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India Overland

Overland the Adventure of a Lifetime

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Welcome to the Overland Forum, if you traveled the overland or are just curious you should find something of interest, use the search function to help find anything in particular i.e. people, companies or places. The forum was getting 10 to 15 spam registrations a day so I have disabled direct registration. If you would like to join the forum just mail me derek(at) & I will email you a login...

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Many thanks indeed to both you and Wende for the information regarding the fate of the Bedford coach 102 HPH. As mentioned earlier I had occasionally wondered over the years what had happened to both it and Peter. She does not tell us who actually sold it in Afghanistan, although putting two and two together (and possibly coming up with five!) I would guess it was Peter, with or without Emil's approval would be my next question... anyway I hope the old thing is still working, although it would be almost 50 now!

Wende is quite right, it was a good coach and only 12 years old which was probably better than average on that route. I remember Emil saying that the bus he was returning to bring out was not nearly as roadworthy. 

I'm sorry that you were disappointed with Bali, I have never been there but sadly this is the way of the world now. I returned to Singapore in 2001 after 29 years and I could have wept about the awful changes that have taken place, especially the harbour areas which were full of colourful Junks and local craft but now have a motorway built over the remains of them!

We did take a few photos of our trip, I had a roll of black and white film (it was cheaper!) and Graham had a roll of colour. Not many of the photos are very good, especially compared to some of the excellent ones on the website. I have finished writing my account of our journey and have passed the story to Graham, who remembers the places we went through much better. When he has added some more info we will need to get Ian and Tony involved as we all have different memories of the trip. We will post the story along with the photos. The four of us were having lunch recently when Ian mentioned the Pakistani customs guy who boarded the coach and told us very sternly that on no account were we allowed to take fishing nets out of Pakistan! Fortunately it was not something we had contemplated although we had plenty of other contraband!

Derek (M)


Hi Derek,
     Well I'm back from my holiday in Bali which I must admit was a bit of a shock as hadnt been there for 6 years and the area where I stay (Seminyak) had taken off as far as developement goes.I dont know if you visited Bali in the early 1970's (I was first there in the early 1980's) but there have been huge changes in the Tourist areas.The 'real' Bali can still be found away from the centers of tourism but places like Kuta,Legian and Seminyak are  all being built up at a rate of knots with villa's, shops, restaurants, and even a specialist 'Deli' with imported luxuries.As you can guess, the rice fields in these areas are going fast....Below this post are a couple of photos of the beach at Seminyak
   Anyway going back to the Overland, I have been in touch with Wende of Budget Bus asking about what happened to your bus.the reply is below.....

Hi John
Yes, that was the trip that Peter Morton took on from Istanbul as Emil had to come back to take out the next tour. It was a Plaxton 1959 that Emil converted to a Petrol engine. Nice motor but sadly never made it back to England after that trip - it was sold in Afghanistan to a tribesman and we saw it running around in Kabul for many years, a little worse for wear! We may have a picture of its previous trip. Will try and fish out the pax lists this week, don't hold your breath!.

Its possible your bus may still be in Afghanistan somewhere! The reference Wende makes to the 'Passenger Lists' is that she is planning to upload ALL the passenger lists from Budget Bus onto the Swagman Website when she has time. She also has a bunch of photos from the early 1970's and hopefully those will go up too.Have you or your friends got any photos of your trip that you can put up on the Website?                              John.




Ha ha ha...yes, the various onboard factions. The trip to India of November-Dec '75 had those. I remember them well, from the long haired druggies in the back of the coach to some fairly normal people.  I drifted between factions, too, but generally sat at the back of the bus for the entertainment value.  Paul


Thanks for your reply.Your trip certainly was 'interesting' !I've just sent an email to Emil and Wende and I'm sure they will get back to me with more details at some stage.I'm off on holiday next week for a month but if I havnt heard from Emil and Wende by my return will phone them up and see if I can get an answer to your question.Incidentally talking about trainee Drivers, that trip I was on was my first and during the next two trips I also learnt to drive a coach while on route-my experience previously just a car and I also had no mechanical knowledge though in time I did learn.A bit difficult to imagine these days with all the health and safety regulations!I'll get back to you later                                                                                                                     John.



Many thanks for your interesting reply and especially for contacting Wende about our trip. The next time you speak to Emil or Wende I would love to have the answer to a question that I have occasionally wondered about during the last 37 years! Did they ever get the coach 102 HPH back again? I last saw it outside the YMCA in New Delhi with engine trouble (valves burnt out?), fuel feed problems (the petrol tank was mounted inside on the front seats!), a broken window and looking generally derelict. Peter was exhausted and declared that he would not attempt take the bus back to England and was trying to negotiate with the authorities to allow him to abandon it in India. We left him and the bus in New Delhi and continued our journey to Australia.

As we drove across Europe that summer we had gradually learnt Emil


Hi, I copied your post to Emil and Wende who ran Budget Bus and received this reply-Wende Replied

Thanks for that John, that was the trip taken by Peter Morton, Emil took it to Istanbul then he took over - Peter Day was supposed to take it but he filled up his own coach and we had to get another Bye for now Wende.

Think that explains what happened ! Am pretty sure Emil had to get back to the UK to take another trip out. Certainly Emil and Wende were in Kabul that 1971 Winter which was the first time I met them. At the time I was working for Safaris Overland and our bus must have been on the road at the same time as your trip, though we went by the South Coast of Turkey before heading up North again.I wonder if you saw it ? If you are interested you can see pictures of the Safaris bus and more on the trip under the 'Overland' section then posts 'Overland to India with King Kong' by John or 'Passenger to Driver' by Dave.Incidently I ended up doing subcontracts to Budget Bus with my bus from 1976 onwards. Looking forward to the rest of your story ! John.


On August the 21st 1971 I (Derek Minter) set off with 3 friends Ian, Tony and Graham to travel to India - the cost was