Topic: Safaris Overland tour by Keith Earner - May 1972.
I am putting this up as apparently a lot of posts have gone missing due to some tech. problem including, I think this one. The 'post' and 'diary' was originally wrtten put up by Keith Earner and below is a copy of what he wrote. I was in fact the Driver/Tour Leader of this trip and owned the coach but was under subcontract to Safaris Overland. John.
India Overland with Safaris International May 1972[b]
Tuesday 2 May
Left Victoria Coach Station with my friend Geoff Salter aboard a modern East Kent Road Car company coach.Transferred to Safaris coach King Kong on the dockside at Dover (not insured in the UK, apparently). Spent the night at a picturesque campsite in Luxembourg, after a 4 hour hold up at Dunkirk to buy insurance to travel through Belgium. Discovered that some people on the coach, including Geoff and me, had paid for the shorter, direct trip to Delhi, while others had paid for the route that took in Athens, the south coast of Turkey and a diversion to Isfahan.
Wednesday 3 May
Through Hunsruck mountains to Karlsruhe, then autobahn to Munich, where we spent the night in a sophisticated doss house, 4 marks per head for a place on an 8 person bed.
Thursday 4 May
Autobahn from Munich towards Salzburg, diverting to Bad Reichenhall for lunch.
Spent the night in a schoolroom attached to a campsite in Salzburg. Hot showers.
Friday 5 May
Via salt mines at Hallein and lunch at Wolfgangsee towards the Yugoslav border beyond Graz, where we spent the night in a large room (2.5 schillings each) in a Gasthaus/Camping. Drinking and dancing to the jukebox. Excellent schnitzel. John the driver decided to spend the night on the coach (10 yards outside) but got lost in the dark.
Getting to know the other passengers, who include:
Lina Morielli and her friend Anne, lively young New Yorkers
Jan, nurse from New Zealand
Pat, intense Swiss lady
Alan, merchant seaman
Jim and Sheryl, young Americans
Jim, older English guy
Jill, Aussie, and English boyfriend Phil
Julia and Margaret, newly qualified solicitors
Pauline, Viv and Beverley, three young ladies from Maidenhead, one of whom later married into the family of the campsite owners at Platamon beach in Greece
Jos, Dutch girl
Kiwi, toothless New Zealander
Saturday 6 May/ Sunday 7 May
Drove day and night through Yugoslavia, arrived at Platamon Beach campsite in Greece at 2pm on Sunday.
Monday 8 May to Saturday 13 May
Those who had paid for the shorter trip stayed the whole time at the Platamon campsite, while those on the longer trip left with the coach on Tuesday morning to visit Athens and Delphi. The coach in fact returned a couple of hours later for repairs to faulty brakes, before finally departing the following morning. Lina and Anne were leaving the group for good, as they were moving on to Crete. Highlights of the stay at the campsite included roasting a sheep on the beach, taking a short cut to Platamon village through the railway tunnel and meeting a steam train coming towards us, a party at a taverna in the village, followed by a terrific thunderstorm, and general partying with other groups passing through, including Frontier International (driver called Cliff). Small bottles of Spumante and Greek brandy and coke being the most popular drinks. Margaret suffered severe sunstroke through underestimating the strength of the spring sunshine, but recovered by the end of the week.
Left Platamon early Saturday morning (with a new passenger, Phillipa from NZ) and drove to a deserted beach a few miles outside Kavalla, where we spent the night in the open air