32 Comments

  1. Rosien
    December 17, 2015 @ 11:59 am

    I haven’t been to Armania, nor am I much of a hiker, but just your writing about it makes me absolutely LOVE this. Fantastic idea, I wish you all the best with the execution.

    Reply

  2. Martin Holland
    December 17, 2015 @ 1:06 pm

    Great idea! Can’t wait to read more about it!

    Reply

    • Tom Allen
      December 17, 2015 @ 5:13 pm

      I suspect this blog will be concerned mainly with it over the next couple of years…

      Reply

  3. Jennine
    December 17, 2015 @ 1:19 pm

    Hi Tom
    I came across some information on a long distance hiking route in Armenia a while ago which I thought sounded great and would love to do one day. It’s called the Janapar Trail. Is this the one you mean? Good luck, in any event – it sounds like a great project.

    Reply

    • Tom Allen
      December 17, 2015 @ 5:14 pm

      Hi Jennine – most of the Janapar Trail isn’t in Armenia but in Nagorno-Karabakh (only accessible from Armenia).

      Reply

      • Jennine
        December 21, 2015 @ 9:35 am

        Ah yes – thanks Tom! A good reminder not to trust all information I come across online! I am really looking forward to following this project and would also be interested in walking some sections.

        Reply

        • Tom Allen
          December 30, 2015 @ 8:17 pm

          Excellent! It’s so interesting how many people are up for helping with this. Perhaps I should look at organising some work parties… watch this space 🙂

          Reply

  4. florabaker
    December 17, 2015 @ 2:15 pm

    This sounds fantastic, Tom! I’ve wanted to visit Armenia for a long while & would definitely be up for going hiking so would love to stay in the loop with this!

    Reply

    • Tom Allen
      December 17, 2015 @ 5:15 pm

      Fantastic, Flora, I’d love to have you over! Who else wants to come along and test out some routes?

      Reply

      • helen
        December 17, 2015 @ 8:54 pm

        Sounds incredible – keep me posted !

        Reply

      • Ginny
        December 17, 2015 @ 11:47 pm

        Me! Sounds like a great idea!

        Reply

      • Adrineh Macaan
        December 21, 2015 @ 9:10 pm

        You know I do 🙂 (And I suspect our paths will cross sometime next year!)

        Reply

      • Martin Holland
        January 1, 2016 @ 5:39 pm

        Would love to help map a trail or few. May have a window in late Feb – what’s the weather like then? Otherwise, June might be good.

        Reply

        • Tom Allen
          January 3, 2016 @ 9:19 pm

          Late February in Armenia will be frozen solid and most likely covered in snow – not ideal for trail scouting! June, on the other hand, is probably the best month in the year for the mid-altitude regions. It’d be an absolute pleasure to have you along 🙂

          Reply

  5. Aga Kreglewska (@NomadicAga)
    December 17, 2015 @ 5:16 pm

    Great idea! There’s so much potential there. Are you familiar with Community Based Tourism (CBT) in Kyrgyzstan? They’ve done a fantastic job of setting up a network of offices that connect tourists with locals living in remote areas to provide accommodation and guides, with direct benefit going to those poorer rural communities. Sounds like that kind of model could be applied to Armenia as well.

    Reply

    • Tom Allen
      December 17, 2015 @ 5:25 pm

      No, I hadn’t heard about this, so thank you for bringing it to my attention. It’s the kind of thing that could work really well.

      Reply

  6. Allysse Riordan
    December 17, 2015 @ 6:01 pm

    That sounds like a brilliant idea 🙂
    Armenia has been a country I’ve been intrigued and fascinated by since childhood (mostly because my favourite singer at the time had origin from that country). Though I have to admit I’ve never done anything much about this fascination other than briefly read up on Armenia and Armenians years ago and raise my head every time I hear a mention of this country (which allegedly isn’t very often).
    Hearing your tales about it and seeing your photos have definitely reignated my interest in this small country. So I’ll be following the development of your hiking route with interest (and hopefully come to hike it in the future too).
    Best of luck with this new project 🙂

    Reply

    • Tom Allen
      December 17, 2015 @ 6:30 pm

      I’m fascinated to hear who the singer was… not Mr Aznavour, perchance?

      Reply

      • Allysse Riordan
        December 17, 2015 @ 6:33 pm

        Nope, it was Hélène Ségara.

        Reply

        • Tom Allen
          December 17, 2015 @ 6:38 pm

          Thanks – I’ve learned something new today 🙂 I hope one day to have built a trail for you to hike along…

          Reply

  7. Sally Eathorne
    December 17, 2015 @ 7:46 pm

    Wooohooo- flipping amazing idea Tom – Now why didn’t I think of that?? probably because I know absolutely nothing of Armenia except from your voice. The scenery looks astounding and yes to be there in the right weather must have been jaw dropping stuff. I wish you all the very best.. I know you will do this well as you come across as most dynamic, industrious and pretty full on in what ever you set out to achieve.
    Oh, I love the films by the way. I have watched 2 of them and saving.Karun to watch with my partner this weekend.

    Season’s greetings,
    Sally

    Reply

    • Tom Allen
      December 18, 2015 @ 6:45 am

      Thankfully the region has a long and reliable summer! Happy you’re enjoying the films – season’s greetings to you too!

      Reply

  8. Joe
    December 17, 2015 @ 8:12 pm

    Armenia is like noplace else I’ve been – incredible scenery and wonderfully warm and generous people. I look forward to going back someday, maybe to hike your trail!

    Reply

  9. Rob
    December 17, 2015 @ 8:22 pm

    This looks very interesting, and the landscape looks very inviting. If it is an empty landscape, without infrastructure, how can you walk with such small packs and so few supplies? Where you on day walks? Might supplies be a problem for longer multi-day, or multi-week treks? Since the land seems so denuded of people, are there signs that larger wildlife is returning? Wolves? Bears? as with many other parts of Europe. That would make it a doubly attractive place to wander in. Good luck with the project.

    Reply

    • Tom Allen
      December 18, 2015 @ 6:42 am

      Saw bear droppings and hear wolves howling during this hike – plenty of wildlife here, which as you say is fantastic. As for supplies, we didn’t go more than 2 days without finding a village – believe it or not there are still people making a subsistence living here. Just ~2,000 people in the entire Kelbajar province according to the most recent survey. But there were multiple water sources every day. If you pack light in other departments you can easily carry days’ or weeks’ worth of food.

      Reply

  10. margomactaggart
    December 17, 2015 @ 8:54 pm

    Hi Tom, what a brilliant project! Did you not ride across the Pamirs during your original Ride Earth trip? If you did, then you must have heard of Murghab Eco-Tourism Association as one possible model. Let us know when you’re ready for hikers to test the route, but please do it sooner than later because our body clocks, though still ticking, have ticked their way past sixty.

    Merry Christmas to you and Tenny,
    Margo (and Chris)

    Reply

    • Tom Allen
      December 18, 2015 @ 6:44 am

      Thanks for mentioning META – I’ll look more closely at that. An excuse to finally ride the Pamirs, perhaps… 😉

      Reply

  11. Christine
    December 19, 2015 @ 4:06 pm

    That’s a super cool idea and you are the right person to do it! Tom your style of writing makes every where sound heavenly, challenging and fun. Looking at the replies you have received I think you may have some volunteer adventure buddies coming to help you. And yes I’d love to help map a route in spring / summer time.

    Soooo so many wonderful places to walk, cycle, jump for joy, laugh and breathe huge lungfuls of happiness.

    Merry Christmas Tom and Tenny.
    Christine

    Reply

    • Tom Allen
      December 30, 2015 @ 8:20 pm

      Merry Christmas to you too!

      Reply

  12. Jens Hede
    February 6, 2016 @ 4:49 pm

    Well Tom you inspired me to wild camp which I first tried cycling from Crete to England last year, not only that but not to carry a tent only a bivvy bag. A two month long ride with great memories. I would love to head in the direction of Armenia and help establish a hiking route. Please keep us posted with how we can help. The best of luck with the project.

    Reply

Leave a Reply