In the 1960s and '70s, the overland route from Europe to Asia became popular with disillusioned Westerners seeking what they saw as the paradise of the East. Their journeys are now the stuff of travel legend. Road to Katmandu is the story of Patrick Marnham's own pilgrimage from Turkey to Nepal in 1968. He travelled over three thousand miles, passing through Ankara to Ararat, Tehran and Mashad, Herat, Kandahar and Kabul, Peshawar, Lahore and Varanasi...before finally reaching Katmandu. His journey is a kaleidoscopic blend of tortuous train journeys and lethal truck drives; wild deserts, mountains and isolated villages. At heart this is the story of a generation that was escaping from the routine of conventional life and of how it found - or lost - its way. It provides an alluring insight into the nature of the 'hippie trail' and of those who forged it, before cheap air travel shrank the world. Road to Katmandu is an extraordinary testimony to the seductive beauty of the overland trail and a tribute to those who formed its ragamuffin cavalcade - a travel classic.
Patrick Marnham is author of eleven books, among them The Man Who Wasn't Maigret, Fantastic Invasion, So Far From God and biographies of Diego Rivera and Jean Moulin. His work has been translated into seven languages and he has won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, the Marsh Biography Award and was nominated for the Edgar Allen Poe Award in 1994. He has contributed to many newspapers including The Times, The Observer, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. He was literary editor of The Spectator and the first Paris correspondent of The Independent.