Hi Everyone, late as usual with the newsletter. We have been back from our trip to Greece for 5 weeks now, there is a report HERE. Off again on 5th August for 7 weeks Dubai/Paris/Madrid/Malaga/Turkey, we have 2 house swaps this time which is a new thing for us we listed our home HERE and got great response. Cindy has a new Photo Website and is keen to get some new images on this next trip. I am looking at up-grading the Overland website to make it more interactive, it will have a Blog plus you can leave comments on the pages, all I have to do is master the software and we will be cooking with gas. We did a 3 day course last weekend to learn how to build the new website, it will keep me amused while we are away. All the best Derek...

Why Italian Resturants never caught on in Dubai... -- Video HERE

Overlanders Novel

Hi Derek, This may be of interest to overlanders slipping slowly into dementia!!! Cheers Bob Ashford

Dear Bob and Noreen.

My second cousin, Janet Macleod Trotter did the Swagman Eastbound 26 Sept 1976 trip with driver Geoffrey Lawrence. As a writer with some success under her belt, her new book The Overlanders draws on that 1976  bus trip.

Websites: http://janmacleodtrotter.blogspot.com From the website: 

Personal information:  I'm a writer of historical and mystery novels. At 18 I took an overland bus from London to Kathmandu to experience the hippy trail - and follow in the footsteps of my Scottish granny who had gone out to India to marry in 1923.

The experience has formed itself into a page-turning novel OVERLANDERS!
You can read the first chapter of OVERLANDERS on my website: http://www.janetmacleodtrotter.com/

OVERLANDERS is my forthcoming mystery novel set on the 1970s Hippy Trail to Kathmandu. OVERLANDERS NOVEL: A missing woman, A lost world and a journey to find the truth.

1976: Marcus and Ruth go missing in Afghanistan during an overland bus trip to Kathmandu. A generation later, Ruth's nephew Jake, haunted by the disintegration of his family, determines to get at the truth of their disappearance.

Tracking down the trip's driver, Cassidy, Jake begins to piece together a lost world - the mystical vibrant hippy trail to India - and colourful characters like Juliet, who believed herself the reincarnation of an Edwardian traveller. As the mystery surrounding his aunt and the charismatic Marcus unfolds, Jake begins a journey of discovery of his own, that will lead him not only into the dark secrets of the past, but face to face with a tragedy much closer to home.

"I loved it! I found the style very easy to read, I got caught up in the story very quickly, liked the characters and wanted to know where it was going. I love split-time storylines (don't know the proper term) and this was perfect in that each time it jumped from one time to another there was that instant, priceless blend of "oh no, I don't want to leave" and "oh good we're back with the other storyline". I loved all the little descriptive details (which I assume come direct from your diaries) - they set and illustrated the scenes without straying too much into travelogue territory, and so kept the focus on the story. I loved the end too - surprisingly straightforward and very satisfactory." 

"I really enjoyed reading this. It held my attention with a great plot. It was enthralling and I wanted to keep reading to find out what happens." "We think a lot of people will enjoy this book."

Old Swaggies Catching Up

Hi Derek,

Through your website I contacted Ian Rogers back in February, well during the week had an e-mail from him to say he and Vanessa were in Southampton staying at her mothers house, so I went down there Saturday to meet up, had a great day reminiscing etc, Clive Parker cycled over too, was great to catch up. I hadn't seen Ian for 20 years and Clive for 34 years!


oh p.s John Cridge was over here from New Zealand for a couple weeks(visiting his mother and sister etc) he flew back to NZ just over a week ago, I told him about your website so expect an e-mail from him in time.

Picture: Ian Rogers, Graham Libby & Clive Parker

Overlanders in Phuket

Early May Darcey Waller and his wife Sandra had a holiday at Kata Beach Hotel Phuket just a couple of hundred yards from our home. We worked for different overland companies, Darcy for Sundowners me for Asian Greyhound but back in OZ we both worked for AAT Coach Holidays. Darcy was a driver in Sydney I ran the workshop in Melbourne. We had a nice meal out & talked about the old days as overlands tend to do.

Picture taken at Mom Tri's Boathouse looking out over Adaman Sea.

Something for you Africa Overlanders

I have done a little slide show from a Africa Northbound Encouter 1980 – may be of passing interest to some...

Part 1    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPHV0wewL3g 

Part 2    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89c2NL_-hdE 

Best Regards David Hunter

Safari's to Asia and Africa Overland are organising a reunion for passengers and drivers in June or September 2011( whichever month is the most popular) in Istanbul, Turkey for 4 to 7 days. It is open to anybody who is interested, passengers or drivers from other companies, people who want to talk over old times and just catch up people who did these trips. The idea is get a group booking in a hotel and have, side shows, movies etc. visit the old haunts of Istanbul and do side trips to the places we have visited in Turkey on route to India. If you are interested contact harveybonham@yahoo.com.au 

There is also a Letter from Harvey about his latest trip HERE

A selection of Greg's images are in a
Slide Show HERE

Dear Derek, 

My name is Greg Williams and I was a passenger on Sundowners AL99 from Kathmandu to London in 1975. Then in 1976 I joined the company as a courier and did 4 more overlands over the next 2 years. I sometimes think I might still be doing tours if I had not met my wife on the beach in Selifke, Turkey. She was on a Penn tour. We met again in Kathmandu and the rest is history. She was Canadian, I was Australian, I emigrated to Canada, returned to my old profession of teacher, raised 3 kids and my wife and I are now back in Europe as I have been teaching at Frankfurt International School for the past 3 years. It’s great to be traveling again. 

You have a fantastic website – lots of memories – hope the attached photos are useful. 

Regards, Greg (Stretch) Williams

Mail Bag

Can anyone help with this request - New Frontier?

Hi Derek,
 My name is Sian Gard and I contacted you a few months ago about the Hippie Trail. I am not sure if you remember, but I was working for a company called Electric Pictures.
Well I am now working for the Australian broadcasting Corporation and you won’t believe this but I have a story that I am trying to crack and I think it might be right up your alley. I work for a TV program called Can We Help? And the premise of the show is people write in, and ask for our help. One of the segments is called Lost and Found. This is where we reunite old friends and family etc.
A lady has written into the program asking for assistance in tracking down some people that travelled overland with in 1968.  I only have a few scattered details, but if there is any way you might be able to help, we would love to reunite the people that were part of this journey, in the 60s.

The information I have is ;

My lady went from the UK to Deli and she went on a New Frontier tour in a Ford Transit. It departed the UK on the 27th September 1968; Night Ferry to Zeebrugge (Holland), Germany; Munich, Austria, Hungry, Budapest Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Khyber Pass, Pakistan and India finishing in Delhi. Her driver was a chap called Dan Smith and she remembers a John Briggs from Sydney: There was also a 

Gilbert, Bill, Albert - all friends, Betty, Sunny -  Indian man living in Perth, Western Australia, Art - a Canadian, Peter - English, Cath - English. 

Unfortunately she doesn't have many surnames, that is one of the problems there are no surnames. 

If you know of any of these people or might be able to help get the word out I would be greatly appreciative and it would be wonderful to reunite this lady with her long lost friends. 

Thanks Derek and I hope to hear from you soon. Kind Regards, Sian - Researcher

ABC TV: Can We Help?

Hi Derek 

I wanted to ask you something. I travelled with Budget Bus to India in June 1973 and the driver I believe was named Dave Taylor. Do you know what happened to him? Is he still around? 

Cheers Roger Can anyone help?

There is a new Budget Bus Slide Show with images by Alison & John

Hi Derek,
I was an Encounter driver, for 6 yrs I have an 8mm film I can get converted to digital can you give me a format? I can just send you a DVD OR DV file OR memory stick if you are interested It is aprox 20min shot in Africa with commentary, certainly not professionally done
Regards Dave Johnson Are we interested, we sure are!

Hi Derek,
Thanks for your email. I worked for Geoff Hann for a few years around 1987 or so, mostly doing the north Indian tours but also a couple of overlanders. Yeah, it'd be interesting to be able to get in contact with some of my old passengers. I was also,  trying to contact Geoff Hann mainly to solve any issues we had & to let him know just how much I appreciated the opportunity he gave me & how I still so value the experiences from those years. Any chance that you could give me his contact or if I email to you could you pass it on to him? 
I don't know if you have been a driver/tour leader, but I now look back on those years as being so important to my life.Thanks again for emailing Derek, best regards to all, Brian Tann.

Hi Derek 
I was in England a few weeks ago visiting family and friends and of course visited Graham Libbey. He showed me the Swaggy web site so thought I had better drop you a line to let you know that I am still alive and well. 
Barbara and I live in Henderson, Auckland, New Zealand. We moved here in 1980 from Yorkshire and bought Barb's parents 15 acre block. We now have two daughters, Anita and Stefanie. Barb is still nursing and I work for an enginnering consultancy in Auckland. 
Seeing the site has fired me up to get all my slides out and see if the ravages of time have damaged them. If not then I will get them put onto discs.
Barb and I still enjoy our camping holidays and are gradually working our way around Australia doing a section each year. Must admit we go in for a bit of luxury now and use campervans with loo and shower. You can now update my details on the crew list.  
Hope to get into the site and have a nosey. I still have the log I wrote when I was a passenger on your trip (July 1974).
All the best John Cridge

My daughter Tig, who is a product of the Overland discovered your site.    I think that we must have met at some time.   I am a Pom and was the second Pom to drive for Sundowners.   I drove for Sundowners in 72 and 73, came to Oz in 74 and 75 and then bought into Overlander Coaches in 75 and drove with them until 78.   I drove an Indian trip for Penn in 1980.    I was one of the people who used Norm Harris’ workshop in Slough and I think mine was one of the last buses to leave the building at 5.00am when Norm had to vacate the garage.  

I have a lot of slides, but no time to look at them.   When I retire I will have a look and send some to you.   Most of them went to the Overlanders NZ office and were lost in a fire.    I used to have many brochures stored at my parent’s house, but Mother threw them out twenty years ago as I was no longer doing that job, good one Mum. 

I will ask Tig to purchase the DVDs for Geraldine and I to watch.    Geraldine my wife of 28 years was a passenger on my last trip and we have a son and daughter. 

John Anderson of Contiki gave a talk at a local business function in Sydney about four months ago and that really bought back some memories.    I was the next bus along after they rolled their first overland trip on the road before Mashad.  I drove them to Kathmandu airport at the end of their trip.  John reckons that 1:20 Aussies were a Contiki pax so many kids owe their existence to that company, I think the Overland is also responsible. 

Overlanders produced a movie of a 1976 trip, but I do not have a copy.   I am trying to track down Fred Sparksman who should have a copy.  Have not spoken to him since the early 80s. 

It is good to look back at what we used to do, especially as I spend a daily grind of running the companies below. 

Best regards, Bob Martin

Hello Derek,
It has been a few years since I last contacted you; I think I still need to thank you very much for the DVD!
But the latest newsletter got me to set up a pdf of some of the pages that I had scanned of the 1973 Penn Brochure. It is rather large so I have put it on my web site at: http://members.tip.net.au/~lindafrd/Overland/Overland.html
also a group photo of the RY268 group and a photo (which you already have!) of Margret and of Travers Cox our courier and driver. It was good to see Travers' name on your web site as a courier in an earlier trip.
Also; I have a confession to make! I should have changed this a long time ago. My name now is Linda Anchell. Last year I went to a school reunion and got used to being Linda Reid again.

My name when travelling overland was Reid, not Anchell... The forums look good, but I don't have the time tonight!
It is great to relive the memories. One day I will get all my photos on line! :) byeee, enjoy Thailand, Linda
To help premote the India Overland website would you please Recommend us to a Friend. Just use this link to spread the word.
If you have any stories or pictures related to the Overland I would love to get a copy. Lists of passengers or just the ones you can remember would be a great addition to this project. To view back issues of this newsletter use this LINK. You can post anything to the Forum if you prefer, all info would be greatly received.

If you would like to be removed from this newsletter please send an email to remove@indiaoverland.biz. Make sure you ask me to remove the email address that it was sent to not one it is redirect to, thanks.

This newsletter is produced by Derek Amey - Phuket Thailand.