The Film

About That Time I Went On Iranian TV

Those of you who’ve been reading this blog for a while will know that my mission for 2013 was to learn Farsi (Persian) in a year.

This was put to the test on my recent journey to Iran, in which I spent six weeks attempting to follow the country’s longest river from source to sea. (Photo essays here.)

It was also put to the test last week, when Tenny and I were interviewed about Janapar on the Iranian TV channel Manoto, broadcast from London and now one of the most watched channels in Iran.

If you’re remotely interested in watching some of the interview — in which I back and forth between English and Farsi as my ability in the language allows — do check out the following video. Our interview starts at roughly 33 minutes 50 seconds in.

Any Iranians watching? How’s my Farsi? فارسیم چطره؟

The Film

The Definitive Janapar FAQ

Over the last 18 months I’ve held Q&A sessions at something like 50 screenings of Janapar: Love on a Bike around the UK, as well as a handful abroad.

With a lot more people coming to the story in recent weeks due to a global release on iTunes and Google Play Movies (as well as on Amazon Instant Video in the USA), I thought it’d be a good time to attempt to answer as many of the questions I’m asked most frequently about the film.

(Warning: this Q&A will potentially contain spoilers. If you haven’t seen Janapar, this will all make a lot more sense if you watch it first!)

How many punctures did you get?

Please ask a more interesting question. 

Films The Film

Highly Embarrassing Outtakes/Bloopers From Janapar

If you’ve enjoyed the Janapar deleted scenes series I’ve been running over the last couple of weeks (here’s the first one, in which I faceplant into some concrete), I’ve got a little bonus for you — a comedy “outtakes reel” of the most embarassing footage I wish I’d never given to the editor in the first place.

(Oh, the humiliation!)

Now! Next week is going to be rather exciting, as I’ll be publishing the first in a series of articles I’ve been working on for almost a full year.

If I’m right, it’s going to cause a bit of a stir, and so I’m really looking forward to seeing how it goes down. As a clue, it’ll be of extra special interest to anyone procrastinating over a bike trip — or any kind of adventure, really — because of the cost of getting started.

With Google Reader permamently going offline as of next Monday, the easiest way to keep in the loop with new articles will be to join my email list. You can get new articles in your inbox every weekend, or just a quick monthly round-up of the best bits.

Films Middle East & Africa 2009 The Film

From The Cutting Room Floor #4: Cycling from Aswan, Egypt, to Wadi Halfa, Sudan

This scene recounts all the chaos of a classic experience which all who head down Africa’s east route will negotiate: the weekly ferry crossing of Lake Nasser, from Aswan (of Dam fame) in the south of Egypt to the tiny port of Wadi Halfa in northern Sudan.

Deep within the historic region of Nubia, this is the only overland route between the two nations, who are still unable to agree on who actually owns the inhospitable tract of empty desert in between.

The ferry sails just once a week, and tickets can only be procured by visiting the agency in Aswan in person with the valid Sudanese visa you obtained from the embassy in Cairo. To ensure that I wouldn’t be waiting around in Aswan for days on end, I hopped on a train from further up the Nile, bought my ticket and was back with my bike the same day, in order to continue enjoying the fantastic experience of cycling the Nile Valley.

Some who’ve seen the full film might recognise segments from this final deleted scene in the series (here’s #1, #2 and #3). A deleted scene isn’t wasted if it reveals material that works better elsewhere!

I’ve heard that the route south from Wadi Halfa has been fully paved since I crossed it in 2009, transforming northern Sudan into some of the easiest riding in East Africa.

And that’s the thing about travel — no matter how far you go, all you’ll ever see are cross-sections of places as they existed for one brief moment.

Films The Caucasus & Iran 2008 The Film

From The Cutting Room Floor #3: Life On The Road (in 01:52) [VIDEO]


The funny thing about this, the third in the series of deleted scenes (#1 and #2), is that it encapsulates better than anything else the day-to-day camaraderie that occurs between bicycle travellers and the people with whom they come into contact. Demonstrating this today is the inimitable Andy and a group of Georgian fishermen selling their wares on the roadside.