Topic: Anyone from Intertrek London - Khatmandu trip Oct - Dec 1972?
bethe wondering if anyone is out there from Intertrek London-Khatmandu Oct -Dec 1972?
I booked Intertrek as it was one of the more expensive and hopefully safe companies. I was initially to be on the Sept departure, but that one was full for females, so I was shunted on to October. I was really wanting to get home to Brisbane for Christmas, and an extra problem with the airline cropped up while we were travelling, but after a night at Sydney airport, I finally did make it Christmas Day. Something like 40deg in the shade that day, and we all just went to sleep on my sister's polished wood loungeroom floor after lunch....
Ian Shaw was the leader and he and Keith guided us conscientiously. I remember a broken-down truck alongside Lake Van in Turkey, with a hitch to the nearest town being necessary for a part. The rest of us just relaxed and waited for all the work to be done. I can't remember any other major catastrophes - unlike some of the interesting experiences described in this forum!
Drugs? Perhaps one or two people, but I certainly saw none the whole trip. Hippy Trail? I don't think so - we were just young people looking out for a good time and new places and experiences. And the time was right for us - can't do it now - and after the Bamiyan tragedy and seeing on TV the houseboats on the Dal Lake in Kashmir reduced to wrecks on the edge of the lake I feel privileged to be one of the few to experience such a life-changing trip. And I wonder how many of the people we saw and photographed in Afghanistan are still alive .......And the women in Teheran who looked so Western in their dress and so liberated - are they happy about what they now have to wear in public? And the restrictions now placed on their lives?
I've only just stumbled on this forum- I wonder if anyone else has - I've lost contact otherwise, and that would be a pity. Well, in case, first I have some apologies. Ron - I'm sorry I kept calling you 'Pickles'. Dermot - I'm sorry I denigrated your 'plahstic' accent. Incidentally, your calm care and concern was much appreciated, if only after the fact! Deirdre and Darrell - thanks for the great friendship - and how's baby Michelle? - old enough to have lots of kids herself. Margaret - I wish I had been as diligent at diary-writing as you were. Noreen - are Gog and Magog still there? I still don't quite understand what they are. Pauline - did you stay in NZ after your new teaching adventure? Wilf and Jenny - we laughed at you for your teeth-flossing, but now I think of you every time my dentist says ----
We were so young! But perhaps that is what made us so open to those new experiences, people, ways of life, and cultures, and so accepting. Showers only every two weeks? Sterotab - tasting water? Fruit and veges sloshing around in the tank under the truck in disinfected water? Sleeping under the stars only to be told that there were scorpions? Toilets in India [and other places - I just thought these were the worst] consisting of a sloping cement slab where everyone went together, and then flushed with a hose after. And the teahouse in Afghanistan [staying overnight was fun - and warm], but next day to be able to inspect the pile of toilet detritis outside under the hole in the floor!!! Delhi-belly - I had 2 episodes; one in Turkey, and the other after a national meal - in Kashmir I think. [only two? we must've been healthy!]
There are some memories I will always treasure: the men in Kashmir who coped with the cold by holding little hot braziers under their robes; Goreme and Pamukkale; the beauty of the two young Indian women walking in front of me towards the Golden Temple at Amritsar; women washing beautiful brass pots under a tap alongside the road to Khatmandu; those two great statues of the Buddha at Bamiyan, now gone forever; the crush of people, bicycles and cows everywhere in India; shikaras on the Dal Lake in Kashmir; little boys in makeup dancing for men in Iran? Afghanistan?; lots of happy, open children, from different cultures, but still children, accepting their lives as they were; eking out yummy English Mars Bars [much better than the Aust ones at the time], bought with the last of my English money; my beautiful Afghan jerkin, sweated over going through Aust customs, only to be refused house room by my Mum, who said there were bound to be crawlies in it, and to hang it outside on the line. Of course, after a couple of weeks out in the Brisbane wet summer heat, there were....
I have photos. If I can manage to, I will post some of them. Of course, they are still in the ubiquitous slide form, and hopefully they don't have mould patches, but I'll look at them and try.
Thanks for the opportunity to write this. It does bring back much. Hopefully, someone who was also there will read this, but no doubt it will be of interest to any other travellers, whose experiences were similar.......Beth