“Taints and Honours” finally completes Jonny Blair’s “Backpacking Centurion” hat-trick. It’s not quite your James Hayter hat-trick in 2 minutes 20 seconds. Nor will it match Robert Lewandowski’s 5 goals in 9 minutes. But it’s a dream closer. I mean, it closes the dream. It completes a milestone.
The journey sauntered on. And on. And now, this long-awaited trilogy is complete and it is here in print as Jonny homes in on 100 countries. Will he make it without any mishaps? That’s unlikely, as this has always been a story of lows and highs. Volume 3 is no different.
Volume 1’s “Don’t Look Back in Bangor” began in the seaside town of Bangor in Northern Ireland and tracked Jonny’s childhood and early travel days. Teenage misdemeanours were shared without shame. Entwined profoundly with a love of love, and of travel, and of football of course.
Volume 2’s “Lands Down Under” was a more mature volume, which saw Jonny start to backpack more intensely as he relocated to Australia and then Hong Kong. This volume, with its William Shakespeare-inspired title, “Taints and Honours” is the clincher. The final triumphant descent to becoming a “Backpacking Centurion”.
This volume starts off on a magical night in Jordan with the realisation that Jonny has lived away from his Northern Irish homeland for ten years. With this, comes an insatiable desire to ensure that this dream doesn’t need to end. The next four months are bunged with hardcore backpacking through the Caucauses and the Middle East. We’re getting closer.
What follows next is a World Cup in Brazil, a soul destroying moment in Bucharest, vintage nudity in Finland, a few “20 year reunions” and the final countdown to the century.
We have a fire festival in El Salvador, a visit to Saddam Hussein’s “House of Horrors” in Iraq, some visits to countries that don’t exist and a reunion with the GAWA. All that comes before an important flight to Tunisia.
Don’t expect roses, champagne or works of fire. Be ready for trauma, distress, anguish and all that tends towards a true whackpacking madliness.
In the words of Neil Finn, “Don’t Dream It’s Over”.
Jonny certainly won’t.
Volume 3 – Taints and Honours
Chapter 74 – A Decade Away (September 26th 2013)
Chapter 75 – O Little Town of Bethlehem (October 2013)
Chapter 76 – This; A Visit to Stalin’s Town (October 2013)
Chapter 77 – How Not Till Get Out Of Nagorno Karabakh (October – November 2013)
Chapter 78 – City Of Love (November 2013)
Chapter 79 – Turkish Delights (November 2013)
Chapter 80 – A Month In Iran (December 2013)
Chapter 81– Iraq No Phobia (December 2013 – January 2014)
Chapter 82 – Some Alarms And Some Surprises, Please (January 2014)
Chapter 83 – Nicky Barmby (2004 – Ongoing)
Chapter 84 – I’m in Brazil, I’m Northern Irish (June 2014)
Chapter 85 – Remote And Out Of Control (June 2014)
Chapter 86 – Sloth Island (June 2014)
Chapter 87 – The World Cup Final Isn’t Played On Glass (July 2014)
Chapter 88 – Hiking Tajumulco, Central America’s Highest Peak (August 2014)
Chapter 89 – Firefight (August 2014)
Chapter 90 – Staying In The World’s Most Dangerous City (September 2014)
Chapter 91 – Whose Wine Is It Hemingway? (September 2014)
Chapter 92 – Andorra’s Box (October 2014)
Chapter 93 – The Figure Of Eight (October 2014)
Chapter 94 – Elation To Constipation To Victoria Station (October 2014)
Chapter 95 – Cushy Kishinev (November 2014)
Chapter 96 – Lenin Glad, Wacaday and Back (packing) in the USSR (November 2014)
Chapter 97 – PND Minus Her Name (15th November 2014, 21:38 in the evening)
Chapter 98 – Veliko Tarnovo (December 2014)
Chapter 99 – Poddy’s Day (December 2014)
Chapter 100 – Paddy’s Night (Not To Be Confused With Saint Patrick’s Night!) (December 2014)
Chapter 101 – Where Iain “Iain Dowie” Dowie Dowie-d (January 2015)
Chapter 102 – Suomi Sauna (January 2015)
Chapter 103 – Angel’s Home (5th February 2015)
Chapter 104 – Roadrunner Toothbrush (October 2000)
Chapter 105 – Title Track (October 2004)
Chapter 106 – Tommy Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (Time Immemorial)
Chapter 107 – Countries That Didn’t Get Chapters
Chapter 108 – Fjord Fiesta (February 2015)
Chapter 109 – Backpacking Centurion (27th March 2015)
About the Author
Jonny Blair is a Northern Irish travel writer based in Poland. Jonny was born in Newtownards in 1980 and grew up in Bangor in Northern Ireland. Since leaving his hometown in 2003, Jonny has travelled far and wide, detailing his journeys on his one man travel blog, Don’t Stop Living. Jonny has visited over 180 countries across all seven continents including Iran, Ethiopia, Andorra, China and Suriname. Jonny has also travelled to some lesser known places such as the Republic of Uzupis, Podjistan, Nauru, Kugelmugel, Sark, Antarctica, Nagorno Karabakh, Iraqi Kurdistan and The Empire of Austenasia. As well as working as a freelance writer, editor, teacher and copywriter, Jonny has also worked in bars, hotels and restaurants as well as on ferries, in farms, in schools and in offices. Jonny writes every day in some capacity and is also a poet and a football fanzine editor. Aside from travel, Jonny is a passionate football supporter of Glentoran FC, AFC Bournemouth, Klub Pilkarski Starogard and Northern Ireland. Jonny aims to inspire other people to get out there and see the world with their own two eyes.
- Paperback: 300 pages
- Publisher: BookBaby (June 25, 2021)
- Language: English
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds