Budget Bus & Tour East

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Just happened on your web site.
I travelled to India with Budget Bus in 1977, from Totteridge Tube station to New Delhi for £80.The driver was Emil Bryden and the bus was an ancient bedford, purple and white.
I would be interested to get in touch with anyone who was on this trip, as I am thinking about writing about some of my travels.
I do have some (poor quality) photos if they are of interest
Jon Langford

For more on this trip see bottom of this page

Budget Bus in Yugoslavia


Breakdown in Iran

Breakdown in Iran

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We were met at Totteridge tube station by a gleaming near new luxury coach. We congratulated ourselves on obtaining such value for money as we played with the individual ventilation controls and reclining seats. But then we arrived at Dover.The first time we cast eyes on the Budget bus was at Dover docks(No MOT for driving in UK).A nearby dishevelled hippy type with a psv badge turned out to be Emil Bryden  .The bus wouldn't start.As we pushed it up and down the docks a passing stevedore asked us where we were headed. "Delhi". I can still hear his unkind laughter...

The bus broke down a lot in Europe, mainly fuel problems. Emil would steer right-handed whilst adjusting the carb with his left hand. An occasional spitback, a gush of flame, and the smell of singeing arm hair would signal when the mixture was too weak.We had loads of spares on board including a complete gearbox which I rested my feet on for the trip.The bus turned out to very reliable after the initial fuel problems.
nterestingly there was one more passenger than seats, so we took it in turns to straddle a cardboard box containing a paraffin heater in the aisle. This involved leaning into the corners like motorcycling and under hard braking would slide forwards until you collided with the engine cover.The bus was also fitted with a mad demister system consisting of a blower motor with an octopus of plastic tubes leading to all corners of the windscreen.
The route was Dover, Belgium,Germany,Austria,Yugoslavia,Greece,Turkey,Iran,Afghanistan,Pakistan,India. We stopped at many of the places that you did, Kavalla,Goreme and the usual mosques etc. On reaching Delhi myself and my friend Alex travelled on to Goa on a white knuckle ride Nepalese driven bus. After staying in Goa for a month or so we made our way south using local buses to Rameswaram to Ceylon then Singapore and eventually Perth were I gained Aus citizenship and lived for 13 years. I returned here to the UK in 1991.
There were no major incidents, one person flew home with dysentery and a few shots were fired at us crossing the Kyber pass at dusk. There was the odd race with other buses involving drifting the bus around on loose gravel roads to the accompaniment of screams from the back.
I don't have much info on Budget Bus. It was based in North London and was the cheapest option apart from Magic bus which we felt would be full of hippies trying to get to the drugs as quickly as possible. Emil Bryden, the driver( and possibly co-owner), was obviously experienced. He bought 2 cases of Johnny Walker on the channel ferry and they were used to great effect at border crossings. We would often see Sundowner coaches with their roof racks being unloaded and passengers watching aghast as there belongings were tipped out for examination, where we would sail through following a swift exchange from the boot of the bus.The more powerful sundowner bus would then overtake us and we would meet again at the next border to see the process repeated.
The passengers were mainly from the UK with a few Aus,NZ, and an Indian couple.
Hope this is of interest,
Check out the Budget Bus
An overland journey to India following the India overland trail through Belgium, Germany, Austria Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, & Nepal. Visting sites of Dubrovnic, Split, Kotor, Athens, Kerimoti, Istanbul, Galipolli, Troy, Delphi, Efes, Goreme, Nemrut, Tehran, Esphan, Persepolis, Shiraz, Kerman, Bam, Quetta, Kandahar, Kabul, Bamian Valley, Kyhber Pass, Indus river, Lahore, Punjab, Amritsar, Kashmir, Delhi, Agra, Taj Mahal, Vanaris, Patna, Raj Path, Kathmandu, Himalyas. All this undertaken in a 20 year old Asian Greyhound, Swagman Tours, LS Bristol bus. This Indiaoverland company was held together by Norm Harris an expatriate Aussie living in Windsor. With drivers like Bob Ashford, Geoff Lawrence, Clive Parker, Dave Watt, Ronnie Martin, John Witchard, Ken Mcdonald, Derek Amey & couriers Fred Fisher, Jos Livingstone, Peter Swift, Kieren Smith & mechanics Gordon Hammond, Graham Libby, Pomme John & Rastas just to name a few.