Topic: Rob Mckay driver
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!!!!!
Great to roam the site - I'm hoping I can catch up with a crowd of old pals.
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??!!)
Hope you are well & thanks again for putting together such a great site!
Look forward to hearing from you.
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)
PPS the attached pic was taken near Bam in Iran - I guess around May/June 1977 - I remember it was bloody hot then!