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  • Jeff Fuchs

Nepal – The Buzz That Leads to the Sky

There are few other gateway spaces that lead to zones of majesty, silence and winds, that are themselves such chaotic charmers, as Kathmandu. It remains fuzzy with dust and pollution, it remains a steaming hub of humanity at every level, and it thankfully retains – for better or worse – a place that is instantly recognizable. The full spectrum of senses are engaged and sometimes forced wide open to acknowledge.

That bit of wonderment – the Boudanath Stupa, in amidst so much else.

For my own repeated journeys, it demands that ‘you’ or one adapts to it. Uncompromising it is itself. Gentle when it needs to be, full of spots that lie somehow out of the hub it is also a space where humans with all of their toils are visible. I have arrived to it all once again. It is as it always has been for me: a place that leads to other places.

Further north lies the Himalayas that wait as they always have. They change but they remain there…just over there. A month of trekking an old trade route in Mustang’s wide dry contours follows and a journey to the shadows of Everest, Chomolungma, in the Solukhumbu region after that if the fates and the wills allow.

Colour, chaos, humility…an entrance that is “The buzz that leads to the Sky”

This introduction has always been in my mind as “The buzz that leads to the sky”. Gear, layers, footwear made with materials I cannot pronounce, and of course the teas that will fuel and sate my journey with two others all clog up my pack.

Memories and the feel of a space and time perhaps need that bit of random woven in with that bit of sensory familiarity.

The two cakes that will join and fuel the journey. A Jing Mai older offering from old trees and a newer more robust little gem from Ba Ma. Puerh fuel

Relics, crows, and wheeled vehicles putter while baby bird chicks somewhere close screech for parents that hunt. Dull and dusty prayer flags roll with a small breeze and the not-so distant Boudhanath will surely – regardless of time and weather – be populated with the curious and devout, the confused and the hopeful. Tea houses seem to, year after year, give way to more modern coffee houses and my heart sinks just a little at this transformation. Bring together seems less important that being able to be close without engaging…this is, for me at least, the modern coffee house. Disappearing are some of the spots where traders and ancients who had come to this market city at a different time, would chat about the days of tea and salt trade; about the adventures of arriving during a different time and perhaps fussing about the state of affairs. I’m all too aware of my own nostalgia built around the old traders and trade routes. It is what it is I suppose.

The little package that will be packed into the bigger pack. Essentials for every journey

Whatever else is alive and raging in the world, my mind for the moment is content with the knowledge that I’m here with some tea and about to embark upon a month in the mountains with little other than needs and senses. And as always, there will be a reconnection with a few old friends…over what I hope will be tea rather than coffee.

The ‘hills’ that await


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