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  • Jeff Fuchs

Mustang, Leaves, and Kunga

Ladakh expedition plans changed last minute to Mustang. One stunning Himalayan world for another…and one historically linked to another in days of trade. We will trudge by foot north to Lo Manthang from just north of Jomson providing the flights are able to negotiate through the famed winds that can chuck a piece of metal around at will.

The mountain sanctuary that awaits

Our small team will still be travelling along an old trade route but a team and logistics have had to be conjured in quick time. November is a time of slow settling cold and clear bolt skies.

Bags remained packed, and a beautiful hunk of Naka ancient tree tea will still be the primary fuel.

A little joy too for me as I’ll be able to reconvene with an idol, Kunga, the muleteer and trader who remembers well a time when currencies were hauled aboard mule and yak. A time when journeys were measured in landmarks and moons rather than in numbers.

Tsarang, the ancient capital of the kingdom of ‘Lo’

In an offering that has become a kind of annual tradition, I’ll be bringing an offering of a good Sheng tea cake for Kunga. He covets these gifts and recalls a time when tea had deep flavours. Teas from southwest China were his preferred beverage…and so a circle rounds itself out once again as I return to the mountains and Kunga.

I get some time with idol Kunga…and a little presentation of a brick of tea on a journey last year.

In Tibetan they say “slowly slowly and you will arrive”…and so we go slowly slowly.

My prime fuel for the journey – stimulant leaves that have eternally fed the mountains. As precious and necessary as boots.


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