Reliving the Top Deck era
Aussie author Trevor Carroll has released his book ‘Crossing Continents with Top Deck, the travel revolution of the 70s-90s’, giving readers an insight into the Top Deck era.
The story is told through the eyes of a tour leader traveling overland between London and Sydney in the late 1970s.
The journey from Sydney to London crossing three continents and through 21 countries took 20 weeks. It provided an adventure-filled alternative for young Aussies and Kiwis getting to and from Europe, aboard Top Deck’s alternative mode of travel in caravan-style converted Bristol Lodekka double-deck buses.
The Top Deck Sydney to London tour described in this book, perhaps one of the lengthiest and most arduous of its time, departed Sydney in March 1980. The first hop crossed Australia to Perth in two old Sydney-era double-decker buses with 30 passengers. A series of flights, trains, buses, ferries carried them to Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Burma to Kathmandu.
Guesthouses and budget hotels provided roofs over their heads.
In Kathmandu this group grew to 60, where they boarded three double-deckers, Casper, Tadpoles and Dinger bound for London. The 1955 model Bristol Lodekkas fed and housed 20 passengers each from Nepal through India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Greece, Yugoslavia, Italy, France and to London over 10 weeks, suffering major breakdowns, collisions, illness and the US hostage crisis in Iran.
Above: Author Trevor Carroll chronicles memories of a bygone era in his new book