We reached Mane Bhanjang around 3 in the afternoon, and set out to look for "Masterji". Now Masterji is the guy you go to for getting a guide/porter or any trek-related arrangements for Sandakphu.The little village seemed half deserted, the reason being a local football tournament final taking place nearby.We finally located the elusive Masterji, only to learn that most guides had gone to watch the match and wouldn't be available.As luck would have it, we were just about to leave him and try our luck elsewhere, when a guide came walking right up to Masterji. Voila! I tell you, fate was on our side!We set off immediately with our ponchos on, given that a steady drizzle had started while we were negotiating with our guide. Within minutes the sound of the village faded away, with just a few muted cheers seeping through the fog from the football field.