Herat Fortress
Malik Tower / Timurid Tower restoration funded by UNESCO

A petty adventurer


I don't think that petty adventurer is an appropriate turn of phrase for the particular person under consideration. However that is the phrase used in the Herat guide book.

Police raid


Early morning police raid

Oct 1977

A suprise.

We had successfully entered Germany after lunch on the 24th October 1977. As far as I recall they did not require us to dip our fuel tanks.  Quickly onto the autobahn network and we were making good progress towards Cologne. We turned off the A44 onto the A61 in a southbound direction. We were well and truly on our way. The first day in Europe was coming to an end and we took the opportunity to park up for the night at a service area. Raststätte Bedburger Land West or Service Area Bedburger Land West, on the A61 not far from the town of Bedburg. We had noticed that there were rest areas, which had little or no amenities as well as the full service areas. A good idea to have frequent stopping points, to my mind. This one was the full variety so we had somewhere to wash and go the loo, and somewhere to eat if we wanted to. I suspect we made our own meal. Time for bed.

The night sky in the Desert of Death

The Desert of Death is not somewhere that I would wish to go to in the current circumstances. It is more associated with the News from Helmand Province in Afghanistan than it's raw beauty. That news is frequently of death and destruction due to war and conflict, not the extreme and harsh conditions.

However, there was a more peaceful time before the recent wars, and I was lucky enough to drive through the Desert of Death in 1975 and 1977, both in eastbound direction. Also in 1978 westbound, but that was more a race across the country so as not to still be in the country at the beginning of communist military coup on 27 April 1978, known as the Saur Revolution. Yes, we knew about the coup before it happened. In Pakistan, when applying for visas into Afghanistan, which could take a number of days, it was evident that visa durations were getting one day shorter, for each day of waiting for ours to be processed. I think we were out the other side with only 4 days to spare. However, both eastbound trips had time to spare for a night camped out in the wilderness of the Desert of Death.

Our Bedford coach at Felixstowe docks
Our Bedford coach at Felixstowe docks

The gathering


The team of five congregate for the start of our Trans Asia 1977 trip

October 1977

Everything was ready, time to get going. Pete and I stayed at the house in Holt, Norfolk. Chris caught the 17:02 from her home to Norwich on Saturday 22nd October 1977. Celia joined us. We picked Annie up from Ipswich Station on Sunday 23rd October 1977. Getting ahead of myself. It had rained since we parked the vehicles in the meadow. The wheels of the Ford especially, left tracks as it manoeuvered to the field gate, much to the annoyance of Pete's Dad understandably. Not quite the auspicious start that we would have liked.

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News Flash

Repairs following hosting move


Spending some time this May repairing links and photos damaged in the move to the new website host. Particularly the articles transferred form the previous travelogue to this, the current Travel website. 

Change of host Sept 2023


Change of host Sept 2023


In the begining of August 2023 I transfered my sites, including this one from 123-reg to IONOS. It was meant to be a simple task. However, that was to to be the case. The reason for the move was primarily the hugh increase in price that 123-reg was applying regarding email boxes. Previously, the upto 500 of the boxes were included in the various hosting packages I had. Now they were going to charge for each mailbox based on size, and as far as I could make out, this was going to cost me nearly £2,000. This was not acceptable, and I did not get satisfactory answers from support. So I turned off all the auto renews and stated to move sites and domains accross to IONOS.

Travel data problems


Travel data problems

This is where it starts to get a little technical.

The site is built on a content management system, CMS, using Joomla. Joomla is moving forward and version 3.10.?? is being discontinued. Future developments are for version 4.??

Similarly, PHP 7 is being replaced with PHP 8.

Part of the migration is relatively simple, I have already changed to a new template which works on the new platforms.

However, some of the helper applications, which work within Joomla are not yet ready.

Fabrik is one of those applications, if fact a significant 'Joomla Custom Website Application Builder'.

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 disabled now.