A newsletter for all the ex Overlanders

Lourdes Hotel Quetta

After 2 days crossing the desert from Zahedan in Iran Lourdes Hotel was a welcome rest. An old colonial building with beautiful grounds is was a real treat for people used to camping in the open. The overland seemed to go in small bursts, we left Zahedan ready to takle the 400 miles of desert but now we are here we need to prepare for the next bit. At each large city there is a need to do repairs or servicing, fill up with gas plus solve any passenger problems whilst having a rest before the next push. Quetta was a great city with lots to see and one of the best shopping areas, I had one shop that sold the best sandles with car tyre soles, they would last a whole round trip so I could pick up a new pair next time round.

Mustafa Hotel Kabul

The Mustafa was one of the famous hotels of the overland, just about everyone past through at some time and even if you didn't stay here you had to drop in to catch up with what was happening on the road. Read Daves post on the Mustafa he has a link to their website, Yes it still exists. We used to arrive in Kabul late at night which made finding the hotel a particular challenge. All the streets looked the same with half finished or tumbled down buildings and no real landmarks. The hotel has redish coloured roof and next door the yard full of cars is were I used to get some repairs done. (last paragraph on page).
The hotel looks better these days, I don't remember the row of shops but I suspect they have always been there. The vacant land opposite the yard is where an Afghan soldier threatened to shot me if I didn't move the bus. The street uo the side of the yard is "Chicken Street" famous for its shopping, tea houses and carpet sellers. If you were travelling west in winter then this was the place to buy a sheep skin coat, be sure it was well tanned or after a couple of weeks it smelt like a dead rat. I have told Cindy we will visit Kabul soon just to see what it is like now, she's not that keen but the promise of a nice lapis trinket might do the trick. Travel outside of Kabul is a bit risky but I have read reports of people going through Afghanistan in the last 12 months. Dangerous, yes but it always was!
The Overland today
There are still some who want to go as Emma's email shows.

Dear Derek,
I am sorry to bother you as I do not have information for your site, but was wondering if you could help me.I came across your site in a desperate search for a company or someone,something or somewhere I might find in regards to making the overland trip toIndia today.I would really appreciate it if you had any kind of information at all.I really hope you can help. You have lived what I dream of doing! Your site isan inspiration! I only hope I can follow in the path of the likes of your good self any many other that were lucky enough to make this journey!
Kindest regards

Emma Adams

Do any of you have any advise or ideas to offer Emma? Email Emma

Penn World RY268 Eastbound February 1971
Email from Linda Anchell

I was on the RY268 trip in 1971. We went from London in February.

I have a list of passengers and the crew that I will copy below. Also photos of the bus, left behind at Lahore with Travers Cox (driver) and Margret Zimmerman (courier). We passengers hopped across the India Pakistan border to Amritsar to meet with another bus. The border was closed because of the recent India Pakistan war.

I can get the photos up on my web site or send a few to you. I won't send any until I hear back from one of you.Its great to see the site, and have great memories revived!

A few years ago I was contacted by another of Penn's passengers who had seen something I had written about my trip. I will have to go into the archives to find him. I'm sure he would be interested in your website and may have more information for you.

Travers Cox (driver) and Margret Zimmerman (courier)

Passenger / Crew List
Gordon and Julie Coster
Bob and Beth Murray
Paul and Gillian Northgrave
Tito and Greta Pedraja
Rene and Margret Schott
Graham and Denise Smalley
Gerry and Hilde Lesheim
Faye Anderson
Angela Mann
Faye Maclean
Angela Sprengel
Pat Moynihan
Elspeth Anderson
Rita Weber
Llnda Anchell
Georgette Verspreeuwen
Christine (Kri Kri) Nicolaidis
Mike Aamodt
Rex Delmaine
Ray Harrington
Tony Coomes
Bob Stewart
Glenn Johnston
Ian Tracy
Jens Zimmerman (courier India to Ktm)
Mike Wanklyn (driver India to Ktm)
Margret Zimmernman (courier UK to Pak)
Travers Cox (driver UK to Pak)
Some Overland Recollections from Rob Muligan - Vanuatu
Hi Derek,
Here are some names and recolections. I have a detailed diary and clour slides back in Vanuatu. I am in NZ at present.
Geoff, driver.
Des, mechanic - Aussie
Andrew, passenger, doctor from Melbourne I think + wife
Two nurses from Oz
Ted Day, a Kiwi who went to live on the Chatham Islands, NZ
Bob Mulligan (me) + Lynne (who shot through 3 years later and has our photos of people)
Mother + daughter form Canada.
A tall skinny guy from Queenstown NZ. He was older than most of us. Someone Bird I think. Nice guy but quiet. 
A young English school leaver (name?) doing his OE who got dehydrated and was confined to Jammu hospital, poor fellow, while the rest of us went to Kashmir for a week and lazed about on house boats, then he had too many hash cookies in Kathmandu and nearly died a second time!

I nearly died three times on that trip, in Kabul, Delhi and Kathmandu - too much Tibetan fungus in my Golden Dragon Special at the Golden Dragon restaurant and recuperated in a mission hospital for two weeks at Am Pipal in the Gurkha district (still have the trekking permit) somewhere up river from Dumre Bazaar. I was so weak the porter nearly had to carry me too. Should have stayed at Aunt Jane's!

But lived to continue the journey a month later on my own via Calcutta, Bangkok, train to Butterworth etc via KL to Singapore then Jakarta by 3rd class rail (the coffee was good) via Bandung, Jogakarta, Surabaya, to Denpassar, Bali - then Merpati airlines ("You think that is a Rolls Royce out your window", my Aussie mate said as the aging Hawker Sidley sputtered over the shark infested Torres strait "but I'm sure mine is a bloody Holden!!" So we reassured each other and survived that perilous journey to Oz which started in severe Monsoon rainstorm conditions, via West Timor to Darwin which had been flattened by Tropical Cyclone Tracy 11 months before, then next day (nothing to do there) with an Australian airline that no longer exists via Mt Isa and Brisbane to Sydney ("There goes a bloody guru" a tall Aussie customs officer said to his mate as I departed - I had a big beard, was as skinny as a rake, wore Thai Buddist monk sandles, an Indian shirt, worn jeans, a worn out backpack cast-off from some ill-fated Everest expedition I guess, carrying a huge Chinese coolie hat under my arm - but a big happy smile on my face - I had just had the best 5 months of my life - thanks to Swagman Tours!!) and across the ditch to Auckland then train to Wellington my home at that time.

I got sidetracked...

Plus various other persons on board Eastbound Swagman July something 1975 + exactly 80 days I recall, London to Kathmandu.
I have slides of most places including one with the bus and people at the desert lighthouse somewhere outback on the route to Bam. I remember a solitary Pakistani emerging from a mirage, pushing his bicycle along the railway track between Bam and Zahedan I think - heading to America I guess!!
Maybe I should compile some kind of report of that journey with a few more anecdotes, then track down Ted Day to see what he remembers. I have just turned 60 but my memory is still reasonably intact.
Thanks again Derek.
All the best.
Rob
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. You can catch up on past Newsletter with this LINK.
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This news letter is produced by Derek Amey - Gold Coast Australia.

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