India with Asian Greyhound

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.

Kind regards

Rob McKay

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!

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