A Departure, A Return

With the Kawa Karpo Expedition now complete – with limbs intact and the mind pulsing – a return to Beijing for tonight’s talk at the Capital M Beijing International Literary Festival. Left a blizzard in ‘Shangri-La’ yesterday where the white from above coated (and threatened our departing flight) everything. A tremendous journey with great company: the eloquent and understatedly tough Bill Roberts, and the smiling energy package of talent that is Roberto Gibbons Gomez.

What I've just come from in northwestern Yunnan

The full story-piece of our journey which took in 264 kilometres of a previously unknown strand of the Tea Horse Road will appear in an exclusive feature upcoming in Outpost Magazine in Canada.

For now, a heaping cup of tea in a hotel room.

About JeffFuchs

Bio Having lived for most of the past decade in Asia, Fuchs’ work has centered on indigenous mountain cultures, oral histories with an obsessive interest in tea. His photos and stories have appeared on three continents in award-winning publications Kyoto Journal, TRVL, and Outpost Magazine, as well as The Spanish Expedition Society, The Earth, Silkroad Foundation, The China Post Newspaper, The Toronto Star, The South China Morning Post and Traveler amongst others. Various pieces of his work are part of private collections in Europe, North America and Asia and he serves as the Asian Editor at Large for Canada’s award-winning Outpost magazine. Fuchs is the Wild China Explorer of the Year for 2011 for sustainable exploration of the Himalayan Trade Routes. He recently completed a month long expedition a previously undocumented ancient nomadic salt route at 4,000 metres becoming the first westerner to travel the Tsa’lam ‘salt road’ through Qinghai. Fuchs has written on indigenous perspectives for UNESCO, and has having consulted for National Geographic. Fuchs is a member of the fabled Explorers Club, which supports sustainable exploration and research. Jeff has worked with schools and universities, giving talks on both the importance of oral traditions, tea and mountain cultures. He has spoken to the prestigious Spanish Geographic Society in Madrid on culture and trade through the Himalayas and his sold out talk at the Museum of Nature in Canada focused on the enduring importance of oral narratives and the Himalayan trade routes. His recently released book ‘The Ancient Tea Horse Road’ (Penguin-Viking Publishers) details his 8-month groundbreaking journey traveling and chronicling one of the world’s great trade routes, The Tea Horse Road. Fuchs is the first westerner to have completed the entire route stretching almost six thousand kilometers through the Himalayas a dozen cultures. He makes his home in ‘Shangrila’, northwestern Yunnan upon the eastern extension of the Himalayan range where tea and mountains abound; and where he leads expeditions the award winning ‘Tea Horse Road Journey’ with Wild China along portions of the Ancient Tea Horse Road. To keep fueled up for life Fuchs co-founded JalamTeas which keeps him deep in the green while high in the hills.
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6 Responses to A Departure, A Return

  1. Chen says:

    For some travellers, when they are in the city, they dream of the mountains. And when they finally make it to the mountains, they dream about everything from the city.

    And then there are the ones, when they are on one journey, they dream of the next one.

    What type are you?

    • JeffFuchs says:

      Hi Chen,
      I’m firmly in the camp of ‘when in the mountains, I’m there in the present – in the mountains and thinking about the mountains’. Now, when in the city or a place that isn’t engaging me….I’m in the mountains with a cup of tea.


  2. Chen says:

    Not sure how much you can read Chinese … you might find this website interesting http://www.zgchawang.com/wh/cmgd.aspx

    They have quite a bit of information and materials about tea, tea culture, tea & horse trail and others.

    And I must have read more stories about the tea & horse trail as well…

    • JeffFuchs says:

      Thanks for the link Chen. I’ll struggle through it – often there are little chunks of information that are insightful on the route itself and it is these that I look for.
      The tale of that trail is one for the globe.


  3. Roberto says:

    After having had an amazing journey through rat-infested rooms, stunning snow passes and great companionship, I’m ready for the next one! So…. How about skiing to the North Pole?

    • JeffFuchs says:

      Yes, I think it time to get back over to Canada and begin some kind of preparations to match with the discussions we’ve had on the North Pole.
      Look forward to more conversations on this potential undertaking. Hope Beijing is working for you Roberto.
      Nice thing about skiing to the Pole is that there won’t be rats, just the odd bit of ranting lunacy to deal with.


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