Cycling The Middle East And North Africa — A Photography Exhibition in Yerevan

While I realise that a great deal of my readers won’t be in Yerevan this Friday the 12th of March, I feel that it’s important to put the word out about my first ever photography exhibition — or any kind of exhibition, for that matter.

Thanks to the Armenian Centre for Contemporary Experimental Art, forty of my more attractive snaps from 2009, blown up to glorious A3 size, will be adorning the walls of the Nicholas Boghossian gallery for the next three weeks. I’m hoping to raise a few pennies for the charities I support through the sale of these pieces of work. I don’t know if anyone will turn up to the opening, let alone want to buy any of them — I have never been particularly confident that my photos look good to anyone other than myself — but the gallery staff seem to like the prints, so that’s a good start!

If by some bizarre coincidence you’re reading this and you’ll be in Yerevan this Friday, please come along at 5pm to the ACCEA (aka NPAK), near the Vernissage and Republic Square, and check out the pics for free!

(Can’t make it? See the pics as a Flickr slideshow.)

Personal Updates

The Brick Wall Of Eternal Dissatisfaction

It occurred over the festive season, when I had the pleasure of hosting Fearghal and Simon in Yerevan for a very merry Christmas and New Year. Conversation had turned to bicycle travel, as it had an annoying habit of doing every few minutes. Fearghal and I were discussing motivations for future bike trips.

Andy on the downhill

“It just wasn’t challenging enough”, he pondered, referring to (amongst other things) crossing 50°C deserts in Western China, slogging 200km a day on highways across Iran, and climbing 4,000m mountain passes in Bolivia. These conditions were uncomfortable — quite horrible, even — but not worth quitting over.

I thought back to northern Sudan’s sandy wastes, Ethiopia’s packs of rock-lobbers and gravel roads too steep to push, and Oman’s withering desert summer — hot enough to cook meringues in the open air — and found myself agreeing with him. It had been tough, there’s no doubt about that, but, for some twisted reason, it hadn’t been quite tough enough to put me off looking for something more.