Constantine Cornwall

Overland to India

HELP, with just a few hours before our meeting the speakers cancelled because of sickness. Luckily one of our members, Dominique Hayes, said she had travelled overland in a truck to India in the 1970s – would that do – yes please!!

Dominique was in her 2nd year of a Law Degree in Belgium at the time and wanted to travel. South America, her preferred destination, was unaffordable but she was shown details of a Trek overland to India. “Perfect”.

So the converted “Green Goddess” arrived. She was expecting a group of 12 but in total there were 24 including 3 drivers/mechanics.We watched a “promotional” film with 60s/70s music and very dated commentary, showing what the “trip” involved, and what they couldsee, weather permitting.

From Belgium they travelled through Europe – Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Istan- bul, finding the people very friendly. In Lahore they had the luxury of staying on houseboats where most people lived and worked afloat, mainly transporting goods. The Corbett National Park in the Himala- yas gave views of alligators, elephants and some game but no tigers. One memorable building was the Red Fort, the presidential residence which was co-designed by Architect Edwin Landseer Lutyens. There were holy cities, temples, trucks,

bikes, horse & carts but hardly any motorcars. No luxuries, but fantastic views, and great experiences, especially the footbridge over a very deep canyon above a torrential fast-running river. The “footbridge” constructed of ropes with only one plank’s width to walk on looked very precarious!! Most days they rose at dawn to continue the trek finding breakfast at roadside “cafes”.

Eleven weeks later, on arrival at Nepal/ Kathmandu they spent 10 more days in the area. Dominique hired a bike and explored Kathmandu Valley, then caught a train to Delhi to fly back to Amsterdam. What an adventure!

The meeting continued and plans were announced for a coach trip in December to see all the Christmas Lights down West with a chance for Fish & Chips in Newlyn.

Our Festive Soup and Pud will be on Monday 25 November and start again in the New Year on Monday 27 January 2020!!