Tuesday, 26 July 2016

On Assignment

Chris Raven (L) Simon Raven (R)
NOVEMBER, 2017-18

RIO TO NYC

New book in the pipeline...


JUNE, 2018

MOROCCO

Morocco by Rail: Tangier – Meknes – Fes – Rabat – Casablanca – Marrakech

Chefchaouen to Al Hoceima: One of Morocco’s most memorable mountain road journeys.


SPAIN

EXTREMADURA

Cáceres to Mérida: A 75km Walk Along The Silver Way

The Silver Way (Via de la Plata) is the longest of the pilgrim routes in Spain, and runs along an ancient path founded by the Romans 2,000 years ago. Starting from Seville in Andalucia, it runs northwards through the provinces of Extremadura and Castilla y Leon to Salamanca and Zamora.


Monday, 25 July 2016

The Frida Kahlo Experience (Mexico) by Simon Raven

A Self Portrait of Frida Kahlo in the Garden of the Casa Azul. By Chris Raven
By Simon Raven

The first time I heard of the Mexican Artist Frida Kahlo, I was visiting the Argentine Capital of Buenos Aires. It was the summer of 2005, and I had arranged to meet a journalist who worked for La Nacion, the national newspaper of Argentina. I’d fallen into conversation with Martina in a café in the colonial city of Sucre in Bolivia some weeks before. She'd invited to show me around her city, and we’d agreed to meet outside the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano (MALBA) the day before I was due to return home to London.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Driving the Trans-Siberian in Lonely Planet Russia

Lonely Planet Russia: The Linger Longer by Chris and Simon Raven
I saw this in Lonely Planet Russia for the first time today! So cool to be mentioned in the same paragraph as Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman. (Chris Raven)

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Carnival Express: A South America Adventure

Carnival Express
by Simon Raven & Chris Raven

Overland travel writers, Chris Raven and Simon Raven, embark on a new comedy adventure that leads them to the wild and colourful continent of South America. From bull's testicles in Buenos Aires to bums and boobs on the beaches of Brazil, the Raven brothers put their dream plans into action and traverse the Trans- oceanic highway from the Pacific to the Atlantic Coast of South America.

Pioneering a new frontier over the Andes and through the heart of the Peruvian Amazon, the bizarre and the beautiful cross their dusty path as they seek inspiration for a new book and go in search of the ultimate carnival. Not always getting it right, Simon and Chris tango through the Argentinean vineyards, cycle to the Moon in Chile, lose themselves in the mysterious world of the Inca Empire, swim with caiman in the Madre de Dios, experience panic in the Pantanal, The Rolling Stones in Rio and conclude their journey in Olinda at the carnival of the soul.



Friday, 26 February 2016

A Little Walk to the Top of the World

Chris Raven on the Knivskjellodden trail. (Photo © Simon Raven)
Sparking up their Vauxhall Corsa hatchback the Raven brothers drive to the top of Norway with a mission to walk the Knivskjellodden trail. 

By Chris Raven

I've always been intrigued to find out what lies at the very top of Norway, 500 miles beyond the Arctic Circle and at the very top of northern Europe. So, here I am with my brother, Simon, at the start of the Knivskjellodden trail, waiting patiently for an Arctic storm to pass by. The radio in the small $500 hatchback that we've driven up here from England isn't working. Instead we occupy ourselves by munching on stale custard creams and reading the information on the back of a bottle of suntan lotion.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Driving the Trans-Siberian: The Ultimate Road Trip Across Russia

Ever had the desire to jump in your car and keep driving, to wave goodbye to routine and commitment; to drive into the unknown hungry for adventure? Well, that is precisely what overland travel writers, Chris Raven and Simon Raven, decided to do whilst stacking boxes of frozen oven chips in a -30 degrees freezer. Not being petrol heads and having zero knowledge of the internal combustion engine, the brothers fired up their rusty Ford Sierra Sapphire and headed east. 

After clocking up over 11,000 miles, quite literally living in the car, they miraculously arrived in the Far Eastern city of Vladivostok in Siberia on the Sea of Japan. What they had in fact done was to drive the entire length of the new Amur Highway before it was finished, which crosses Russia and the notorious Zilov Gap in a 6,200 mile swath of cracked tarmac and potholes. Along the way our trusty heroes drink vodka with Chechen criminals, escape highway robbery, trade banana flavoured condoms with Russian cops, meet the eccentric and plain weird at truck stops in darkest Siberia, endure torturous road conditions and have a race to the finish with the Germans. Surviving this insane journey by the skin of their teeth the brothers are forced to confront their worst fears in this toe-curling comedy of extreme road trip adventure.

Priding themselves in going it alone, Simon and Chris have been noted by Lonely Planet for their talent to portray an “accurate view of what to expect”.

Order your copy online from Amazon and all major book retailers.




Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Up the Etna: A Road Trip to Sicily

 Rover on its way up Mt Etna. (Photo Simon Raven)
The Raven brothers spark up their Rover 214 and head for Sicily in their quest to drive to the top of Mt Etna, one of the most active volcanoes in the world.

By Chris Raven
Photography Simon Raven

Italy is a country famous for the anise-flavoured ‘blow-your-eyeballs-out-of-your-face’ Sambuca, the Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and the Fiat, the Roman Empire, the Vatican (Pope), Pasta, Pizza, Spaghetti, the Mafia, the sinking city of Venice, fashion designers (Armani, Versace, Moschino, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci & Pucci), the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Sicily, the Dolomites, Mt Vesuvius, Pompeii, Mt Etna, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Pavarotti, well-groomed men with colourful jumpers tied around their necks, sexy women (Elisabetta Canalis), footballers (Roberto Baggio), and a country famous for their fiery temperament, hand waving and the need to drive really, really fast.

Our Mission: To drive up Mount Etna to Refugio Sapienza, elevation 6,500 feet. 

Distance: UK-Sicily: 1908.95 km. 

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Africa in Gujarat (India)

African village boy, Jamut, Gujarat (India). Photo by Chris Raven

Exploring the Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat, India, the Raven brothers find themselves face to face with the Asiatic lion in a world where man and 
beast walk side by side.
Photographs by Chris Raven

Rammed into the back of a jeep, Raju glances over his shoulder. “Are you ready to see lion?” he cries, offering me a beedi, a small Indian cigarette rolled from a tobacco leaf. A cool breeze fills the air as we head out of Sasan village on a 100-km night drive around the perimeter of the Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary. Raju, like many of the young men we’d met since arriving in Sasan is a tour guide. We’d been introduced to him by Nitin the owner of the Family House where we are staying. He’d immediately offered to take us on a night safari, and hungry to see an Asiatic lion in the wild we’d happily accepted. Making a pit-stop around midnight, Raju slurps chai (sweet tea with buffalo milk) from a saucer and excitedly explains how the lions live mainly in the national park, but at night come out to the villages looking for cattle and easy prey. His cellphone suddenly begins to buzz, and he whips it out of his pocket and proceeds to speak in Hindu to a voice on the end of the line.

  “Now you ready to see lion?” he grins, wiping his thin black moustache with the back of his hand. “For sure we see lion tonight.”

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Photo Gallery: Headdresses Around the World by Chris Raven

Here is a gallery of photographs I have taken while on my travels around our fascinating planet.

Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Photo © Chris Raven

Monday, 2 November 2015

Turkey’s Black Sea Mountains

During an epic road trip driving full circle around the Black Sea, Chris Raven and Simon Raven, explore the high pasture village of Ayder in the Kackar mountains, in a region of Anatolian Turkey that is home to the Hemsin and the legend of the Laz Big foot.


Turkey's Pontic Alps. The Kackar Mountains. Photo by Simon Raven
Extract from the book: BLACK SEA CIRCUIT
By Chris Raven, Simon Raven

Waving farewell to Georgia we enter ancient Anatolia. The land rises steeply into the lush green Pontic Alps, a mountain range that stretches parallel with the southern Black Sea coast for a thousand kilometres. Located directly south across this geological barrier is Mount Ararat on the Armenian border, and the predominantly Kurdish provinces in the southeast of the country bordering Iran, Iraq and Syria.

Curious to explore these mysterious green mountains that are covered by alder, chestnuts and hornbeams, we continue west on the E70 highway to the small coastal town of Ardesen. Si turns sharply inland, and we pass tea growing on the hillside and climb steadily through the Firtina gorge into the rugged Kackar Mountains. This picturesque region is home to the highest part of the Pontic Mountains, with the tallest peak, Kackar Dagi, reaching an elevation of 3,937 metres. An elderly woman cranks a handle and sends a small basket along a winch wire to the wooden tea houses on the other side of the gorge. Turkey is the fifth largest producer of tea in the world. It was introduced to Turkey in the 1940s and 1950s, and was offered as an alternative to coffee which had become expensive and comparatively rare.