Cambridge, 1961. A group of students set off on the trip of a lifetime. Against the backdrop of the Cold War they travel through the Soviet Union to the Middle East, South Asia and on to Africa. Their mode of transport? The iconic VW Kombi. This book tells the story of that trip, not just the people they met and the places they saw, but the many experiences - sometimes nerve-wracking, sometimes bizarre - that they encountered along the way. It provides a fascinating insight into a world on the brink of change - seen through the eyes of nine young men fresh from university. The two VW Kombis doggedly traversed treacherous mountain passes, near-impossible roads, jungle tracks and river crossings on their journey through Anatolia, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. This book is an affectionate and highly entertaining re-creation of the relationship between the nine young travellers and their companions, the two VW Kombis which functioned as transport, shelter, canteen and home. It is also a tribute to the determined and rugged determination of the VW Kombi whose descendants still tackle the highways and the more daunting roads of the world.
Robert Cox is a former journalist and 'Eurocrat', with a professional profile ranging from diplomacy to management of EU humanitarian affairs. He is currently active with a policy think-tank in Brussels and divides his time between there, South-West France and travel. Roger Sherwin spent his working life holding senior executive positions in a wide variety of engineering sectors, ranging from power stations to hospitals, and prisons to the mining industry. Now retired, he is pursuing his interests in photography, golf and wood carving, and continues to enjoy tastes and cultures around the world. Tony Thompson is a former director of International House - an international chain of English as a Foreign Language schools - in London and Rome and subsequently set up his own EFL organization. Whilst at Cambridge University, he ran against Oxford University and played rugby for Middlesex. He enjoys walking and travel.
Preface - Fifty years later; Prologue - Thumbing your way through Africa; An idea comes to life; A curtain opens; 1: Hiccups and rumbles; 2: Into the Soviet fastness; 3: Summer in Moscow; 4: How to get out of Russia; 5: Balkan obstacles; From Asia's edge; 6: Anatolian fastness. 7: A bit too far east; 8: Iranian Dynasties; 9: Children of Abraham; To Asia's heartland; 10: Turkish connections; 11: Testing Afghan patience; 12: Kabul before the winter; 13: The Oxus - how Mehmed pushed his luck; South to Serendipity; 14: Flavours of India; 15: Nepalese fastness; 16: A would be paradise - Ceylon; Tasting independence; 17: Into Africa; 18: North to the Nile; 19: Stand-off in Cyprus; Epilogue; Appendix: Distances travelled by each Kombi.