The greatest journey of the Sixties and Seventies

Only 30 years ago Western travellers breezed through Afghanistan. English girls hitchhiked alone across Iran. Free-spirited teenagers from London and Los Angeles were welcomed as honoured guests in Baghdad. Between 1961 and 1979 – when the Asia Overland trail was closed by the Iranian Revolution — hundreds of thousands of Western kids, in flares and open-toe sandals, headed across Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan to India in search of adventure, enlightenment and a better world. Theirs was the greatest journey of the age.

Inspired by Kerouac, Ginsberg and the Beatles, these intrepid pioneers rejected capitalism and Christianity to reach for something older, more complete and serene. Few could afford to fly, most went overland, crossing Asia alone or in small groups, by whichever mode of transport suited their budget, their whim, their state of mind. Ancient Austins, retired Royal Mail vans, fried-out Kombis, rainbow coloured double deckers, ex-British Army Bedfords: it was the weirdest procession of unroadworthy vehicles ever to roll and rock across the face of the earth. They undertook a journey which changed the world, but in ways that none of the travellers could have imagined.