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We would like to interview people who did the Hippy Trail. Please contact us via the blog or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wow! Cool man! About time. We did change the world you know!
Go Louis . . . !! . . . .:) . . . . . one aspect of a true veteran of the trail is the ability to kind of ignore time . .. . it passes as do many aspects of life and yet within that passing is a timelessness beautifully exemplified in Louis’s enthusiasm for an event now past .. . . Cool . . .
After years in PNG my friend & I travelled from Oz to Kathmandu and waited for a bus that was to take us to London [slowly]. It didn’t come.
And so started a long and fascinating almost 4 week wait in that amazing city until we eventually moved on……
My hippy trail adventures began in 1975-1976. Greece was getting cold in Nov. 75, met a Canadian from BC Don, and off we went, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and finally India. Transportation was buses, a few animals and then trains in India. I did all the hippy requirements necessary, except I did not do what some did which was transport hashish across a boarder, I just smoked alot of it in Afghanistan. India also. Remember getting quite high in Kandahar Afghanistan and yeow never that high in good ole Detroit. Remember feeling like I was on a different planet cuz of the sights and sounds all around. The people were unique and wonderful towards us. Insightful.
I was one year behind you at the same time of year, and the same route leaving from Greece.
Hi I did the hippy trail in reverse back in 1974, I’m an agricultural engineer and had just completed a project in Bangladesh, at the time I hated flying and I didn’t want to just board a plabe and x hours later land back in the UK, I wanted to delay the inevitable return to “normality”.
On leave in Darjeeling I had met three Americans and one girl in particular who asked me to join them in Katmandu,I still had some time before my contract ended so I had to decline the offer, then weeks later she sent a telegram saying she would wait for me in Katmandu.
When I made it to Katmandu I couldn’t find her so after a few days I went back down to India and caught a train to Delhi from Delhi I took another train to Lahore then Islamabad then by local bus to Peshawar through the Khyber Pass and more buses to Kabul then weaving across Afganistan I came to the Iranian border at Mashad then down to Tehran and onto Constantinople then the diesel Oriental Express to Paris.
For me and no doubt thousands of fellow travelers it was a unique almost life changing experience and although I would later do the Western Sahara the Serengeti and many other journeys the hippy trail was and still is the most exciting journey of discovery I have ever had the privilege to be part of.
Hi – not sure if you are still looking for input. I travelled the “hippy trail” back in 1976 but I couldn’t really have been classed as a hippy, I was an eight year old child! Together with my three brothers (aged 12,10 and 6) and my (slightly deranged) parents, we joined a bus tour which took us from Kathmandu to London. We had been living in the Philippines (my father was a diplomat) so were more used to travelling and roughing it a bit than most children our age – but still, I think it was very brave of my parents to do this! I have wonderful memories of this trip, both of the things we saw and of the other people on the bus. We became a community and, although we were the only children on the bus, our fellow travellers took us in and helped my parents by looking after us.
Traveled starting Feb 1st 1968. 3months in Ethiopia (Adi Caieh, Eritrea), visiting and working with a friend in the Peace Corps. Hitch hiked and bused to Addis Ababa and Massawa. Never been more than 800 miles from home. Hitched through Israel, Greece,
Europe, then Eastern Europe where I happened upon an ex peace corps volunteer who told me about trekking in a mountain kingdom called Nepal, and how I could get there for 25.00US overland cost. Never heard of Nepal, but I was on my way.
What a life-changing experience. My fork in the road.
I got as far as Penang, Malaysia and then returned , overland, arriving back in the USA in late April, 1969, somewhat changed.
I met so many wonderful, interesting people on the road and love to hear all your stories. It was such a special time and experience.
I had been inspired by reading a Penn World Travel brochure in 1975 (I still have it, I think) and when I saw an advert in a Birmingham newspaper asking for people to join a bus load of others on a 4-month round trip to Kathmandu, I went for it. Twenty-four of us set off from Birmingham on 4 April 1976 (almost 40 years to the day!).
The idea was to travel quickly through Europe on the way out and to take take a more leisurely route on the way back in the better weather. We went via: Belgium, Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia (as was), Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal. A number left the trip in Kathmandu, flying back to England and we picked up three Aussies to transport back to the UK.
Unfortunately, a number of us went down with viral hepatitus on the way back – I believe this was down to the water drunk on a houseboat in Kashmir! Three of us spent a week in hospital in Iran and then were repatriated back to the UK.
I would love to get back in touch with any of my fellow travellers – I’ve lost touch even with those I kept in contact with for a few years afterwards.
[Hope this is of interest! I’ll get round to reading the other posts anon as I’ve only just found your site.]
Would love to see the Penn world travel brochure.
I traveled the hippy trail in fall of 1976 when I was eighteen years old. Ferry boat from Brindisi, Italy to Patras, then a bus to Athens, train to Istanbul. Ferry across the Bosphorus Strait and steam engine train across Turkey. We took a ferry boat at Tatvan (four hours-90 km), got off at Van and continued by train on to Razi and then to Tehran. My Danish travel partner and I stayed there for three days and took the “Magic Bus” to Kabul. That took five days. They bribed the guards to get the bus through. It cost us about 50 cents (US) to get a room and about 75 cents per day to eat (Rials in Iran and “Afs” in Afganistan). I am not sure if they were smuggling at the time. We stayed in Kabul for nearly two weeks as we both got a severe case of dysentery street food on Chicken Street. I hitched through eastern Afganistan, Pakistan. Border guards impounded the van at the Indian border. Bus to Amritsar, then we took a train to New Delhi. Rickshaw to Hotel Venus in Delhi. I traveled back to the border and snuck in the compound and stole back our luggage that had been impounded (since the van was still not legal).
I hope to publish an account in the near future about three years of travels while still a teen. Times were different. We had no phones. We took information from those who had traveled to a place and word of mouth. People were curious and friendly, though we kept our eyes open for danger.
My travels on the trail began in 1970 in England, bought a VW van in Frankfurt. By way of Amsterdam, Sweden, and France, worked my way to Spain. In need of money, taught English in Madrid for a few months. Then onto Morocco. Took a while to get to Marrakech. New Years Eve at the Marrakech campground was memorable with the liquid acid going around. A big later down to Agadir where we lived on the beach for a few months. I think it was in May that we headed back to Paris for the flight home. About an hour out from Paris, one of the engines of the 747 we were on blew up forcing the pilot to dump fuel the force-land in England. What an ending to an exciting year as a hippy…who knew I was on an actual trail?
Love your blog, I did that trip in 1971, great memories.
Any idea where I can see a copy of the bit travel guide called “overland to india and beyond” from that time.
I spent 7 months hitch hiking on the hippie trial from October 1976 to May 1977 towards the end of the era and saw many things that only fellow travellers may believe. There was no Internet, no phones and no books or guides to tell us how to do the trip and what to believe. There was the Pudding Shop in Istanbul, the Plaka in Athens, the Amir Kabir in Tehran to pick up info and of course Poste Restante to stay in touch. It was a manic time then as we were delivering cars from Munich to Tehran and Istanbul and between runs we would “holiday in Greece on the islands”. All in all I was gone from England from October 1976 until August 1983 and travelled extensively over the defunct hippie trial in that time. The trial came to an abrupt halt at the borders of Turkey/Syria and and Turkey/Iran during this time but I still managed to get to Isfahan but not many were doing the Katmandu or Goa run in those days – Pakistan and Afghanistan had become dangerous places and even eastern Turkey was known for robberies and death. Luckily I managed to team up with English truck drivers who knew the ropes and even they said the TIR journey was a nightmare. The memories of those days are still vivid to me even to this day.
Thanks Neal, I forgot the name of the Pudding Shop in Istanbul, yes, we were there. 1971 or 73. Hubby could tell me which trip. I suspect it was 71 as we rode the Orient Express to Istanbul at its deepest low. What an experience!
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