A musical reception in the Himalayas

In the Himalayas, people love music. Whenever the opportunity arises, they take up their instruments – sometimes a guitar, sometimes something more traditional – and they sing and dance. Here, with the Limbu people, everyone is wearing traditional dress to celebrate my arrival. They played and danced until the last rays of the setting sun, overlooking magnificent mountains. Later, they lit the fire. It’s a moment of pure happiness.


Posted in Country : Nepal by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , ,

Growing tea: essential conditions

During a tour of the Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Dr Rakesh Kumar reminded those I’d brought with me on the trip of the essential conditions required to grow tea: acidic soil (pH 4.5 to 5.5), temperatures between 15°C and 32°C, and abundant rainfall (around 1,500 mm per year). Of course, altitude, sunlight and gradient also influence the way the plants behave.

I’ve chosen this photo to illustrate gradient. It is without doubt in the Himalayan foothills that I encounter the steepest mountainsides. With copious rainfall and well-drained soil, it’s a tea plant’s dream location!

 


Posted in Country : Nepal by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , ,

Under the Himalayan clouds

blog-03-07-2015

During a heatwave you must remember to stay hydrated. You need to drink frequently. You can also cool your face, with a wet cloth or a facial mist. As for me, I like the original version of mist – it’s called the Himalayas. It is cool there, especially at this time of year, when clouds full of monsoon rain gather above your head.

 


Posted in Country : Nepal by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : ,

An amusing combination

blog-06-02-2015

The beliefs of some do not prohibit the humour of others. While I’m often attracted to religious places because of their emotional force or architectural beauty, I generally don’t have too much time for religion. While I was out walking somewhere in the Himalayas, I spotted these Buddhist prayer flags (on the top line) alongside some laundry hung out to dry (bottom line). This juxtaposition caught my eye and I instantly took out my camera in order to record this amusing combination. A local woman watched me from her doorstep, bemused, as I took photos of her underwear.


Posted in Country : Nepal by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : ,

Darjeeling: the dream and the reality

This is a rather idyllic view of Darjeeling: a charming town with plenty of green space, spread out among the tea plantations in the Himalayan foothills.
The reality is more complex: the city has more than 100,000 inhabitants and spreads out much further than can be seen here. The roads are crumbling, all the city’s water has to be trucked in, and the traffic increases every year, making it very congested.


Posted in Country : India, Places I like in Darjeeling by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , , ,

The author

François-Xavier Delmas is a passionate globetrotter. He’s been touring the world’s tea plantations for more than 20 years in search of the finest teas. As the founder of Le Palais des Thés, he believes that travelling is all about discovering world cultures. From Darjeeling to Shizuoka, from Taiwan to the Golden Triangle, he invites you to follow his trips as well as share his experiences and emotions.

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