Interview with Love for Tea – The Tea Explorer

Love when the word ‘conversation’ is used instead of Interview. Had a wonderful ‘conversation’ with the eloquent Ruhani Sandhu of Rangsaa and Love for Teas about our upcoming Tea Explorer documentary film.

Jeff Fuchs with tea trader who appears in The Tea Explorer documentary film

No conversation in recent times could be had without referring to one of my very favourite people, Konga. Here a moment during one of our own conversations about the days of tea trade in Lo Manthang, Mustang, Nepal.

The conversations ( Part 1 here) touched on some of the more intricate and intimate aspects of travel, tea, and mountains. They touched too, upon the motivations of mine to document not simply tea, but also its wonderful stewards and journeys. We spoke a little of the our recent film, The Tea Explorer, and the joy in bringing the Tea Horse Road tale (and its simple origins) to light.

Jeff Fuchs with a tea trader's satchel. The Tea Explorer

I hold one of Konga’s ancient horse leather satchels that he took on his trade journeys through the Himalayas. He joyfully dug through his paraphernalia which was in remarkably good shape…perhaps in wait for his next journey.

The Himalayas too often are seen simply as vertical challenges and efforts, rather than as magnificent horizontal journeys and adventures.

Nilgiri Peak in Mustang, Nepal. The Tea Explorer

Too often the timeless horizontal journeys through the mountains have been ignored in favour of the vertical journeys of the modern age. Here, the sacred Nilgiri peak in Mustang peeks out of a hole in the clouds.

A pleasure chatting with Ruhani about those journeys.

Mule team in Himalayas - The Tea Explorer

Journeys need contributors of two legs, of four legs – here our mule team during a recent expedition near Garphu in northern Mustang

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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