Breadcrumbs

Trans Asia 1975

 

Here we go!

 

Tales of my first time
Trans Asia 1975

The Start of my first overland trip. In our own truck from England to Nepal, and back.

 

June 1975 to October 1975

Well here you are, in Trans Asia 1975. I don't know how you got here, whether it was methodically from the start of the site or straight into 1975. For the latter, some of the previous background information bears repeating here, just to provide context for the story. For the former, sorry for the repetition.

 

Our 1975 Expedition in our Bedford truck, to as far as you can drive

This story is about a trip Pete Dryer and Ivan Hurst (me) made in 1975 from England to Nepal in our own truck.

This whole travelling thing started in March 1975. Pete and I were travelling to work one morning and we started talking about how far you could travel by road once across the channel. We had heard about the Grand Trunk Road and thought it would an adventure to drive along it in our own truck. That was it, the decision was made. However, it was not quite as simple to translate the decision into actuality. The internet was not invented and information was a lot more difficult to find. Mass long distance travelling had not really taken off and unless you knew how and where to find it there was little help to be found. Mobile phones were not available so general communications were limited to letters, telegrams, or very rarely telex, unless you met face to face and had a conversation.

 

The first leg - Europe - Trans Asia 1975

 

The trip through Europe is a little vague almost forty years after the event. I am also unsure if some of the snippets belong in this trip or a later crossing of Europe. Here goes anyway.

Map of Europe with approximate route

We had arrived in Europe

Whichever way you look at it, we had arrived in Europe. We were on the 'Continent', mainland Europe. It was my first time. We had crossed the English Channel, the only sea crossing, with our truck, the rest of the journey was on land.

Letter home from Kabul dated 14 July 1975

 

We stayed at a street car park outside the Blue Mosque in the European side of town with a lot of other campers. The car park was guarded 24hrs a day and cost about 60p a day, double normal price because of the size of the lorry.

 ...

We met with our first real taste of street hawkers. "You buy this Mister, very cheap" and others "I buy everything". They even offer shoe-shine when you're walking around the town with sandals on. After about three days of wandering around the town we came across a huge area of shops devoted to the motor trade. About the size of old Romsey. There just happened to be two Bedford dealers so as we thought we had a squeak  in the region of the clutch we put on our dirty togs and dropped the gearbox out onto the road. Anyway we couldn't find anything wrong but put a new thrust bearing in just in case. Upon putting everything back together we saw the pivot to the leaver arm was out a long way and slightly bent, but it would not budge and there was no new one to hand, so it was left. We still had an occasional squeak.

...

Next day we left for Ankara.

...

The sea was perfectly clear and very refreshing as it is now beginning to get rather warm. We spent 4 days edging our way along the coast and then headed inland across the mountains. We crawled up a rutted almost washed out dirt road for 25 miles to over 11,000 ft [2>]and then down for 20 miles. Eventually we met with the notorious central road.. A very bad road, a little good surface followed immediately by gravel and pot holes.

...

At the Iranian border they did not want to let the lorry in as we did not have the correct papers for a lorry, but we eventually persuaded them it was a mobile home and they then let us through.

...

In Tehran we went to the only camping site and found it was full of British lorry drivers swimming in the pool and generally lazing around in their 'units' waiting for their loads to be cleared by customs and unloaded. After a couple of pleasant days there we trundled up to the Caspian Sea which we found to be filthy.

...

Stayed at a motel for the night at . The owner befriended us so we stayed a few more days in total luxury with servants, iced drinks on the patio, etc. One afternoon the owner, also a local landowner, took us to the "brother of the King's beach villa" for a swim and laze followed by a huge dinner. Very nice. Oh, Iranian roads are as good as British ones (A/B class).

News Flash

Refresh 2021

 

Site refresh Easter 2021

I decided to give the site a bit of a refresh over Easter 2021 and install a new template and some additional functions. One of the things I didn't like about the old site was the delay in text appearing which probably meant some people left before the content appeared. This has been corrected now.