In May 1980 flew out to Karachi to bring this newly air-conditioned coach back to Europe. Although I remember the events well (Hostage rescue attempt April 24/25), my neurons cannot locate the names of the two others with myself. Any thoughts?
There were two coaches as I remember that had to come back .... I remember ours as while sleeping on the floor with my passport on my chest woke up to a rifle barrel in one nostril held by a glazed eyed Iranian asking whether I was an American ...
I think you blokes should be writing James Bond Books! I am now intrigued as to what actually happened.
Grant and two others fly out to Karachi to pick up two coaches (and the one in Grants photo is a Volvo and Rod was a Volvo). Where there two accidents and who was driving, and no one was hurt? Did sundowners have two Volvos driving around India/Pakistan? Who was the magician that put this bus back together again well enough to get back to London?
Col adds some more curly bits taking Bill to the Bus Station at Kavalla and Rod is no where to be seen at the time but it clearly made it back to London, was it repaired or written off? Its not on Wikipedia!
Kit we need you!
You may be correct Simon.
I rummaged through some old photos and found a photo of a remodelled ROD parked behind our Ford ,I think it may have been JTE and also in the photo was the rear of the other Volvo MYY <Baby> The photo was taken at Kavala Campsite.No crew in view.
The stories deserve recording. So much seemed to happen over the years ( and I only came into it at the end) that showed the skill of the crews in managing situations that had turned to custard.
Like when you have just reached Banihal from Jammu and you are standing in the entrance door stair well when the left front wheel passes you on fire and as it's downhill rapidly disappears ahead of you, while you gently come to a halt looking towards your driver with " did you see what I just saw".. ...
I have enjoyed reading some of the breakdown stories. They should be told.
By the way Col, I have a photo of your coach with the England Australia , written in Farsi on the side, ready to make the "run". What I can't work out is how to get a photo directly into this post.
Col, I'll buy one as long as I have my own chapter.
I bought the DVD's from the Swagman website and I enjoy watching them from time to time.
Now I am starting to think it's a case of hands up anyone who didn't drive Karachi to Kavala, I note that on Feb 5th, 2013 Chop said that (the Camel turner) Turbo Tom did a solo and as much as I have great memories of having a fix and calamari on the whalf at Kavala why is it so central to much of this conversation?
Kit where are you?
The Swagman DVD's are quite good.
In late 79, I did an Xmas trip with Bill DeDear, starting in Kathmandu and finishing in Delhi 3 weeks later. Rolf was on layover so he came along for the ride as did Turbo Tom. Tom was waiting for his coach to be repaired in India after he had tried to widen the Bolan Pass in Pakistan. Why he had it repaired in India, I can't remember. Once he had the coach fixed, I guess he must have done a Kathmandu - Karachi sector with Chop and then travelled onto Greece in an empty coach.
Re Kavalla, as I said, I met Bill there but don't remember any busted up coaches. It's hard to recall ALL that happened 30 odd years ago.