Kathmandu to London
An Overland Bus Journey with Pennworld in 1977

SK1064 Trip Route in 1977

The bus trip of a lifetime!
A group of intrepid travellers from Australia, Canada, England, Holland, New Zealand and the US assembled in Kathmandu, the capital of the Himalayan Kindom of Nepal in February 1977.
Ahead for the group of 40, plus driver and tour leader was the longest bus trip in the world, 3 months from Kathmandu to London with basic accomodation of 2 man tents and cheap hotels.
Would it live up to information in the Pennworld brochure?

Pennworld Brochure 1977
Nomad Arabian - 72 days from $470

Ref: SK (dotted route on map)
Countries explored: Belgium, Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Irak, Persia (Iran), Afganistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal.
Route and activities:Travelling by coach quickly through Europe, we pause for a day's swimming in the little Greek bay of Kavala. From Istanbul we slow down to explore the coast and beaches around Kusadasi, Antalya and Anlanya. Then cross into Syria to visit the great Krak des Chevaliers castle, Queen Zenobia's desert capital of Palmyra, and Damascus, the world's oldest town. In Jordan we head for the lost city of Petra, carved from red sandstone, one of the world's greatest archaelogical wonders. You can swim, scuba-dive, search for coral, in the Red Sea at Aqaba. Following the pipeline across the Great Syria Desert brings us to Baghdad of the 1001 Nights.Visit Babylon. Then over the border into Persia and Kermanshah, the carpet centre. We'll probably travel via Old Susa and the Ziggurat of Tochoga Zambil to Shiraz, Persepolis and Isfahan. Then heading north via Teheran, we cross the Elburz mountains within sight of Demavand peak (19,000 feet) to the holy city of Meshed. In Afganistan, Kandahar and Kabul will be our chief destinations. After our stay in Kashmir, we plan to take extra time in India to see the fabulous pnk city of Jaipur, en route to Kathmandu. In Nepal, we plan to camp in Chitwan National Park and make an elephant-back safari, spotting a wide range of wildlife, including rhino in particular. Flexibility and a keen eye on costs will be the keynote of our Nomad journey.
Age: Mainly 18 - 38.
Crew: Two, including tour leader.
Kitty:Allow between $3 and $5 a day to cover the costs of food, camp sites and accomodation which is not included. The journey is based on a mix of official and natural camp sites, with 'pension' or inexpensive hotels. Camping equipment is provided. Also allow a reasonable amount to cover sightseeing, entrance fees and guides (about $40 total).
Included: The land price includes overland travel by coach fitted with supplementary electro-magnetic brakes for mountain roads, heaters, and cassette-player. Ferries.
Westbound Kathmandu to London
Ref: SK1070
Depart Sydney - Feb 24
Depart Kathmandu - Mar 1
Arrive London - May 11
Land Price Only - $596
Land/Air Sydney or Melbourne Kathmandu London - $1198

Note: We travelled west, from Kathmandu to London

Published Book, Kathmandu to London by Bus
If you are ever searching through older book stores or a good library keep and eye out for the book:

    Title: "India and the subcontinent: Overland Odyssey"
    Author: Thomas E KING
    Publisher: Michael E Booth, Suite 1, 23 Koornang Rd., Carnegie, Victoria, Australia
    Published: 1978
    ISBN: 0 9595959 0 2
    Note: This book is a summary of the trip made by Thomas King and his wife who travelled on a Capricorn bus trip from Kathmandu to London at the same time as our Pennworld trip in 1977. It has a wonderful array of photographs that will be very familiar to any traveller of this route.


Pennworld Coach

Celebrating at Istanbul

Lunch at Aqaba, Jordon


The SK1070 group photograph at the Taj Mahal, 7th April, 1977

Group Photo 1977
Kathmandu to London, Overland with Pennworld, 1977
Click image to enlarge

Standing L-R:
Indian Guide, Ray, Ian (driver), Vicki, Greg, Brenda, Jeff, Peter, Inneka, Rowena, Graeme, Rosanne,
Martin, Audrey, Mick, Kim, Frank, Lindsay, Joanne, Chris, Derek (courier).
Middle L-R:
Janet, Daryl, Denis, Allan, Max, Ron, Lyn, Sue, Kathy, Tina, Sue, Marg, Mike.
Front L-R:
Max, Tony, Russell, John, Paul, Jan, Erica, Alan, Jenny.

SK1070 "The Journey"

    • 1st March, 1977 - Nepal - The SK1070 bus left the Blue Star Hotel, Kathmandu, at 8:00am, with 40 passengers, driver & courier. Pitched Tents at the Tibetan Restaurant in Pockhara, Nepal.
    • 2nd March, 1977 - left Pockhara and stopped near the Indian border at Bhairahaws, cold showers.
    • 3rd March, 1977 - India - crossed the border into India (4 hrs), 8 hr drive to Benares, stopped at Hotel de Paris, Benares, hot showers.
    • 4th March, 1977 - boat trip on the Ganges at dawn, city tour, Monkey Temple, Benares University, 2nd night at Hotel de Paris.
    • 5th March, 1977 - left Benares at 6:00am for Kajuraho, temples, left at 10:00pm for overnight drive to Agra trying to avoid Holi Festival activities, but met road blocks and suffered 2 broken windows in the bus from stones.
    • 6th March, 1977 - arrived Agra at 8:30am, camped in grounds of Lauries Hotel. Full moon, so visited the Taj Mahal by taxi.
    • 7th March, 1977 - whole group took the bus to the Taj Mahal, group photograph, on to Agra Fort, left for Jaipur around luchtime, pitched tents at the Khetri House hotel, Jaipur.
    • 8th March, 1977 - tour of Jaipur city, observatory, hall of the winds, Tiger Fort, City Palace, museum, shopping.
    • 9th March, 1977 - dove to the old capital, Amber, elephant ride up to the fort, travelled to Delhi, stopped at the Rangit Hotel, dinner with Paul & Joanne.
    • 10th March, 1977 - toured Old & New Delhi, Hindu temple, Victory Tower, Ghandi's memorial.
    • 11th March, 1977 - shopping in New Delhi, sound 7 light show at the Red Fort,
    • 12th March, 1977 - left Delhi for the Punjab, stopped at Amritsar, tents on the lawns at "The Ritz' hotel.
    • 13th March, 1977 - visited the Golden Temple at Amritsar, left at 11:00am for Kashmir, lots of troops, stayed at the "Picnic" hotel, Jammu tonight.
    • 14th March, 1977 - left Jammu for Srinigar, via Jawahar Tunnel, checked into a houseboat "Jewel Box" on the Dal Lake along with Ray, Graeme, Peter & Chris, hot showers.
    • 15th March, 1977 - toured some of the Dal Lake by boat (shakara),
    • 16th March, 1977 - took a shikara to the Mogul Gardens across the Dal Lake.
    • 17th March, 1977 - left Srinigar at 7:30am for return trip to Jammu, stayed again at the "Picnic" Hotel.
    • 18th March, 1977 - Pakistan - left Jammu at 7:00am and crossed the border west of Amritsar into Pakistan (2 hrs), drove onto Lahore, pitched tents in the grounds of the "International" Hotel.
    • 19th March, 1977 - wandered around the old city of Lahore, victed the Delhi Gate.
    • 20th March, 1977 - left Lahore at 8:00am, lunch near Rawalpindi, crossed the indus River, on to Peshawar, stopped at the "Park" Hotel.
    • 21st March, 1977 - Afganistan - left Peshawar after breakfast for the Khyber Pass & Afganistan, crossed the border into Afganistan at the top of the Khyber Pass and on to Kabul via the Kabul Gorge. Stpped at the "Gulzar" Hotel in Kabul which used to be the Japanese Embassy.
    • 22nd March, 1977 - breakfasted at "Mercedes" Restaurant in Chicken Street, Kabul. Dinner tonight at Bagh-i-Bala Restaurant, previously the King's palace, hospital & armoury.
    • 23rd March, 1977 - breakfast in Chicken street, visted Kabul Museum, caught in a dust storm, dinner at the "Steak House", other bus has broken down so we stay another 2 days in Kabul.
    • 24th March, 1977 - breakfast and shopping along Chicken Street, another dust storm, dinner at the "Steak House" again.
    • 25th March, 1977 - another day wandering the streets of Kabul.
    • 26th March, 1977 - left Kabul, arrived Kandahar at 4:30pm, nomad camps, lunch at a Caravanseri, stayed at the "Mayfair" hotel, Kandahar.
    • 27th March, 1977 - breakfast at the "Mayfair", travelled to Herat, where we stopped at the "Super Behzad" hotel.
    • 28th March, 1977 - visited the largest mosque in Herat.
    • 29th March, 1977 - Iran - left Herat in western Afganistan at 9:00am for the Iranian border (2 hrs to clear Afghani border, 4 hrs to enter Iranian border), arrived at Meshad at 8:00pm, pitched tents in a rough camping ground.
    • 30th March, 1977 - left Meshed for Gorgon, rough camped after dark, in the rain, cold, wet & muddy.
    • 31st March, 1977 - cold, wet & muddy morning, bus bogged in the rough camp site, had to push it out, drove onto Tehran, snow in the mountains, pitched tents on gravel stones.
    • 1st April, 1977 - drove to Isfahan, arrived about 5:30pm, camped in the grounds of a Youth Hostel.
    • 2nd April, 1977 - meal with an Iranian School Teacher in Isfahan.
    • 3rd April, 1977 - visited the Blue Mosque in Isfahan.
    • 4th April, 1977 - left Isfahan at 7:30am, stopped at Persepolis, drove on to Shiraz, good campsite tonight, swapped back to our original bus.
    • 5th April, 1977 - shopping in Shiraz, camped at the Tourist Park.
    • 6th April, 1977 - turbo charger replaced, left Shiraz at 10:30am, travelled untill 7:00pm, rough camped beside the road in Iran oilfields.
    • 7th April, 1977 - left camp by 7:30am, bridge washed out, had to be towed out of the river by 2 tractors, food in the boot was ruined, but clothes safely on bus, arrived at Ahvaz, travelled a further 150km, rough camped by the road.
    • 8th April, 1977 - Iraq - crossed the border from Iran to Irag, lots of nomads on the move, arrived at Tourist Camp, Baghdad, two other bus groups already setup.
    • 9th April, 1977 - drove to Babylon, visited the ruined city, cooking for the group tonight in Baghdad, played 500 till late.
    • 10th April, 1977 - cooked breakfast for the group, shopped for food, are at a restaurant in Baghdad tonight.
    • 11th April, 1977 - drove west from Baghdad, crossed into no-man's land and camped in the desert, on cooking again.
    • 12th April, 1977 - Jordan - breakfast in the desert, wid got up, crossed border into Jordan, checked into the New park Hotel in Amman, Jordan, wandered around shops and Roman ruins.
    • 13th April, 1977 - cold & wet in Amman, drove to Aqaba on the red sea, pitched tents in the grounds of the Palm Beach Hotel, almost on the beach, Elat in Israel just across the water.
    • 14th April, 1977 - spent the day in Aqaba, windy and a bit cold.
    • 15th April, 1977 - cold showers, left for Petra in the desert, setup camp near the Petra Rest House, explored the hidden city of Petra in the afternoon.
    • 16th April, 1977 - left Petra at 6:00am, stopped in Amman for lunch, then north to Jerash where we camped on a Roman Hippodrome, explored the Roman ruins of Jerash.
    • 17th April, 1977 - Syria - left Jerash at 8:00am for a short trip to the Syrian border (2 hrs), drove to Damascus, plenty of tanks & gun positions, checked into the "Said Hotel", wandered the covered Bazaar and Omyad Mosque.
    • 18th April, 1977 - visited the Omyad Mosque, tomb of John the Baptist, ate out tonight, hot showers tonight.
    • 19th April, 1977 - left Damascus for a desert drive to Palmyra, Roman ruins, Arab castle, camped in the grounds of a hotel.
    • 20th April, 1977 - Lebanon - drove from Palmyra back to Homs, then onto Lebanon, duty free shopping, back into Syria to a Crusader Castle "Crak des Chevaliers" for lunch, onto the coast where we camped at Latakia in a tourist camp on the beach.
    • 21st April, 1977 - Turkey - crossed into Turkey, camped in a tourist park at Adana, hot showers.
    • 22nd April, 1977 - wet day, drove onto Urgup, visited an underground city, 8 levels deep, pitched tents in the rain at Urgup, freezing night.
    • 23rd April, 1977 - cold & wet, visited the Goreme valley, back to Urgup, went to a disco in town, snowing when we came out, several inches of snow on tents.
    • 24th April, 1977 - lots of snow this morning, fun packing tents away, the other Penn bus crashed today, a few injuries, bus towed back to UK, replacement bus sent out, camped at Pamakkale with hot springs tonight.
    • 25th April, 1977 - drove west through Turkey, camped tonight at Kusadasi, a seaside resort.
    • 26th April, 1977 - visited the roman ruins at Ephes, shopping in Kusadasi, Daryl & Alan purchased leather coats.
    • 27th April, 1977 - visted Pergamon ruins near Bergama, camped on the coast at Ayvalik.
    • 28th April, 1977 - visited Troy with its view overlooking the Dardenelles, drove on to Chanakkle on the Dardenelles, left Asia via a ferry to the Gallipoli peninsula, drove south to Cape Helles with its large British War Memorial, camped the night on the coast of the Dardenelles, terrible facilities.
    • 29th April, 1977 - drove to Anzac Cove & Lone Pine Cemetery, lots of poppies, only a few days after Anzac Day, camped tonight just south of Instanbul.
    • 30th April, 1977 - train into Istanbul, spent lots of time in the Bazaar, ate at a restaurant under the bridge over the Golden Horn, train back to camp.
    • 1st May, 1977 - train into Istanbul, visited the Blue Mosque & Mosque of St. Sophia, lunch at the "Pudding Shop", back to camp for dinner, publicity photo shoot for next year's Penn Overland Brochure, campfire on the beach south of Istanbul.
    • 2nd May, 1977 - Greece - crossed the border from Turkey into Greece, camped at Kavala, a Greek beach resort.
    • 3rd May, 1977 - bought food, had a swim, then a barbeque on the beach.
    • 4th May, 1977 - some took a ferry to the Island of Thassos, dinner in Kavala, near the fishing boats, very Mediterranean .
    • 5th May, 1977 - Yugoslvia - left Kavala for the border, camped at Skopje.
    • 6th May, 1977 - lefy Skopje at 7:00am, travelled through Serbia to belgrade, camped in a modern camping village.
    • 7th May, 1977 - Austria - another long day in the bus, stopped at Ljubljana, crossed the border into Austria, camped at a Tourist Park at Klagenfurt, rained tonight.
    • 8th May, 1977 - hot shower this morning, travelled to Salzburg, pitched the tents, another wet night.
    • 9th May, 1977 - Germany - wandered around Salzburg, crossed into Germany, stayed in a tourist park at Wurzburg.
    • 10th May, 1977 - Holland & Belgium - hot showers, long drive from Germany into Holland and then Belgium, camped at Bruges, final dinner of the trip witj many presentations.
    • 11th May, 1977 - England - packed the tents for the last time, left Bruges, Belgium on the ferry to Dover, arrived London, end of the trip for most at at Mayfair Place, stayed in a hotel in Sussex Gardens for the night.

SK1070 Reunions

    1987, Ballarat, Victoria

    • Date : 25th April, 1987
    • Location : Wendouree-Ballarat Rowing Club, Ballarat, Victoria
    • Roll Call : Alan (& Annette with Laura), Allan & Kathy (with Claire & Simon), Daryl & Erica (with Andrea & Lyndon), Denis (from Calgary, Canada), Graeme, Janet, Jeff (& Debbie with Stephanie & Adam), John (& Pat with Joshua & Sarah), Kim & Tony (with Angus, Edwina & Felicity), Mike & Marg (with Dustin), Ray (& Maree), Ron & Lyn (with Katie & Dustin), Sue (with Colin), Sue (& Dave)

    1992, Hahndorf, South Australia

    • Date : April, 1992
    • Location : ___ Caravan Park, Hahndorf, South Australia
    • Roll Call : Alan (& Annette with Laura, Owen & Miles), Allan & Kathy (with Claire, Simon & Alison), Daryl & Erica (with Andrea & Lyndon), Jeff (& Debbie with Stephanie, Adam & ___), John (& Pat with Joshua & Sarah), Max (& Janine), Ray (& Maree), Ron & Lyn (with Katie & Dustin), Sue (& Dave)

    1997, Echuca, Victoria

    • Date : April, 1997
    • Location : ___ Caravan Park, Echuca, Victoria
    • Roll Call : Alan (& Annette with Owen & Miles), Allan & Kathy (with Claire, Simon & Alison), Daryl & Erica (with Lyndon), Graeme, Jenny (& Simon with Matthew, Tim, Zoe & Gabrielle from Darwin), John (& Pat with Sarah), Ray (& Maree), Sue (& Dave with Anders)

    2002, Victor Harbour, South Australia

    • Date : April, 2002
    • Location : ___ Caravan Park, Victor Harbour, South Australia
    • Roll Call : Alan (& Annette), Kathy (with Alison), John (& Pat), Ray (& Maree), Sue (& Dave with Anders)

    2007, Warrnambool, Victoria

    • Date : 6-8th April, 2007
    • Location : Surfside Caravan Park, Warrnambool, Victoria
    • Roll Call : Alan (& Annette from Adelaide, SA), Audrey (& her sister Ceci from USA), Daryl & Erica (& Andrea from Ballarat, Vic.), Graeme (from Hastings, Vic.), Jeff (from Melbourne, Vic.), Jenny (& Simon from Lower Hutt, NZ), John (& Pat from Adelaide, SA), Kathy (from Adelaide, SA), Mike & Marg (from Townsville, Qld.), Ray (& Maree from Loch, Gippsland), Ron & Lyn (from Mooloolaba, Qld.), Sue (& Dave with Anders from Melbourne, Vic)
    • Vale - Allan (NZ & Adelaide) & Joanne (Canada)

    2012, Normanville, Southern Vales, South Australia

    • Date : 14th-16th September, 2012
    • Location : Beachside Caravan Park, Normanville, South Australia
    • Website : www.beachside.com.au"
    • Roll Call : building.....

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Daryl & Erica Povey
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia