We are still walking towards Chandratal Lake, and it is now in close sight, close being a relative term.
There’s a little blue tent on the left just up ahead, and we can see a few guys working towards the right, closer to the trail we were walking. There’s also a stone and tarpaulin shelter. And there’s that dog barking because we are walking into their vicinity.
I hailed one of the guys and walked up to him.
“Chandratal ke liye kaunsa rasta thik rahega?”
He pointed to the road we were on.
“Kitna samay lag jayega?”
“Aap jaise chal rahe ho, dedh-do ghanta (the way you are walking, 1.5-2 hours).”
Another two hours! I kind stopped and thought about it. Kaushal and The Wayfarer were somewhere on the trail behind, having parathas. Better to wait.
“Camp kahan hai?”
He pointed to somewhere beyond the blue tent and said there was a shorter way to the camp. I looked at the lake and started walking towards the blue tent.