Hi Cindy and I are back from our latest trip, there is a report HERE if your interested (its quite long so get a hot drink before you start). We had a great time and the house swap concept worked out really well. I think I have finally solved the problem of sending the newsletter from Thailand. Half the reason why they have been few and far between is related to the crap internet here. Did you know that Thailand is one of 3 countries that dosn't have 3G wireless internet, the others are North Korea & Somalia. What's more it will be at least 18 months before its up and running, so don't bother bringing your IPhone here, the old phone held together with tape and a rubber band will be just as good. It was good to see Turkey again, its changed, a lot more tourists but if you get off the beaten track its still much as it was.
We had some problems with the forum a few days ago, I would like to say it was fixed but some content has been lost, more details at
http://www.indiaoverland.biz/forum/viewtopic.php?id=266. There is a new Blog, details below. All the Best Derek & Cindy

Visit to Turkey
There's lots of photo's in the story above but here are a few more of Turkey today. There is a lot of work going on to restore old buildings, the Turks have realized they are sitting on a tourist gold mine. The city has changed but the buildings are still there, the old spare parts area on the way down to the Bosphurous is more touristy but just go back one more street and you can still get a starter motor fixed. The small hotels near the Blue Mosque have gone "Boutique" with roof top dining. The streets are cobbled and choked with traffic and goods are still transported by handcart. Old men still frequent the cafe's, sipping on black tea and puffing on water pipes, away from the tourist trail its as though time has stood still.
Goreme coach park - those with the blue sticker follow me!
Lale Pudding Shop - still serving great food
Railway Station by Bosphurous
Fried fish boats on Bosphurous
Articulated trams!
Evening prayer at Blue Mosque

If you are tempted to go back then do it, you wont be dissapointed. Istanbul has to be one of the most fasinating cities in the world, there history round every corner. You will not have seen the "Cistern" only opened a few years ago it is a hidden gem .

Intercontiental Transit

Hi,I just saw your website on India Mike.com and I love looking at everything you put together. I did an overland trip in Oct. 1975 on a one-bus company called Intercontinental Transit.
It left from London and was owned by a Pakistani guy who drove the bus until Istanbul, then the rest of the way by a young English guy.I don't see this company listed on your website. I've attached a few photos, one from Istanbul of the driver/owner washing the bus, one from Chiken Street in Afghanistan and one from Mashad Iran. Like others, I would love to find some of the people on my bus!

Deena Atlas

This turned up while I was putting this newsletter together

Hey Derek:
Thought you might be interested in this post on my blog THE GENERALIST
The Hippy Trail: More Discoveries http://hqinfo.blogspot.com

Its a company you haven't got on your list, Intercontinental Transit best of wishes
John May

Overland Travel Blog
I have been working on getting a blog up to add more to this topic. The blog is a little different and is aimed not just at the historical recording of the overland but as it is today. I do get a lot of people asking about trips they can do now and advice on where to go. Well I have to admit I am no expert, so why not a blog where people can find some info or add their thoughts about seeing the world. I'm hoping you guys can help get this off the ground by commenting on the content so far. I am also looking for a couple of Editors who can post articles to the blog. I have a Twitter account which I hope to feed stuff in and Face Book is next.

Well the Blog is called Overland Travel and here's your LINK.

Let me know what you think by adding a comment.

Budget Bus
Dear Derek

I've just come across your site whilst researching Budget Bus for a blog I'm doing at present. I went overland from London to Delhi with Budget Bus, leaving London on 1st August 1977. Having recently re-discovered the diary I kept of that trip I decided to use it as the basis of a blog of my travels. (http://thehippietrail.wordpress.com) And I am posting each entry on what is effectively the 33rd anniversary of the original diary entry (i.e. I started the blog on 1st August 2010 with the entry for 1st August 1977).

Part of the reason I'm doing this is to document just how much has changed (and how much has been lost) in that region in the ensuing period so I'd very much welcome contributions from anyone else who travelled that route. I'm particulary keen to include interactions with the locals (e.g. we had a great encounter with Afghan tribesmen on our way back from Bamiyan) to give a more rounded picture of what people in that region are really like (and not the shallow stereotypes portrayed in the media). I would be very grateful therefore if you could put something in your newsletter and/or on your site.

I shall also post on the Overland Forum.

I am attaching for your information a couple of photos. The first is our group in Kabul on 4th September 77: this was the day the group began to shrink as people started to leave the bus to make their own way around the region. The second photo is Budget Bus at the Afghan/Pakistan border later that same day. I shall, of course, be posting a few dozen more on my blog as I retrace my steps (or, more precisely, tyre tracks). If there is any information I can give you for your website please don't hesitate to contact me.

I must admit I was pleasantly surprised to rediscover my old diary of my trip (not least because it was the one and only time in my life that I've ever kept a diary anyway). Writing it up certainly triggers a lot of memories (although the entries of late August 1977 seem to have an overwhelming focus with 'the runs'. Having said that, it occurs to me that the 'upalatable' things like that (and chlorine water purification tablets) are usually forgotten over time but they were - regretably - a central part of the experience. At least they were for me and most my fellow travellers!). So I hope my memories help trigger more in other people too; it was a unique experience and even if it ever becomes possible to drive that route again, it will be so different what with sat navs, mobile phones,. the internet and so on (and not forgetting health and safety, which would have put a lot of operators out in the first place!)

Best Wishes Colin Clews

PS Just for starters, herewith another pic of Budget Bus passengers, taken during one of the many breakdown stops, (in the Turkish mountains on this occasion). The woman is an Aussie called Annie (surname unknown, I'm afraid), I'm the one in the white top. The other guy is (I think) called Derek and he was a Pom.

Hi Derek
I’ve been meaning to send you a photo for the website of a mini reunion in April for five of us from the London-Kathmandu trip in September 1976.
The suspects in the photo are: Geoff Lawrence, Nikki Haward (Way), Jan MacLeod Trotter, Diana Davis (Walker) and Rob MacKay.
I’d been to the London Book Fair dressed as a hippy to promote the novel about the Overlanders (now called The Vanishing of Ruth) and was wearing my original jeans from the trip and a top made in Kathmandu (how sad is that?!)

I’ll put something about the novel on the website as it’s now available as an ebook (but I was stumped as to how I load photos on the site, so leave that to you!)

All the very best Jan

Website: www.janetmacleodtrotter.com Blog: http://janmacleodtrotter.blogspot.com

Something for those of you who don't mind getting a sore arse.


Mail Bag

Hi Derek
Just came across your website. What a blast from the past. My husband and I travelled with Capricorn in September 1975 to December 1975 from London to Kathmandu before travelling on to Melbourne where we stayed for 11 months then sailing back to the UK.  Apart from one other couple who were English like us and a couple of American girls, the rest of our fellow travellers were Aussies and New Zealanders travelling home.   Our driver was Bruce from Tasmania and our tour guide  was Russell Jahn who is still a good friend of ours in Perth.   It remains the greatest trip of our life even though we went on to filming wildlife documentaries all over the world.   We feel we were very fortunate to see all those countries before they became war torn.  We still have the Capricorn brochure and a journal of our trip, plus endless slides and a video.  Will try and post them to your site when I get time.  Attached our fellow travellers.  Apart from Russell have lost touch with everyone else. Kind regards Linda Searle

Hi Derek, came across a few more photos the other day. I hope that you can use them from Picassa or I could try emailing them

Regards Jon Langford (use the Picassa link above to view John's images)

Hello there,
Attached is a story I have just written on Pakistan. You might like to put this on your website.
All I ask is that you mention my name and if possible my email address.

Take care. Colin Hood email colin@hikebike.com.au A link to Colin's STORY

Hello Derek,
Any information about the ‘Indiaman’ overland bus trips from India to various destinations in Europe? I travelled on the bus in 1970 joining the bus in Khatmandu travelling via India, Pakistan, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Finland etc. Would so much appreciate any contacts, links or information you have……….Web site a great find!
Many thanks Heather

Pakistan Flood Relief

Dear friends,
the summer is coming to an end and soon I'll be leaving with my blue bus to India once again. As always I will have to cross Pakistan on my way there.
As you all know the people of Pakistan are suffering a great deal due to the immense flooding of the country and I feel that I would like to help them.

That is why I am collecting money right now to take with me and distribute directly to the people that I will be meeting on the way. I do not want to compete with the big help organizations that are providing clean water, food, blankets, tents and medical care right now. But afterwards these people will need money to rebuild their houses, buy tools and seeds for a new harvest and be able to earn money again themselves.

I could give families on the way some cash in an envelope and lend them a helping hand in the recovery of their lives. Those of you who want to join in and have some Euros, Dollars, Pounds or Swiss Francs laying around can send them directly to my bank account in Switzerland.

Renata Kuhn
IBAN CH930029129189401540X
BIC UBSWCHZH80A Note: Help for Pakistan
I will hand out the entire amount during my trip thru Pakistan and once I am back in India I will give you a complete report of how the money was spent.
For mails: muffti@gmx.ch Website: www.marcosbus.ch

Many thanks for your help Marco

Does North West ring any bells?

A company called "North West" had one Mercedes Benz bus. About 30 seats. This has not been mentioned on your pages as far as I know.
My journey Istanbul-Kabul started in July 1972, ended 2 weeks later. One serious accident in Iran, before Quazvin
Start was from near Pudding Shop, ended at Suraj Guest House.

Company's owner was Pakistani, also British-passport, Syed Yawar Hussain, better known as Terry.
I visited him in Karachi, He told that on return trip bus had crashed, 10+ deaths.

Passengers which i remember:
Dan McElwain, West Virginia, USA
John Bonfiglio USA
William Schlucter, Swiss photographer, on assignment to magazine "Images du Monde", now extinct.
Susie Zis (maybe)
Luc Boissier, Paris (maybe)

Tuomas Asumus

This ring a bell with anyone?

Just came across your site. Wonderful!
I travelled overland to India from Europe in 1973 and 74.
Although I didn't use one of the overland bus tours, my travelling companion and I came across one of the buses in Mashad. The driver had been driving through the mountains in Iran and hit a man. He was jailed for murder and all of the passengers left except one, a New Zealand woman who stayed on over many months and finally got him out of jail. When we met them, it was just the two of them and a big empty bus which we subsequently rode into Afghanistan on.
I wonder if you know who this driver was by any chance and what his tour company was called?
Susan Burks

Magic Bus? John Meagher is a relative of Cindy he sent her this: can you help?

I’d be very interested in Derek’s view on the following and if he has any clue as to what bus I took.
I took a bus from London to Istanbul that departed sometime between 27 July (when I picked up a visa from the Afghan embassy) and 3 August when we crossed the border into Greece. Both dates are in an old passport so they are firm. I would not be surprised if we left on Saturday July 29 but I can’t be sure and obviously I don’t recall.
This much I do recall but I could not mount a very compelling defence if challenged on much of it. I had thought that it was The Magic Bus that we took but that may not be correct. In truth I don’t recall who it was.
The bus was driven by 2 blokes (I think they may have been brothers). I’m fairly sure they were English. I think one had curly brown hair.
The bus broke down in Salzburg and we hung around the town for a day and a night. I, along with the friend I was travelling with, and some Scottish girls we met on the bus just got drunk. One of the girls was called Linda and she was a teacher. She has blond curly hair. I recall sleeping in the bus because I neither had a tent nor the luxury of being able to pay for a hotel.
I remember going trough Graz in Austria before entering Yugoslavia and then travelling through the centre of Yugoslavia on a single track road. The road ran between endless fields of corn and we were frequently held up by huge traffic jams which were inevitably caused by crashed lorries that were then dragged out of the way into the adjoining fields. I recall looking in a supermarket somewhere in Yugoslavia at sagging shelves that had nothing but some jars of pickles. I recall it as completely dreary but in its defence we did not take the coast road.
I remember the joy when we eventually crossed the border into Greece and stopped at what seemed like the first taverna that we came across. The drivers were known to the proprietor and they seemed to have been expecting us as there was a single (well probably joined up) table all prepared and lit up outside (it was dark by now). I got wasted again while some bloke played a balalaika and we ate beautiful Greek food all of which was very exotic to me having for my previous 20 years existed on a diet of meat and one veg (potatoes). We slept the night in one of those half built houses that one sees all over Greece.
I remember that one of the drivers had a large bottle of some kind of brandy in a sort of wicker holding that he shared with us now and again. We drank directly from the bottle.
We went first to Athens (I was not aware that we would do that) where some passengers alighted and then went on to Istanbul. It was in a camp site in Athens where I ate my first chilli. I had no idea what it was so left it till the rest of the salad was gone then chomped into it. I thought I was dying till a girl nearby witnessing my distress asked if I was OK before diagnosing my condition as post chilli burn up. It will pass she told me. It did but an ominous sign as I was heading for India.
The bus had a sound system and the favourite tape was Neil Young’s Harvest. I had bought Harvest earlier in the year so by the time we got on the bus I was very familiar with it. Over the week or so that it took to get to Istanbul I had to live through everyone else getting into the album with the result that it was many years before I could stand listening to it again
I left the bus in Istanbul and did the rest of the journey using various means – mainly local buses. I have some very hairy stories from that trip.
I can send this to Derek’s web site but not sure there is enough detail here. I can add more colour but little additional detail. Let me know.

Not lost just delayed

I am sure many overlanders will have been intrigued by the OVERLAND book by Janet McLeod Trotter. Perhaps all the tour operators should write their own true stories of ‘passengers’ who left their tour before the end = and tell what happened to them-if they ever found out.

My own story is that on our ‘OVERLAND TO INDIA BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT’ the brochure said ‘NO LIMIT’ to luggage, as long as you can manage it yourself. In 1973 a passenger ALAN EVISON on his way to his first job, as a lecturer in a university in Bangladesh turned up at Victoria station with a 75kg cabin trunk, manoeuvring it along the dockside in Dover to the crane which lifted it on board the cross channel it was a Belgian railway official who made Alan check the trunk through to Istanbul last seen by me in the luggage van, our journey continued with a day in Munich, a day in Belgrade and guess what? On arrival in Istanbul NO TRUNK During our 2 day sightseeing there it never arrived and our group continued to India leaving poor Alan to wait for his trunk to arrive and never to be heard of again-UNTIL 2009 - an article in the Independent newspaper about the’hippies’ who spent their days in the Lales 'pudding shop' up by the blue mosque brought a response from (now) Professor ALAN EVISON who spent some 3 weeks awaiting his ‘luggage’ and with the lifting help of other independent ‘public transport’ overlanders he made his way along the well worn route to his destination in Dacca. So at least this passenger cannot join the ‘NEVER TO BE SEEN AGAIN ‘ list.

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.

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