|I am quite fascinated by your website.
I travelled to India in 1971 with PBK [Paul Beasley (Kingston)], starting off from Wood Street, Kingston upon Thames. The bus driver's name was Bert, a cockney ex-bin man, and the courier was 'Shan' Shanaghan. I left the bus on various occasions and caught it up from time to time, changing clothes, or grabbing a lift thru' some of the less hospitable areas.
I ended up settling in Kabul for several months and then returned to the UK by Christmas of that year. Having had my 18th Birthday in Kabul in October, I was certainly one of the younger 'travellers', and in 1972 I had my hair cut, bought a suit and started a career!!
We left Kingston in April or May, i can't remember which, there were at least 20 passengers, the fare was £80 one way. The other passengers were either Kiwis heading home, Australians doing the same or younger Brits heading out on the trail. There were one or two retired folk as well, although I don't think they really appreciated the whole experience as much as the rest of us did!!
Do you have any contact with anyone who might have been on the same trip as I was??
Most of my working life I was employed on offshore or land oilfields however, between contracts, I did do some overlanding for Hughes Overland.
All of 1970 I spent as a minibus driver/guide for Hughes Overland on two week tours through Belgium, the Netherlands (Amsterdam, ZiderZee), Germany (Hamburg), Denmark (Copenhagen), Sweden (Stockholm), ferry to Turku in Finland (Helsinki), to Russian border, Leningrad, Novgorod, Moscow, Smolensk, Minsk, into Poland (Warsaw, Poznan), into Germany (East then West Berlin, across to Cologne) back to pick up another load from the Channel ferries and start again, or would be sent on two week trips to the Greek Islands and Istanbul.
Occasionally there was a three week trip which, once we had visited Moscow we would go south to Kiev and Odessa (Black Sea port) into Rumania (Bucharest), Hungary (Budapest), Czechoslovakia (Prague), Germany (Berlin, Cologne) etc.
At the end of the European season we take an overland trip to Kathmadu (Nepal) leaving in October and arriving back a couple of days before Christmas. The route out was Europe, Istanbul, Ankara, Urgup, Malatya, Tatvan, Agri, Tabriz, Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz (Persepolis), Kerman, Bam, Zahadan, Dalbandin, Quetta, Kandahar, Kabul, Peshawar, Lahore, Ambala, Delhi, Agra, Allahabad (or Khajuraho), Benares, Muzzaffapur, Kathmandu. However on the return journey we would travel from Kandahar to Tehran via Herat and Meshed.
In 1972 I again did the minibus tours on contract with the same company as before but this time with my own bus and equipment. Same trips as previously except for the Kathmadu trip. On this occasion on arriving at Kathmadu the company asked me if I would like to explore the possibly of extending future trips. All of the passengers came along just sharing food and fuel cost. As it was not possible to drive through Burma we drove to Calcutta then to Madras where the company had arranged the bus to go as deck cargo on the ship that took us to Penang. After a few days in Penang we drove up the panhandle to Bangkok, back to Penang then on to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
In Singapore I sold the bus to the company and spent a month touring Indonesia before coming to, and settling in, Australia.
Regards, Peter Blades South Australia