Driving from London to Colombo overland across Europe and Asia seems to have been familiar type of Sri Lankan adventure travel in the 1960s. The idea was for a bunch of friends to fly to England, live cheap, work madly and buy a charriot with their pooled earnings. Then drive it to Colombo via Europe, the middle east, and India. On getting to Colombo they would sell the chariot which would more than cover the cost of the trip.
I recall some greying uncles reminiscing of the adventures on the last leg of the trip — exiting Afghanistan, via Kyber Pass. Then wading through the crony socialism of Pakistan and India to catch the Talaimannar ferry. After the crossing, and the triumphal drive to Colombo to sell their transcontinental chariot – a sale they now seem to regret.
I have also heard that such trips were not uncommon for twenty somethings who could pool the cash and the odd London connection. Particularly for newly minted university grads returning to Sri Lanka. It was a time when a brown face with a Ceylon passport at a passport counter was considered an exotic visitor — not another visa overstaying illegal migrant. Sri Lanka’s dalliance with socialism would I suppose warrant friendly passage through the Warsaw pact. Though I wonder what some hapless official at some isolated border crossing in the Balkans or Iran would have reacted at the bunch of happy go lucky faces stuffed in a piece of posh British motoring,
Do you know of any relatives, friends, relatives of friends or friends of relatives who have done this trip? The comment box awaits their stories / anecdotes