If you haven't heard of it already, then I'm excited to draw your attention to one of the coolest adventure film festivals around - the Thrillseekers Adventure Film Festival.
The aim is to showcase the best in adventure travel and extreme sport filmmaking, and it's extremely successful. Go and check out the format and schedule for yourself via their website, but here it is in a nutshell: 15 films, organised into 3 programmes, screening at over 30 cinemas nationwide. It starts tomorrow, and runs through 30th November. If you like adventure films, this is something you shouldn't miss...
I'm very proud to say that a 20-minute 'festival' version of 'Into The Empty Quarter,' the film I shot with Al Humphreys in Oman and the UAE at the end of last year, will be screening in Programme 3 during the AFF tour. The venues and dates are listed below: if you live anywhere near any of these cities and cinemas then please do go and check it out (and tell us what you think of it!) Tickets available HERE.
I wrote this blog post with the intention of it being very short. It's now rather long. Sorry. If you don't want to read it all, here's a summary:
For the month of October I am endeavouring to do one 'adventurous' thing every day. I won't be on expedition. In fact, I'll mostly be sat at my desk in London, so the adventures will be small - bite-size chunks of new experiences, snatched in the moments in and around my normal working life. The goal is to challenge myself (even in just a very small way) mentally or physically on a daily basis, in an attempt to lead a more adventurous and fulfilling life. An attempt to feel more alive.
If you want to read more, here goes...
It is now over a year since I returned home from Hong Kong after a 3000 mile walk across China. It was quite a journey! During the expedition Rob Lilwall and I filmed our experiences extensively with a view to ultimately creating a 4 part TV series for National Geographic Channels. I am now delighted to say that the show has aired in Asia, and will be available to buy on DVD in the rest of the world imminently!
If you would like information on how to see the show for yourself and when the exact release date will be, please fill in your details below and I'll send you an email with how you can view it.
I hope it's been worth the wait!
Here is a rudimentary photo essay of my journey around the British Isles by folding bike (for your enjoyment...)
The real start and end of any journey is leaving and returning to home (however you interpret 'home'...)
I started this journey in Northern Ireland, where I grew up, and set off from the rugged North Coast with a folding bike, a backpack and 19 days until I had to be back in London; minimalism is a stalwart of good adventure. I was reminded of that great Leonard Bernstein quote: "To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time."
On Friday I safely returned from my joyous little adventure around the British Isles. In 19 days I cycled 750 miles on a folding bicycle, climbed the 'Six Peaks' (the highest mountain in each of the six major regions) and saw some of the most beautiful parts of our wonderful islands.
At the end of June I'll be riding around the British Isles on a folding bicycle, climbing the highest peak in each of the six major regions (want to know more? Check out this page!)
From this week onwards I'll be starting to update my website with progress (or lack of it) as I get ready for this fun summer adventure right here in the UK and Ireland!
You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook, and also via my Punkt interactive map - this will be where I post most of the photos and videos as I go, so check it out. Click on the map above to access the Punkt content.
Finally, if you'd like to meet me at any point along the way to climb a Peak or ride a few miles (or bring me presents) send me a message here!
Sidetracked is the coolest adventure magazine around on the web at the minute, in my opinion. If you haven't yet heard of it, then you're in for a fantastic surprise! Each new edition is published monthly (this latest is the ninth,) packed with fantastically written and illustrated stories from around the globe.
I'm delighted that this month, amongst the many other very cool tales of adventure, my own story of trekking from Mongolia to Hong Kong also makes an appearance.
Do check it out by following the link below- I hope you enjoy it, and remember to take some time out of your schedule to read through the rest of the articles!
At the end of last year, Alastair Humphreys and I set off to walk across 1000 miles of the Empty Quarter desert, following in the footsteps of the late, great Sir Wilfred Thesiger. Al has cut the first trailer of our project - a sneak preview of some of the footage we shot.
I'll post more info when we have it, but for now, I hope you enjoy this high speed tour through the desert from Salalah to Dubai.
Please let us know what you think!
If you would like to be kept informed about the development of the Meaningless Penance? documentary, please add your email address here:
After 1000 miles of desert trekking, Alastair Humphreys and myself have made it safely to the ludicrously glitzy, vertical city of Dubai. We emerged from the desert to finish at the top of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world - a suitable antithesis to the rest of our journey.
Inevitably we are exhausted, but overall feeling rather good. Pulling a 250kg cart through searing desert heat for weeks on end without a break may not sound like a lot of fun, and in fact, it wasn't. But it was certainly rewarding, and gave us access to some of the most beautiful and desolate landscapes I've ever seen. I cannot imagine a better use of two months of my life.
Once we've eaten, drunk and rested to excess, I'll write up some more info and stories from our journey. Our main goal for this trek, aside from exploring the desert, was to shoot a film. We'll both be working hard on putting that together at the start of next year.
Meanwhile - Happy Christmas from Dubai!
I am (just about) ready for the off. My plane departs from London in a few hours.
Ahead of me is 6 weeks of beautiful desert, searing heat, crushing (or liberating) isolation and mile after mile of cathartic, energy-sapping, gut-busting cart pulling!
It's very unlikely that I'll have access to emails or a telephone during that time. I will be, for all intents and purposes, off the map (as Jack Bauer used to say in 24 - "I'm going dark.")
Unfortunately there will be no blogs during this time, although we may be able to post the occassional twitter message using a SPOT Connect satellite receiver.
This website will go quiet until Christmas, when I'll begin to share the story upon our return.
See you on the other side...Oman, here I come!
Meanwhile - check out this video below by the photographer George Steinmetz - this should give you a good idea of where Al and I will be...