rocky. There were also more undergrowth. We were already following a silvery stream cascading gently through the lahar and rocks. I did not have much of a problem with the water since I was wearing hiking sandals, but for the others who were wearing boots, much maneuvering was necessary to keep their footwear dry.
We eventually came to a stop with a water closet and a waiting shed for people to rest. It was probably around 30 minutes after we began. After the shed, the path got a little tighter and rockier and grassier. The test of hiking endurance was truly about to begin.
At the beginning of the stop was a sign that showed how long people can expect to get there. What was funny was it said "Young: 15 minutes, Adult: 18minutes, Senior: 20 minutes." I honestly think it's a joke that no one should take seriously. The guide told us that she does not know who gauged the time for that because she has not known anyone to have made it according to the sign, even for those expert guides.
Nonetheless, I timed my watch to see which category we belong according to whoever it was that defined the times. We kept on walking and surprisingly in good time. We did take a photo break somewhere, so I stopped my watch for that. When the watch struck 15, I shouted "we are out of your youth and into our adulthood!" And when it struck 18, I had to tell people, "folks, i am sorry to say, we are senior citizens already."
When the guide informed us that we were finally there, my watch struck 25 minutes. Ah well... we can not all be young forever, noh?
It did not matter how long it took us, however. When we saw the crater, we could not helped but be awed by its beauty.