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Old 10th February 2009, 15:53   #1
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Default From Mumbai to London on a Vespa

This thread is not about a travelogue that I've been part of but it's about a book that I came across recently. It's called 'From Mumbai to London on a Vespa' which is a travelogue of Bharat Kumar Jhaveri who undertook this amazing journey in 1961! It's a first person narrative that has been translated from his original writings in Gujarati.

Even today it's difficult to imagine such a journey by road and he managed to do it on a scooter in 1961 He passed through various countries some of which we might not dare to step in even today. Along the way he faced all kinds of problems like shortage of money, bad, rather no roads, being chased by bandits, not getting vegetarian food, not knowing local languages and many more but he stayed focus on his goal and completed it eventually. He even fell in love and almost got shot by French soldiers.

His story has really inspired me and for me he is a hero that I will always take inspiration from.

I wanted to share this with team-bhp-ians as I think a lot of you will appreciate this.

We could use this thread to post stories of travel that have inspired us. It could be anyone around you or someone you have read about who was part of a journey that has inspired you to travel, explore or in any other way.

I am at work but if you are interested I can post more details about this journey later like the route that he took and all the countries that he visited.
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Old 10th February 2009, 16:07   #2
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Amazing journey that I soooo want to do, but wonder.
A friend's parents had also done this trip on bikes with another couple they knew in the b&w pics era. I wish we had less rigid borders/mindsets now.
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Old 10th February 2009, 16:55   #3
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There were some who did this kind of inter-country journey not out of choice, but due to the situation then.
Eg. there is this family in our neighborhood who fled from Kuwait in their Benz car during Saddam's invasion of the country and travelled via road to reach Kerala. And they still use the car here - though don't know how the registration and such stuff were handled.
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Old 10th February 2009, 16:57   #4
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I have the Bharat Kumar Jhaveri book too. Great achievement.

reminded me of a 1926 Nat Geo article I read of a Englishman who drove a car from London to India - there were no roads in many places, and the car had to be carried by porters.
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Old 10th February 2009, 22:18   #5
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There once was an article in the now defunct [i]Illustrated Weekly of India[i] some time in the late 1960s about a bus journey from Bombay to London. The travellers were Indian nationals and the article was complete with photos. I was too young at the time to have the sense to preserve the article.
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Old 11th February 2009, 09:15   #6
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There are regular bus tours to India from Europe. Dragoman is one of the operators, you can see from the link below. Earlier, I remember Dragoman used to come via Iran and Pakistan to India, but I notice that their current tours to India are via Central Asia and Tibet.

Adventure Travel, Adventure Holidays, Overland Travel with Dragoman
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Old 11th February 2009, 10:36   #7
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@hvkumar Wow - one of those themselves should a major journey! Gotta do this someday, reclaim life one way or the other
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Old 11th February 2009, 11:27   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
There are regular bus tours to India from Europe.
Gosh, this brings back a flood of memories from my childhood! During the sixties and early seventies there used to be fairly heavy traffic of trailer homes/RVs into India. All replete with psychedelic designs and paintwork. Those were the days of the Hippy movement. The classic VW vans were very popular.
It was a common sight to see quite a few of these vans and buses around Delhi and a few places in the mountains.
Delhi used to have a camper park too, on the grounds along Asaf Ali road.

Hippies and Flower Children! The swinging sixties! "Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair" .....

As most of these used to come through Pakistan, this travel route of India-Europe was never viable for Indians!
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Old 11th February 2009, 11:38   #9
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Originally Posted by anupmathur View Post
It was a common sight to see quite a few of these vans and buses around Delhi and a few places in the mountains.
And then they discovered Goa. These merry folk could be seen coming down here till the early 90's and then the Gulf war happened.

They then started using charter flights in. Some of the trucks, buses and vans they used come down in were truly amazing. Most of them could be seen all decked up during the annual Carnival Parade.
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Old 13th February 2009, 15:30   #10
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Originally Posted by zuch View Post
I am at work but if you are interested I can post more details about this journey later like the route that he took and all the countries that he visited.
Still waiting for the details of the journey, route and countries visited
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