Sawadee
Well the year is fast coming to an end, we head of to Oz on Dec 18th. The wet season here looks like it has finally lost its grip, we have had sun for the last few days. Its a a mixed bag this time, we have been a bit pre-occupied with learning how to use wordpress blogging software but it will pay off soon, we hope. Last week was the Loy Krathong festival in Thailand when people float little boats made from banana leaf which is symbolic of letting go of all one's grudges, anger and defilements. It is accompanied with lots of idiots throwing firecrackers into the crowd so best watched from a distance. We wish you and your families all the best for Xmas and the New Year.
Derek & Cindy... Phuket


Eight Finger Eddie

Eight Finger Eddie, who died on October 18 aged 85, became famous as the founder of the hippie scene in the Indian resort state of Goa.
An American-born former bass player whose real name was Yertward Mazamanian (he was nicknamed Eight Finger Eddie because he was born with only three fingers on his right hand), Eddie arrived at Anjuna, Goa, in 1966 – a time when it was a tiny village with a few tea stalls and houses lining a white, sandy beach.

“I was the first freak in Goa,” Eddie recalled. “I turned up and liked it so much, I just wanted to stay. And then others started coming. In those days, they came overland from Europe in camper vans and no one had any money. We listened to Traffic and the Rolling Stones.”

In Goa’s hippie heyday in the late 1960s and 1970s, Eight Finger Eddie helped to look after the lost and spaced-out who travelled in his wake. Some were American draft dodgers or Vietnam deserters with faraway stares and heroin habits. He ran a soup kitchen, and in 1975 started the Anjuna flea market as a place to hang out or swap paperbacks of Hermann Hesse, William Burroughs and the Bhagavad Gita.
The presence of Eddie and his companions was tolerated by locals, who would watch with amusement as their strange visitors consulted the I Ching, performed yogic exercises, sucked earnestly on hashish pipes or argued over the true meaning of Bob Dylan’s Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands.

Apart from going to Kathmandu to escape the monsoon every year and making a trip to Bombay to replace his American passport every 10 years, Eight Finger Eddie remained in Goa for the rest of his life.

The state became a top tourist destination with the building of high-end hotels and casinos, and his Anjuna market turned into a thriving retail centre – but Eddie seemed not to care: “Some people say it’s not like it used to be, and it’s not,” he told an interviewer in 1991. “But I like it here now. I like the parties. And I like the music. It’s good to dance to.”

One of seven children of Armenian immigrants to America from Istanbul, Yertward Mazamanian was born in a small town near Boston, Massachusetts, in 1924. In his online memoirs, Eight Finger Eddie: My rise to relative obscurity, he claimed to have been a boy scout, a regular churchgoer and an “honours student” at school.

Yet it seems that the attractions of the dropout life exerted an early hold. After managing to persuade an Army psychiatrist that he was unfit for military service during the Second World War, he was sacked from a job with the General Electric Company. “I abhor work,” he concluded, “begrudging every moment I’ve wasted as a wage earner. My aim in life is to get through life doing what I want to do.”

After a period spent as a layabout and occasional bass player in a jazz band, during which he smoked large quantities of dope, got married, had a son and divorced, Eddie took off around the world in a camper van with a couple of friends, beginning in Mexico, then travelling via Europe to Marrakesh and finally Egypt. There he joined an overland trip to India, arriving in 1965.

His first visit to the country was short-lived, however. He was busted for selling drugs, jailed for three months and then deported. He returned for good the following year.

Though Eddie became something of a persona non grata with the Goan authorities, who were looking to discourage backpack tourism, a Facebook site was set up last year in his name. When he fell ill, a Norwegian journalist launched a campaign to raise money for his medical bills. It generated $2,250, also helping to pay for his cremation, which has taken place with Hindu rites.

His ashes will be scattered at Anjuna’s flea market and beach.


A comfortable exploration of enchanting Rajasthan, the Land of Maharajas

Exodus still run some great trips - this one to Rajastan would be great, hands up those who want to go!

Discover India's desert state of Rajasthan in style; using exclusive heritage hotels we explore the gateway city of Delhi, are enthralled by the magnificent Taj Mahal at sunrise and delve into the history of the many extravagant forts and palaces the region has to offer. At every turn India bombards the senses - one minute it's full spead ahead as we take an exciting jeep safari through desert countryside, experience a train ride with the locals or slip into one of the many colourful bazaars, while the next we'll seek out calm serenity by visiting the holy town of Pushkar and the Mehrangarh fort at Jodhpur. This is the perfect recipe for a first time visitor to India; exotic ingredients, gently combined with a pinch of luxury, and served in a small group with expert local guides.


Facebook and Twitter

We now have a Facebook "Fan Page" Would those of
you on Facebook go to our page and click on the "Like" button to build up our Like numbers, Thanks.

Follow us on Twitter

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Its been a bit like the blind leading the blind here, Cindy and I have both been trying to come to terms with Facebook & Twitter, we think we have it figured. This is all part of the upgrading of the website plus extending it to cover the Overland Today. The new Website Overland Travel is up and running and anything posted to the site adds its self automatically to Facebook & Twitter. Anyone can comment so have a read and see if there is anything you would like to add.

I am looking for a couple of Editors to create post for the site, let me know if thats your thing. Now that the new site seems to work its time to do an upgrade of the India Overland site. Most of the site content will stay in its original format, but some will be moved to a Blog which will allow you to comment on any of the content.


The new Overland Travel website has been and still is a work in progress, it is a trial run for me before I attempting the India Overland site. I like the fact that you can comment on any of the contents and that the site is searchable. I still think the Forum is a better layout to find things in so that will be staying. I hope I can find a way of getting the Forum to post to Facebook as that would be a great feature.

Check out the new site and let me have your thoughts. Derek


While I have been busy on my new site Cindy has been doing a little project of her own, it has also been a learning project before attempting something more ambitious. Her site also has its own Facebook Fan page plus it posts there and to Twitter. Facebook is the place to be these days, it has just passed the 600,000,000 users and more time is spent there than on Google.

Please check out her site and click the "Like" link, its all about Childhood Memories of the 1960's & 70's


Swagman Tour of Feb 1974

Bus in Iran

What a mottle crew

Greece 1974

Greece 1974
Swagman Tour Katmandu-London 13-3-1974 - Identified Passengers
Betsan Anthony-Hayman Geoff Brown
Robert Burns Wendy Davies
Barbara Edmonds David Edmonds
Rod Ewan John Galtieri Driver
Ken Gould Kevin Grant
Jenni Halcron Jann Hawkes
Aileen Kuipers Robert Lloyd
Anna Magaris Kaye McCall
Tom Meyers Leith Meyers
Helen Michalak Kathryn Pollard
Elaine Price Jocelyn Radcliffe
Kieran Smith Courier Hilary Swaby
Roy Swaby Tua Tarmo
Anne Tarmo Kevin Taylor
Tony Wardrof Nigel Wilson
John Witchard Dan ?
Jan ? Olga ?

This email is long overdue but please find attached a copy of the passenger list for the Swagman tour of Feb 1974 and photos of the passengers at the time. Katmandu to London

My long-term goal is to scan the best of my slides from the trip.

Were you the driver of the 2nd Swagman bus leaving Katmandu a few days after we left with only about a third of a bus load. I remember meeting in a Katmandu hotel where some 45 of us had to choose whether to leave on the earlier or later bus.

My wife Barbara lived in London for 3 years after arriving and travelled around extensively around Europe at the time. We have been very fortunate in travelling extensively around south-east Asia and the Americas since returning to Australia. However, if forced to select the "trip of the lifetime" I would unhesitantly choose the Overland trip of 1974.

Thank you very much for all your hard work in setting up and maintaining your website and email news. I have passed details onto others of our generation who did the Overland trip.

Best wishes David Edmonds


Mail Bag

The Children of Bhopal

To outward appearances, Bhopal looks like a typical Indian city – bustling, noisy and vibrant, its streets choked with cars, buses and motorbikes. The disaster that befell Bhopal on 2 December, 1984 did not affect the visible fabric of the city or the majority of the city’s population.

Its effects were felt primarily in the poorest parts of the city, in the neighbourhoods nearest to the Union Carbide plant. It is here where the fatalities were the highest and the human suffering most intense and long-lasting.

Twenty-six years later, it is the second and third-generation children who continue to be the most adversely affected by the disaster: the children who were born to mothers pregnant at the time of the disaster, those who survived the gas but who remain physically marked and psychologically traumatised by the experience, those who are being poisoned by chemicals which have leached into the local water table from the abandoned plant.

Check out this PDF on the help that is still needed for the people of Bhopal


Needle in a hatstack?

Hi,

Just found your website I travelled on a silver coach made by Mercedes.The driver I think was German I joined it in Erzerum and left at Kabul This was about Oct/Nov time in 1969 Any idea of what this company would be? I have a diary of the trip that I really need to type up and upload to a site like yours

Thanks for your help Derek Warren


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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.

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This newsletter is produced by Derek Amey - Phuket Thailand.

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