Topic: Budget Bus 1974 Part 1
Overland from London to Dehli 1974 (Budget Bus)
This is dedicated to all those who made the journey from London to Dehli at the height of when the overland route was a myriad of colourful characters travelling from west to east or vice-versa.
The basis of this is of course, my memory of all that happened, and the dates are taken from my diary.
The original was written on the twentieth anniversary in 1994. Thirty years has now passed since I made this trip and its November 2004.
The overland road from London to Delhi not possible any more the era of the hippies is no more and we now live a world, which has changed since the free and easy years of the seventies.
There was civil war in Yugoslavia in the mid nineties with the split of the country into independent states.
The Ayatollah Khumani took over the rule of Iran in 1980 and the Shah died in exile in France in 1980.
Afghanistan has gone through two wars, been ruled by the Tali ban and is now ruled by a puppet American backed government.
London to Istanbul
Every child at sometime or other in their childhood spends a proportion of their time day-dreaming about adventure, whether it be sailing on the sea, climbing mountains, sky diving or even some other subject that has captured their imagination. Most of the time they are just dreams and forever remain so. Sometimes dreams do turn into reality, which undoubtedly leaves a marked impression upon the mind, and to whose destiny it will effect later in life.
My earliest recollections are of daydreams about India, I don't know why this was so? Maybe in my past life I was an Indian, or a soldier serving during the time of the Raj. It was as though the smells, culture and cuisine were deep in my blood. The map of the subcontinent seemed engraved on my forehead and this was to become a magnet drawing me closer and closer to this land of contrasts.
Such magical names appear in its history. The Khyber Pass of the North West Frontier, and the fierce Pathans. Clive of India, the Indian Mutiny of 1857, Mahatma Ghandi and the struggle for Independence. Bombay gateway to India, Calcutta, Delhi and Madras. Cities whose names were famous throughout the world but seemed to hold that eastern attachment. Other names also synonymous with the subcontinent, the "Taj Mahal" and the mighty Himalayas.
It is impossible of course to provide any satisfactory explanation of why I should want to go to India. The predominant motive seemed above all in my view to be
"Because it's there".
It was in the summer of 1974 when I was working as a chef just outside London that I saw in the paper an advertisement of a bus going to Delhi, in November of that year. The cost was