A newsletter for all the ex Overlanders
First I must apologise for the delay in sending out this newsletter, I will try to keep them coming now I have taken some time off work (retired). We are off to Phuket for 3 weeks so if I don't answer my mail for a bit, you know why.

DVD's available on the site.

I have finally got the DVD's up on the website. I hope you find them of interest and that buying them via PayPal is not too much of a hassle.

I have been sending them out for free but "her in doors" says I can't spend anymore money on film conversion until she see's some money coming in. I'm only asking you to cover the cost of materials, postage and a contribution towards the digital conversion. I have spent about $1200.00 on conversion so will need to sell lots to get that back.

If you have film you would like to share let me know and I'll see if I can arrange to cover the cost!

Check out the DVD's on the new Media Page

This Shifty Character has turned up!

I haven't seen this face for years, last trip we were on was a South India run in 1977.

Bob Hughes ex driver for Intertrek now lives in South Queensland and is threatening to come and visit me soon.

Have Geoff will Travel

Geoff Lawrence ex Swagman driver is currently visiting Tasmania to catch up with his old mate Fred Fisher. He has rented a campervan and is touring the state.

Bit of a bus man's holiday as Geoff drives Bands on tour in UK & Europe.

Who thinks these up?
Check the new "Road Sign" slide show on the website. We all laughed as these signs but appear never to have taken any photo's. Well Ken "the teaman" has and he sent me these to remind you of the overland days

Lunch at Driver Training - Intertrek
Just one of the new photo's from Intertrek. I have put up 2 new slide shows, be sure to check them out.

Mail Bag

Email from Rob Mackay

Pic was taken near Bam in Iran - I guess around May/June 1977

Hello Derek,

I've just had a very welcome phone call from Geoff Lawrence who put me on to your brilliant site. It certainly brought back many memories.
I can't remember whether or not we met, but I've heard your name many times over the years.
I first did a trip - as a passenger - with Asian Greyhound - eastbound leaving September 1976, with Geoff as driver (I actually appear on the passenger list on the site!). We were later joined by Fred Fisher. It was a real life changing experience for me and I subsequently worked for Norm Harris, driving another eastbound trip which left UK in about April 1977 (I think). I had a co-driver called Plumb (can't remember his real name) who'd done a westbound trip as a punter with Clive Parker.
I remember meeting another Swagman bus in Kabul, driven by Tim Harrison (?) who was sadly killed in a car accident. Asian Greyhound went bust during this trip, so the bus was sold - I returned to the UK from Delhi and Plumb went back to Oz (as far as I know) and I've never heard from him again. I did a few jobs for Norm in Windsor in the workshop - and the odd school run!!!) Ian Rogers was another of the Swagman drivers I remember.
On that trip I met Bobby Hughes & Zak Bentham - both Intertrek/Hughes Overland drivers. When they heard of the demise of AG, they passed my name on to Dave Johnson aka Bloss (who was ops manager at the time) and I set off eastbound again in about Nov 1977 (the fridge trip!). I had a trainee driver with me - Colin Sinclair - an ex-cop from Hong Kong - great guy. He married one of our passengers (Mary something) - once again lost touch.
By the time I got to Kathmandu - Intertrek/Hughes had been taken over by Treasure Treks/Tours - owned by the infamous Aart van Saloos.
Did a westbound, leaving Kathmandu about Feb and getting to UK about the end of May - picking up bacterial pneumonia on the way!!!
Did a couple of trips on the Scandinavian sector of the Trans Siberian trip before going to the States, where I did several coast to coast tours. The operation was subbed out to an outfit called American Camping Expeditions run by a guy called Mike Richardson. I was there for about a year and had a great time. There was another ex Hughes driver - Buster something (old age is getting the better of me!!!) who I sort of stayed in touch with for a while.
Came back to the UK and worked in the Treasure Tours office in the Haymarket, London - before heading out to South America, where I bought my own bus in the States, shipped it down to Baranquilla in Colombia and did a couple of very incident packed trips, (as a sub contractor to Treasure Tours/Treks) before they went bust - leaving me in the middle of the Atacama desert with a blown motor, no money and 25 very pissed off punters! There's a book in the South American saga somewhere! (Geoff Lawrence is always nagging me to put it down on paper!)
Worked in Africa for Exodus for a while (it turned out that Dave Gillespie and I went to the same school!) then had a bit of break for about 2 years.

Got married and had a working honeymoon working for Geoff Hann in India & Nepal.

Had a few travel related projects (Music Travel) and a music production company. I'm now living in Tooting (South West London) and I'm a builder!!!!!

I've got loads of info, stories, photos, passenger lists from all my trips - and you're welcome to use it all for the site - just tell me what you'd like. I've even got pretty much a full set of "Bitts" the drivers newsletter from Treasure Tours/Treks. (God! how sad is that??!!)
Kind regards

Rob McKay

PS I'll pass detail;details of the site to those I'm still in touch with - notably Alan Morgan (originally Intertrek/Hughes, but went on to co-found Guerba)

Email from Jack Karolewski - Capricorn Passenger

I went on Capricorn Tours in the summer of 1977, at age 25. I went with my two best friends, Joe Masonick and Rick McKay. We met the London-Kathmandu bus in a BP MoCamp outside of Istanbul, and went overland across Asia with the group as far as Agra, India --- then we stopped in Egypt for a week on our own before returning to the U.S. to resume our respective teaching careers. Our group consisted of about 40 young men and women, all from England, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Rhodesia (now called Zimbabwe) --- the only other American being a retired Treasury Department employee named Clarence Bland, age 67. Our tour leader was Philip Tulk, an ex-Royal Navy man, and our driver was Simon Arms. I remember the cost being a ridiculously cheap $850 US for our approximately nine weeks of travel and lodging, but we also paid into the "food kitty" for another $150 US or so. We got the adventure of our lives seeing Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kashmir and India ( we were refused entry into Lebanon and Iraq)--- but some of our hotels were wretched, or we were just forced to camp in the middle of nowhere for free on the ground! Uncontaminated food and safe drinking water were a constant concern, as illnesses abounded among the passengers. I lost about 20 lbs. of weight through diharrhea, vomiting, etc. despite taking daily vitamins and eight immunizations prior to the trip. I and my two friends have detailed, separate travel journals of our trip, as well as hundreds of slide photographs. My name is Jack Karolewski, and I live in Davis, California. My email is: johnk36786@aol.com Happy Travels!

Email from Margaret Lyall - Passenger PBK

Hi: I've been browsing through your website.
In 1970 (eight ghastly weeks from October to December) I was a passenger on PBK Tours, the one driven by Harvey (the owner, Paul, drove the other bus). Our bus broke down in every country we passed through (except Belgium, where we spent four hours) and our sight-seeing was restricted to wherever we could reach while waiting for the bus to be repaired. I eventually abandoned the bus when it broke down in the Khyber Pass, and so did everyone else who was still left.

Is your forum the right place to describe the trip? I'd love to upload a few pictures, and see if I can get in touch with anyone else from the Magic Bus (we called it that because it had a curse on it).

--Margaret Lyall - Leduc, Alberta, Canada

Elizabeth Baker passenger Swagman

Hi Derek
I was a Swagman passenger from London to Katmandu in 1973. I was on a bus driven by Bob (Ashford?) and John. Must have been John Witchard, but the photo on his website doesn't look like the John I remember, so perhaps it was John Cridge. John had to transfer to another bus part-way through the trip, so for a while, Bob was on his own. I have just retired and at last have a chance to collate all my letters, photos and diaries into some sort of readable whole. This project has only just begun, so it will be a while before it is complete. I was wondering whether Swagman Tours still existed, so typed "Swagman Overland Tours" into my browser, and up came your wonderful website! All the photos taken on my trip were slides, so I have just splashed-out on a new scanner which will copy these, so I was delighted today to discover a site where I can email these to be enjoyed by others and not just kept in a box in a cupboard. Just looking at your pictures brings back so many wonderful memories. You'll be hearing from me again before long.

Lost Emails

I have had another one of my famous computer crashes which has lost some of my email. I had a backup dated 26th November but if you sent me an email between then and 14th January 2008 I may have received it but not had a chance to reply before it was lost. If you are waiting on a reply or I didn't respond to your email I'm sorry. Please send it again as I would not like to miss out on anything.

This time I have had my computer set up as "Mirror" which means it keeps 2 copies of everything and it SHOULDN"T be able to fall over again!

Derek Amey

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 news letter is produced by Derek Amey - Gold Coast Australia.