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When the journeys are too long but they don’t bother, when the destination is far enough but it does the justice, when the lifestyle is too raw but it still holds tight, a traveler’s lust is contented.
To capture a pleasant sight when morning light slowly eats away the darkness and marks a new beginning, everything ages a day more but still turns out to be more beautiful. I was awaiting one such magnificent beginning, a rather chilly one and there were no disappointments. As soon as I set my feet outside the camp, I wondered if another fantasy world existed in the same one.
There was no sign of sun though but nothing was hidden anymore. Mountain peaks around, white peaceful camps in between, the freezing blow over the face and dripping morning dew, this certainly was a land of magical aura.
Chandrataal was a 3 km trek from our camps and we tightened our shoe laces to get ready for the adventure of the day. Trekking to steep terrains is something which can’t be prepared for, by living in plains. The hang of high altitude and track of steep mountains was letting me fall short of breaths at every few steps. However with a pump of self motivation by seeing Kunal getting through easily, I was able to make through with the help of Gatorade (a sports drink)
The next sight in front of my eyes is something inexplicable. The blue green clear static waters and the mountains enclosing the lake as protecting its very own child, the prayer flags tied on one of its shores, the moon lake is an amazement to have a look at.
It took time for us to absorb the awestruck surroundings. I sat nearby and dipped my hand in the bitter cold waters which soon turned me numb but it hardly mattered in the alluring world I was lost into. It started drizzling a few moments after adding to the beauty of the place and my heart became more stubborn not to leave the space and to stay there for forever.
There are some things for which praises are not enough, words fall short of and no matter how much you explain some feelings fail to reveal, for that only visiting and consuming it yourself would help, Chandrataal is one such masterpiece and I so wish I could have unveiled it in the true sense by some colossal words.
We sat over the lake side, took our lunch quietly as solitude made a comfortable place through our heads. After an hour, we got started on our way back: the patches were green, there was Spiti glacier at the bottom, the snow-icing-top mountains were in front and I have not seen such a great mix of all the ecological systems before. We stopped very often not just to click pictures but to embed the picture perfect pieces straight into our minds.
We reached back into the camps in the evening, took rest and sat with Tenzin brothers (there are two of them with the same name) to hear some interesting stories. With warmth in their heart and sense of humor on their minds, we had a great time telling tales and picking out the differences in our lifestyles.
They hardly need watch to check out times and we could not imagine our moments without it. They smiled at each stranger passing by and tried to help everyone and we hardly smiled the entire day, leave strangers apart. They knew how nature worked and how to preserve it and we were happy just adoring the good parts.
We sat near the bonfire for some more time just in solace having a look at the milkyway, recalling the constellations from science textbooks and wondering those actually existed somewhere far away.
Before going to sleep, Tenzin offered to drop us to Battal next morning from where we would get our bus to Kaza and we accepted it gratefully. My heart was filled with immense happiness with all the happenings around but there was a tinge of sadness too about thinking of moving on from there.
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