Pennworld SK1070 Nomad Arabian

Overland Bus Journey (East - West) in 1977

Kathmandu, Nepal (1 Mar 1977) to London, England (11 May 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, India, 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.

"The SK1070 Journey" : Kathmandu (1 Mar 1977) to London (11 May 1977)

    • 1st March, 1977 - Kathmandu & Pockara : The Pennworld SK1070 bus left the Blue Star Hotel, Kathmandu, at 8:00am, with 40 passengers, Ian (driver) & Derek (courier); about 12,000 miles to go. Roadside lunch stop, arrived Pockera about 3.00 pm; pitched tents; ate at the Tibetan Restaurant in Pockhara, Nepal; early to bed.
    • 2nd March, 1977 - Pockara & Bhairahaws : up at 6.30 am; tents to bus by 7.00 am; breakfast up the street at the Swiss Restaurant; left Pockhara and stopped near the Indian border at Bhairahaws; cold showers.
    • 3rd March, 1977 - Benares : crossed the border from Nepal into India (4 hrs), 8 hr drive to Benares, stopped at Hotel de Paris, Benares, 4 course dinner & hot showers.
    • 4th March, 1977 - Benares : boat trip on the Ganges (Benares) at dawn, city tour, Monkey Temple, Benares University, silk factory, dinner & 2nd night at Hotel de Paris, Benares.
    • 5th March, 1977 - Kajuraho & Holi Festival : left Benares at 6:00 am for Kajuraho to avoid Holi Festival activities; visited the intricately carved Khajuraho temples; lots of purple bouganvilia in flower; left at 10:00 pm for overnight drive to Agra trying to avoid Holi Festival activities, but met road blocks (rocks, fires and tree branches), suffered 2 broken bus windows from thrown stones.
    • 6th March, 1977 - Agra : arrived Agra at 8:30 am, camped in grounds of Lauries Hotel; stayed there for day because of over enthusiastic Holi activities. Full moon at night, so we visited the Taj Mahal by taxi; magnificent in all of its full-moon glory.
    • 7th March, 1977 - Agra : Agra : whole group took the bus to the Taj Mahal, just as impressive as last night under the full moon; the marble inlay work was special; group photograph at the Taj; on to Agra Fort; left for Jaipur around luchtime; 250 km later we pitched tents at the Khetri House hotel, Jaipur.
    • 8th March, 1977 - Jaipur : Jaipur : tour of Jaipur city the capital of Rajastan; observatory; hall of the winds; Tiger Fort, City Palace, museum, shopping.
    • 9th March, 1977 - Amber & Delhi : dove to the old capital, Amber, elephant ride up to the fort, travelled to Delhi, stopped at the Rangit Hotel, dinner at the hotel with Paul & Joanne.
    • 10th March, 1977 - Dehli : toured Old & New Delhi, Hindu temple, Victory Tower, Ghandi's memorial; Daryl had "Dehli belly."
    • 11th March, 1977 - Dehli : shopping in New Delhi (Erica with a moonstone ring set in platinum); sound & light show at the Red Fort,
    • 12th March, 1977 - Amritsar : left Delhi for the Punjab, stopped at Amritsar after a long drive; pitched tents on the lawns at "The Ritz" hotel; dinner at a Kwality restaurant up the street.
    • 13th March, 1977 - Amritsar & Jammu : visited the Golden Temple at Amritsar, a very impressive experience; left Amritsar at 11:00am for Kashmir, lots of troops, stayed at the "Picnic" hotel (a bit grotty), Jammu tonight.
    • 14th March, 1977 - Srinigar : breakfast at the "Picnic" Hotel; left Jammu for Srinigar, via the Jawahar Tunnel into Srinigar; checked into our houseboat "Jewel Box" on the Dal Lake along with Ray, Graeme, Peter & Chris, hot showers.
    • 15th March, 1977 - Srinigar : Srinigar : toured some of the Dal Lake by small local boats (shikara); shopping from hawkers on the houseboat.
    • 16th March, 1977 - Srinigar : Srinigar: took a shikara to the Mogul Gardens across the Dal Lake which was calm with a backround of snow-capped mountains.
    • 17th March, 1977 - Jammu : left Srinigar at 7:30am on a cold, clear morning with snow-capped peaks surrounding the Srinigar valley, for return trip to Jammu, where we again stayed at the "Picnic" Hotel.
    • 18th March, 1977 - Amritsar & Lahore : left the "Picnic" hotel at Jammu at 7:00am, reached Amritsa around noon and crossed the Indian border west of Amritsar into Pakistan (2 hrs); drove onto Lahore, pitched tents in the grounds of the "International" Hotel. First group cooking night (rostered team of 4) for the journey resulted in egg, chees and onion omlette, with cabbage and rice.
    • 19th March, 1977 - Lahore : wandered around the old city of Lahore; visited the Delhi Gate and bazaar; dinner was another group cooked meal.
    • 20th March, 1977 - Peshawar : left Lahore at 8:00am; lunch on the radside near Rawalpindi; crossed the Indus River where Alexander the Great lead his army across in 400 BC; on to Peshawar where we stopped at the "Park" Hotel; safely walking the streets now became a greater challenge for the girls; we ate dinner at the hotel, others ate in downtown Peshawar.
    • 21st March, 1977 - Kabul : left Peshawar in Pakistan after breakfast for the Khyber Pass & Afganistan; crossed the border into Afganistan at the top of the Khyber Pass (frontier territory with lotsof local men carring old .303 rifles; on to Kabul via the Kabul Gorge (spectacular and rugged); accomodation at the "Gulzar" Hotel in Kabul, formerly be the Japanese Embassy.
    • 22nd March, 1977 - Kabul : breakfast at "Mercedes" Cafe in Chicken Street, Kabul. Dinner tonight at Bagh-i-Bala Restaurant, previously the King's palace, hospital & armoury, situated on a hill overlooking the city of Kabul.
    • 23rd March, 1977 - Kabul : breakfast in Chicken street, visted Kabul Museum, caught in a dust storm, dinner at the "Steak House", other Penn bus has broken down, they take our bus and driver, we stay another 2 days in Kabul until the bus is repaired.
    • 24th March, 1977 - Kabul : breakfast and shopping along Chicken Street, another dust storm, dinner at the "Steak House" again; good value and selection.
    • 25th March, 1977 - Kabul : another day wandering the streets of Kabul.
    • 26th March, 1977 - Kandahar : left Kabul, arrived Kandahar at 4:30pm, nomad camps, lunch at a Caravanseri, stayed at the "Mayfair" hotel, Kandahar. A highlight in Kandahar was the "American" bakery that had great "brownies."
    • 27th March, 1977 - Herat : breakfast at the "Mayfair", travelled to Herat, where we stopped at the "Super Behzad" hotel, upstairs room with great view of a busy intersection with lots of colourful local traffic to study.
    • 28th March, 1977 - Herat : visited the largest mosque in Herat and a bazaar, had a demonstration of local bread (nan) making in an underfloor, conical oven.
    • 29th March, 1977 - Herat to Meshed, Iran : left Herat in western Afganistan at 9:00am for the Iranian border; stopped at a Kuchi (desert nomads) camps; great chance to mingle with and photograph Kuchi men and boys tending goats and sheep. Travelled to the Afgani / Iranian border (2 hrs to clear the Afghan border, 4 hrs to enter Iran); arrived at Meshad at 8:00 pm, pitched tents in a rough camping ground, but facilities were good, and the cooking group produced an excellent meal of soup, spaghetti, eggs with a fish-cheese sauce.
    • 30th March, 1977 - Meshed : left Meshed for Gorgon, rough camped on the roadside after dark, in the rain, cold, wet & muddy; cooking team did a gallant job and we ate at about 10.30 pm; the washin-up crew entertained us with their singing around midnight.
    • 31st March, 1977 - Tehran : cold, wet & muddy morning, bus bogged in the rough camp site on the road side, had to push it out by 10.30 am; travelled on to Tehran through fertile and hilly countryside; passed just south of the Caspean Sea; snow in the mountains (Alan's first interaction with snow); arrived at Teheran about 7.30 pm; pitched tents on gravel stones at our camp site.
    • 1st April, 1977 - Isfahan : drove to Isfahan, arrived about 5:30pm, camped in the grounds of a Youth Hostel a few miles out of the city centre.
    • 2nd April, 1977 - Isfahan : meal with an Iranian School Teacher in Isfahan (neighbour of a friend from Australia who was not at home when we called); one of those unexpected special encounters.
    • 3rd April, 1977 - Isfahan : visited the Blue Mosque and old bazaar; attracted by ivory miniatures in Isfahan.
    • 4th April, 1977 - Persepolis & Shiraz : left Isfahan at 7:30am, stopped at ruins of the ancient Persepolis complex; travelled on to Shiraz; good campsite and cooked under cover tonight; swapped back to our original bus, taken over by the first Penn group who are now 10 days behind their schedule.
    • 5th April, 1977 - Shiraz : waiting for a replacement bus turbo-charged ro arrive; shopping in Shiraz, a modern city with wide streets; camped at the Tourist Park.
    • 6th April, 1977 - Shiraz : bus turbo charger arrived with Tony ..?..(a long story from Kabul to Shiraz), Ian replaced the old one; left Shiraz at 10:30am, travelled until 7:00pm through oil-fields & fold mountains; rough camped beside the road in Iran oilfields.
    • 7th April, 1977 - Iranian roadside : left camp by 7:30am; bridge washed out; attempted to drive over stoney riverbed; paid to be towed out of the river by 2 tractors; food in the boot ruined; but cases with clothes safely on bus; arrived at Ahvaz; travelled a further 150km; rough camped by the road near nomad camp; we were on wash-up duty tonight.
    • 8th April, 1977 - Baghdad : crossed the border from Iran to Iraq; lots of nomads on the move; arrived at Tourist Camp, Baghdad; two other bus groups (Penn 1068 & Capricorn) already setup.
    • 9th April, 1977 - Baghdad : drove to Babylon, visited the ruined city, we were on cooking for the group tonight in Baghdad (sweet curry using tinned meat, rice, cake with custard; played 500 till late.
    • 10th April, 1977 - Baghdad : cooked breakfast for the group (porridge); shopped for food; ate at a restaurant in Baghdad tonight; locals very friendly.
    • 11th April, 1977 - Desert west of Baghdad : 12 hr drive west across the desert from Baghdad, crossed the Iraq border; camped in the desert in no-man's land prior to the Jordanian border (bare, flat & rocky); we cooked again tonight (spaghetti with a fish mornay sauce); early to bed.
    • 12th April, 1977 - Jordan border & Aman : breakfast in the desert, wind got up (created problems with toilet paper); crossed border into Jordan; checked into the New Park Hotel, Amman, Jordan; wandered around shops and Roman ruins.
    • 13th April, 1977 - Aman & Aqaba : 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; early to bed but plenty stayed at the disco until 2.00 am.
    • 14th April, 1977 - Aqaba : spent the day in Aqaba, windy and a bit cold; ate at the hotel at night.
    • 15th April, 1977 - Aqaba & Petra : cold showers, left for Petra in the desert, setup camp near the Petra Rest House, explored the hidden city of Petra in the afternoon; the entry down the tall, narrow canyon, along a dry watercourse was magnificent.
    • 16th April, 1977 - Petra, Amman & Jerash : left Petra at 6:00 am; stopped in Amman for lunch; then north to Jerash where we camped on a Roman Hippodrome, explored well preserved Roman ruins of Jerash; chilly night.
    Syria & Lebanon
    • 17th April, 1977 - Damascus : left Jerash at 8:00am for a short trip to the Syrian border (2 hrs); drove to Damascus; plenty of tanks & gun positions flanking the road into Damascus; checked into the "Said" Hotel; explored the covered Bazaar and Omyad Mosque.
    • 18th April, 1977 - Damascus : visited the Omyad Mosque, tomb of John the Baptist, ate out tonight (group of 10); had pastries & icecream on the way back to the hotel; hot showers tonight.
    • 19th April, 1977 - Damascus & Palmyra : left Damascus for a drive to Homs, then across the destert to Palmyra; Roman ruins; Arab castle; camped in the grounds of a hotel.
    • 20th April, 1977 - Syria - Lebanon - Syria : drove from Palmyra back to Homs, then onto Lebanon; duty free shopping by the roadside; back into Syria to a Crusader Castle "Krak des Chevaliers" for lunch; onto the coast where we camped at Latakia in a tourist camp on the beach.
    • 21st April, 1977 - Adana : crossed into Turkey; mountain scenery; green hills; red poppies; views of the Mediterranean; camped in a tourist park at Adana, hot showers.
    • 22nd April, 1977 - Urgup : cold & wet day, drove onto Urgup, visited an underground city built by early Christians, 8 levels deep, pitched tents in the rain at Urgup, freezing night.
    • 23rd April, 1977 - Urgup & Goreme Valley : cold & wet, visited the Goreme valley (known for its fairies' chimneys) by bus; back to Urgup; went to a disco in town; snowing when we came out; several inches of snow on tents; snowball fight 12.30 am to 1.30 am.
    • 24th April, 1977 - Urgup & Pamukkale : 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; we camped at "Esot" Motel, Pamukkale with hot springs tonight in which we swam and bathed.
    • 25th April, 1977 - Kusadasi : Anzac Day in Australia & New Zealand; drove west through Turkey; camped tonight at "Yat" Tourist Park at Kusadasi, a seaside resort; after dinner walked into town and looked at shops; purchased tea shirts; looked at leather coats.
    • 26th April, 1977 - Kusadasi & Ephesus : took our bus back to Epesus; visited the impressive Roman ruins at Ephes; shopping in Kusadasi, Daryl & Alan & others purchased leather coats; dinner at a seaside restaurant.
    • 27th April, 1977 - Kusadasi & Pergamon : visted Pergamon ruins near the town of Bergama; lunch at Bergama; camped on the coast at Attin camp near Ayvalik.
    • 28th April, 1977 Troy, Chanakkle & Cape Helles : visited ancient 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 commemorating the British landings in WW1 (1915); camped the night on the coast of the Dardenelles; terrible facilities & cold showers.
    • 29th April, 1977 - Cape Helles, Anzac Cove & Lone Pine : drove to Anzac Cove & Lone Pine Cemetery, lots of red poppies flowering; only a few days after Anzac Day (a very moving experience for Australians and New Zealanders); camped tonight near the beach at Florya, just south of Instanbul.
    • 30th April, 1977 - Istanbul : 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 - Istanbul : 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 - Kavala : crossed the border from Turkey into Greece; geat scenery; many swall Greek villages; camped at Akti Kavalis Camp at Kavala, a Greek beach resort.
    • 3rd May, 1977 - Kavala : went into town by bus; bought food for a BBQ tonight; had a swim; then a barbeque on the beach.
    • 4th May, 1977 - Kavala : some took a ferry to the Island of Thassos; dinner in Kavala, near the fishing boats, very Mediterranean.
    • 5th May, 1977 - Skopje : left Kavala for the Yugoslav border; camped at Skopje; bought food we were back on cooking tonight (chop suey, minestrone soup, potatoes & birthday cake for Paul's birthday).
    • 6th May, 1977 - Serbia & Belgrade : left Skopje at 7:00am, travelled through Serbia to Belgrade; camped in a modern camping village past Belgrade.
    • 7th May, 1977 - Ljubljana & Klagenfurt : another long day in the bus; stopped at Ljubljana for lunch; crossed the border into Austria; camped at a Tourist Park at Klagenfurt; rained tonight.
    • 8th May, 1977 - Salzburg : hot shower this morning; travelled theough mountain passes to Salzburg; pitched the tents; out for dinner; another wet night.
    • 9th May, 1977 - Salzburg & Wurzburg : wandered around Salzburg in the morning; beautiful shops; crossed into Germany; stayed in a tourist park at Wurzburg near the river Main.
    Holland & Belgium
    • 10th May, 1977 - Holland & Belgium - hot showers; very cold morning; long drive from Germany into Holland and then Belgium; camped at Bruges; final dinner of the trip with many presentations (by Graeme & Alan) and awards earned on the trip.
    The Channel & London
    • 11th May, 1977 - Bruges, Channel Ferry, 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 Mayfair Place; stayed one night in a hotel in Sussex Gardens. It was a long and amazing trip by bus from Kathmandu, Nepal to London; Well done Derek, Ian & Pennworld.

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 :"
    • Roll Call : building.....

    2017, Cotton Tree Holiday Park, Sunshine Coast, Queensland

    • Date : , 2017
    • Location : Maroochydore, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
    • Website : Cotton Tree Holiday Park
    • Roll Call : building.....

    2020, Queenstown, Southland, New Zealand

    • Date : 11th-16th March, 2020
    • Location : Lakeview Holiday Park, Queenstown, New Zealand
    • Website :"
    • Roll Call : building.....
updated 13 May 2020

Daryl & Erica Povey, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

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