OVERLAND 1970 by DAVID SHIRREFF
IT IS 1970 and in London a group of people gather around a Land Rover covered in jerry cans and rigged up to a trailer.
Ahead lies a journey of many thousands of miles on ‘The Hippie Trail’, the well-trodden route from London to Nepal. They will encounter every imaginable hazard along increasingly dangerous roads that will take them through mountains, deserts, across empty plains and through teeming cities.
OVERLAND 1970 vividly recreates the experience of being an Overlander at a time when a western traveller could make this epic journey without encountering war or totalitarianism. The Hippie Trail had its dangers but to anyone possessed of the spirit of adventure it offered a wealth of fascinating encounters and stunning landscapes.
Author David Shirreff knows his subject well. Having driven the Hippie Trail several times, he captures the chilly mornings, the engine failures, the moments of rapture and the constant stimulation of new sights and experiences. But what sets his book apart is that he captures the really transformative aspect of these journeys: what happened between the travellers themselves.
Inside a metal box for hours at a time, for months on end, they formed intense, transformative relationships. They fell in love, developed bitter rivalries and, if they were lucky, arrived at a better understanding of themselves.
OVERLAND 1970 takes the reader into that Land Rover and the experience of a vividly drawn cast of characters as they experience the journey of a lifetime.