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Story Of My Life Transcaucasian Trail

The Gegham Mountains: Exploring Armenia’s Volcanic Backcountry

The Gegham Mountains are an imposing chain of volcanic domes that bisects Armenia from north to south. For most of the year they are impenetrable due to a thick layer of snow. But come June, as snow starts to melt, the country’s tent-dwelling Yezidi nomads drive their cattle from lowland plains to graze beneath the […]

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Transcaucasian Trail

Applications Now Open For 2019’s Fundraising Treks In Armenia & Georgia

A very quick heads-up that places on the Transcaucasian Trail group fundraising hikes in 2019 are now available. Click here for the dates and details and, if the fancy takes you, to register your participation. I’ve been helping design and promote these treks for the last couple of years, and they’ve proved to be a […]

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Transcaucasian Trail Travel Blogging

5 Ancient Monasteries In Armenia’s Dilijan National Park (& How To Hike To Them)

The experience of exploring Armenia on foot is characterised by three things: an abundance of breath-taking landscapes, being invited in by locals to drink homemade oghi (vodka), and stumbling upon at least one ancient church or monastery per day. Dilijan National Park – part of the forested northeastern province of Tavush – is no exception to […]

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Transcaucasian Trail

How To Get Involved With The Transcaucasian Trail

This Transcaucasian Trail thing has really snowballed. It’s got to the point where my life as a “self-unemployed creative nomad fuelled by travel and adventure” seems like a distant memory. Weekly blogs? Monthly newsletters? Hah! – you’re kidding, right? During a much-needed bikepacking escape over the winter, and on the advice of a good friend, […]

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Transcaucasian Expedition (2016) Transcaucasian Trail

Doing It Right: The Politics Of Hiking Trail Development In The Caucasus

When I decided last summer to build the Transcaucasian Trail, I had no idea just what kind of a political mess I was getting myself into. I don’t mean the regional geopolitics of the Caucasus, either. That’s actually pretty clear-cut. Some areas are off-limits, some borders are closed. Thankfully, none of this actually affects a […]

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Transcaucasian Expedition (2016) Transcaucasian Trail

Mestia to Ushguli: Is Svaneti In Danger Of Losing Its Mysticism?

Agendas – hidden or otherwise – seem to play a big part in trail development. Sometimes there is a peace-building motive, knitting together fragmented nations by means of a common travel corridor. More often an effort is framed in terms of the future financial benefits, which usually boils down to a simple equation between more […]

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Transcaucasian Expedition (2016) Transcaucasian Trail

Syunik Province: Southern Armenia’s Most Overlooked Hiking Destination?

Characterised by wild moorlands, terrible roads, and an unintelligible local dialect, the province of Syunik is a large but sparsely populated region at the far end of Armenia, sufficiently far from the capital to have retained its own unique cultural identity. Much like Yorkshire, in fact. Continue reading at transcaucasian.com »

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Transcaucasian Expedition (2016) Transcaucasian Trail

Hitting The Dirt In Armenia: Where The Fun Begins

I’ve been trying desperately to think of a compelling angle for a blog post about the 12 days of driving from London to Yerevan. But the truth of the matter is that a really long drive on good highways does not make for particularly interesting storytelling. This is subjective, of course… Continue reading at transcaucasian.com […]

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Transcaucasian Expedition (2016) Transcaucasian Trail

Announcing The Official Launch Of The Transcaucasian Expedition

It’s with nervous trepidation that I write to you this morning. This feeling is usually a sign that something daunting is coming. That’s very true right now: today marks the ‘official’ launch of my big project for 2016, which I’ve named the Transcaucasian Expedition. (You may see it mentioned in the UK press today, but better […]

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Transcaucasian Expedition (2016) Transcaucasian Trail

The Transcaucasian Expedition Begins This Month! Here’s The Plan…

I write to you today from the bottom of a very large hole. I have spent the last few months digging this hole. Sometimes I pause digging and ask myself: “Tom, if no expedition you’ve ever organised has gone to plan, nor ended in the way you intended, why are you spending so much time […]