Re­liv­ing the Top Deck era

ABC (Australia) - - NEWS -

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

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