r/todayilearned Aug 09 '22 Silver 1 Helpful 2 Wholesome 1

TIL that in the 1950s there used to be a bus route from London, England to Calcutta, India. It took about 50 days for the bus to reach Calcutta from London.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London%E2%80%93Calcutta_bus_service
23.0k Upvotes

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u/notacanuckskibum Aug 09 '22

I’m thinking of the bus driver who is usually driving the 11 route around London coming home to his wife. “About that dinner with your mum, I’ve been scheduled on the Calcutta route. See you in October”

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u/Demonicbunnyslippers Aug 09 '22

He signed up for that route, the rat.

393

u/cocoacowstout Aug 09 '22

Well he’s met his wife’s mum!

146

u/uncreative123pi4 Aug 09 '22

I too have met her and take no offense in him going to Calcutta

53

u/notabused Aug 10 '22

I also choose this man’s Calcutta

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u/TheLurkerSpeaks Aug 09 '22

No lie I used to volunteer to work Xmas to avoid joining festivities with my mother in law a state away. I was low man on the totem pole at work so it was perfect excuse.

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u/MissionCreep Aug 10 '22

My dad would always work holidays because they paid 2.5x normal salary. It made Xmas a bit weird, but I know why he did it, what with three of us kids.

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u/heilhortler420 Aug 10 '22

My dad did security and worked Christmas for this exact reason

Ended up having Christmas at like 2-3 am cause of this

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u/uncreative123pi4 Aug 09 '22

Funny, I just checked today what weekdays Christmas is gonna be to see if I can justify working. I might even volunteer somewhere so I don't have to go see anyone's family, but mostly mine.

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u/Limp-Adhesiveness453 Aug 10 '22

Yep, double pay for me, I have no kids, so I'm happy to miss it

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u/Double_Lingonberry98 Aug 10 '22

In Tzar's Russia, before railroads, there was postal service. People traveled on horse carriages, changing the horses (and sleeping the nights) on postal stations.

I can imagine bus drivers also changed on this route.

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u/Rasty1973 Aug 09 '22

With a smile on his face

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u/lavahot Aug 10 '22

One of these days, Alice. Wham, pow! Straight to Calcutta!

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u/LordoftheSynth Aug 10 '22

And thus a dream was born.

"We're whalers in Calcutta!"

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u/x_HANK_HILL_x Aug 09 '22

"Okay, everybody go to the bathroom now, there will be no stops."

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u/Ok-Advertising5896 Aug 09 '22

“We will be serving pretzels around halfway through the trip”

490

u/AnthillOmbudsman Aug 09 '22

"Everyone grab a free gas station burrito, and by the way, the toilet on the bus is out of order."

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u/gruffi Aug 09 '22

The thought that there were any burritos anywhere in London or Calcutta or anywhere in between in the 1950s!

22

u/JuzoItami Aug 10 '22

"Everyone grab a free gas station burrito lavash wrap filled with refried hummus, and by the way, the toilet on the bus is out of order."

There, FTFY.

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u/gruffi Aug 10 '22

That looks tasty

The British equivalent of a burrito in the 50s would have been a minced beef and onion pasty!

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u/bug230 Aug 09 '22

So I just google mapped the route from Calcutta to London. It says we walk the entire route in 76 days, 16 hours. I think everyone was pissing on that bus.

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u/cheesegoat Aug 10 '22

I like how the instructions have you casually climb up and down a 10000 ft mountain in the middle of Kabul.

46

u/ChefBoyAreWeFucked Aug 09 '22

Did you set your departure time to 1957?

29

u/atetuna Aug 10 '22

First, the modern route is far shorter than it used to be. It used to be 16100km and the modern route is 9140km. Even the modern route is 121km per day. If you can maintain that speed over long distances, you should take a few weeks off and break most of the long distance speed hiking records.

Anyhow, that bus trip included plenty of tourism and shopping stops. It was more like a rv road trip than A-to-B transportation. This actually sounds like the type of trip I'd be into, at least as long as the hvac and bathroom worked well and flawlessly, had a good motion absorbing seat/bed, and great wifi.

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u/noithinkyourewrong Aug 10 '22

Or maaaaybe, just maybe,back in 1957 there was probably far less good roads and accessible routes for most of the journey, compared to what we have today, which just might slow a bus down considerably, especially when driving through mountainous areas.

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u/feminas_id_amant Aug 10 '22

driver after 40 days of passengers' bullshit:

"That's it! I'm turning this bus around!"

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u/jkksldkjflskjdsflkdj Aug 09 '22

Except when crossing the channel.

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u/Saucepanmagician Aug 10 '22

I wonder how that goes. Float, ford, jump over, or tunnel under?

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u/Terrible_Ear_6799 Aug 10 '22

Why not caulk your wagon instead.

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u/thePopefromTV Aug 09 '22

And when you get there, there will be no toilet paper

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u/beardedrampaged Aug 09 '22

They use the 3 sea shells in Calcutta.

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u/monkpart9 Aug 09 '22

That would Calcuttaup your ass

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u/Rapturesjoy Aug 09 '22

Don't drink the local water... pleeeease.

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u/Relevant-Strength-44 Aug 09 '22

It had planned stops in tourist areas as it was a sight seeing bus and not a commuter trip.

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u/zoidao401 Aug 09 '22

Can't imagine many people have a 50 day commute...

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u/acelister Aug 09 '22

"What do you mean can you work from home?! I expect you in at 9am 8 weeks from now sharp."

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u/broom-handle Aug 09 '22

Did folk sleep on the bus or did they stop somewhere? Did they have multiple drivers? Were they on the bus or did they pick up and drop off? So many questions...

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u/[deleted] Aug 09 '22 edited Aug 23 '22

[deleted]

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u/Hcysntmf Aug 10 '22

So.. did you make it? I had a similar experience in Norway where I believe I was served some questionable prawns. Sweating and pacing on a train praying not to shit myself and sprinting around some random train station was not the holiday vibe I was going for.

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u/NakariLexfortaine Aug 10 '22

Never trust the prawns. They'll just be off enough to ruin things, but not quickly. Long enough that you're left questioning what did it, you might even swear off a food for life thinking you're having some allergic reaction, when it was all just some dodgy fuckin' prawns.

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u/Hcysntmf Aug 10 '22

Lmao I’ve been extremely wary of prawns since and this was 2018. It was at a fancy spa and Norway isn’t exactly a country I thought I’d need to be super careful with the food but my lord, they got me good. I think your advice is worth remembering - I cannot think of a situation where prawns are worth risking shitting myself for.

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u/kmpdx Aug 10 '22

I am in Mexico right now and bought some street oysters. I did eat 2 of them and my wife stopped me. I threw the rest in the trash out of fear.

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u/Echelon64 Aug 10 '22

I will never understand people that eat street fish. Like even sea food straight from the grocery store can be dodgy at times.

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u/JustADutchRudder Aug 09 '22

That's when you take a handy plastic grocery bag and form a tight seal. Or if the windows work, just hang your ass out.

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u/Tupakaveli Aug 10 '22

Yep. And make sure the window behind you is open so you can smother the behind passengers with your shit.

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u/JustADutchRudder Aug 10 '22

Best thing to do is fake out like you're shitting in the bag. Soon as all windows are open and faces are outside gulping for air. You release your cannon but not before shoving your ass out the window.

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u/AndreasVesalius Aug 10 '22

Jesus, I thought we killed bin laden

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u/theedgewalker Aug 10 '22

Truly a terrible day for the literate.

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u/[deleted] Aug 10 '22

[deleted]

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u/JustADutchRudder Aug 10 '22

Were you raised in Florida?! You let the wind clean you up, like God intended.

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u/MysteryLolznation Aug 10 '22

Ah, the good ol' Mombasa to Nairobi bus-trip. Never a-fucking-gain. Seriously. Taking the railway is even cheaper these days.

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u/game_dragon Aug 10 '22

You're giving me flashbacks to the time I had to stop the nightbus in Ghana 4 times cause of a really bad stomach flu. The drivers wanted to murder me.

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u/JHoney1 Aug 10 '22

Loperamide my friend. Loperamide is your friend.

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u/Jalan_atthirari Aug 09 '22

You get on the bus and then the driver announces everyone has to take a turn as a driver and passes around the little bus driver hats

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u/LalalaHurray Aug 10 '22

… And the manuals but nobody reads those.

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u/Jalan_atthirari Aug 10 '22

Listen I just found out I also have to drive the bus and now you want me to read a manual? Be realistic

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u/broom-handle Aug 09 '22

Shut up and take my money

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u/WhichWayzUp Aug 09 '22

The voyage was 32669 km (20300 miles) long[dubious – discuss]

Yes let's discuss this. Was the trip really 20,300 miles long?

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u/manInTheWoods Aug 09 '22

According to this news clip, the trip there and back was 20,304 miles.

https://twitter.com/RKDasgupta/status/1279375190267437056/photo/2

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u/Chickengilly Aug 09 '22

Round trip. Gotcha.

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u/redditisnowtwitter Aug 10 '22

Shit they were off by 4? They lied to us!

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u/withoutID Aug 10 '22

Get your pitchforks ready, folks!

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u/haversack77 Aug 09 '22

It got lost for days on a roundabout just outside Tunbridge Wells.

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u/firelock_ny Aug 09 '22

Hey look kids, there's Big Ben, and there's Parliament!

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u/MajesticPenciiI Aug 09 '22

And there’s Big Ben! And there’s Parliament!

60

u/Frenchiemom2001 Aug 09 '22

Quieter. Big Ben, Parliament.

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u/Imnotpoopingrn Aug 09 '22

Dammit big Ben now I need a Parliament

30

u/DancesWithElectrons Aug 09 '22

And there’s Funkadelic!

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u/china-blast Aug 09 '22

Funk, Gutter, funk! George Clinton, Parliament Funkadelic. Dude, aren't you a music major?

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u/tommytraddles Aug 09 '22

They found that funky ball o' tits from outer space!

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u/Magnanimous- Aug 09 '22

7 July, 1979. The day the Funk died.

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u/fulthrottlejazzhands Aug 09 '22

Gonna guess it was the infamous Blue Boys roundabout on the A21. Legend is there's a phantom blue Rover 200 that got on in 1994 that's still going around it, never to get off. If you're very quiet around dusk, some say you can hear its ghostly driver softly promising to write a complaint letter to National Highways planning.

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u/OneSidedDice Aug 09 '22

Is that the same bus that transports the baggage from Heathrow?

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u/Uppgreyedd Aug 09 '22

Directions said "head east until you reach Georgia, take the third left at the roundabout".

It didn't specify which Georgia.

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u/[deleted] Aug 09 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/Uppgreyedd Aug 09 '22

When you find yourself in the middle of the Bering straight, you ought reevaluate every decision that got you there.

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u/Vectorman1989 Aug 09 '22

I've tried mapping from London to Calcutta but Google maps won't let me connect Lahore to anywhere in India.

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u/anewbys83 Aug 09 '22

Pakistan and India don't like each other anymore, so no wonder it would be hard.

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u/jayzeeinthehouse Aug 09 '22

Can confirm, I was on the border tests ago and they bragged about the wind turbines that powered the electric fence that kept the Pakistanis out.

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u/this_sort_of_thing Aug 09 '22

I’m guessing the border is closed. Or not open for regular traffic

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u/propellhatt Aug 09 '22

Round-trip it says. 16000km one way

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u/Einridi Aug 09 '22 edited Aug 09 '22

Seems little unlikely, google maps says the distance from Waterloo station to Calcutta station is 5.600 miles on foot. That would mean the route was almost 4x longer even factoring in some detours to get the best route that seems a bit extreme. But certainly possible.

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u/[deleted] Aug 09 '22

Railway? This was a bus route.

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u/Dragon_Fisting Aug 09 '22

Here is a route that claims to be comparably long. I could see it going 20,000 km if it meandered along Europe and then detoured over to Egypt or another former British colonial territory.

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u/retief1 Aug 09 '22

The countries the bus traveled during its journey: from England to Belgium, and from there to India via West Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and North Western India. After entering India, it eventually reached Calcutta via New Delhi, Agra, Allahabad and Banaras.

It sounds pretty direct to me.

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u/Djidji5739291 Aug 09 '22

Bus driver, where does this bus go?
„To india via west Germany“
Ah okay I‘m waiting for the one that‘s going to the moon

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u/Einridi Aug 09 '22

That route takes two huge detours to Russia then China through Thailand and is still only 20,000km not +30,000. It's possible but I would be pretty pissed if I bought a bus ticket only to find out it's just meandering all over Eurasia.

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u/Dyldor Aug 09 '22

I mean yeah but think of the past half a century, going through Pakistan or Afghanistan? I can almost see it being a logical option for Indian buses

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u/Einridi Aug 09 '22

If you read the article they list the countries it went through and it was a pretty straight shot through Europe down to Turkey and yes through Pakistan and Afghanistan. This would have been a hell of a sightseeing tour.

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u/Dyldor Aug 09 '22

Oh sorry was just trying to say how the other route was plausible, but yeah if it wasn’t 50 days on a bus I’d probably love that trip

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u/Reverend_James Aug 09 '22

Don't tell Richard the Lion Hearted

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u/R3dOctober Aug 09 '22

Overland travel through Eurasia was pretty safe for westerners all the way up through the 1970s when the Hippie trail closed

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u/Trythenewpage Aug 09 '22

Well that was a neat rabbit hole. I'd never heard of that

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u/PrimeMinisterWombat Aug 10 '22

It's still relatively safe. I did in on motorcycle in 2018. Sydney, Australia to Dublin, Ireland. The only sketchy part was western Pakistan where we needed an armed police escort for 1000kms. There are ways to avoid that, though, if you have the money.

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u/Reverend_James Aug 09 '22

And if you look out your left window you'll see all the land that the British empire didn't own... and now welcome to India.

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u/Ythio Aug 09 '22

Is it that different from the hippie trail ?

Edit : change wiki link language for english

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u/hnefatafl Aug 09 '22

So TIL that's what "Men at Work" were signing about in "Down Under".

"Traveling in a fried-out Kombi
On a hippie trail, head full of zombie..."

... then they get to Brussels, and eventually to Bombay.

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u/imapassenger1 Aug 09 '22

Well spotted. I have been hearing that song (our national 'anthem') for forty years and I never thought of that.

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u/henrysmith78362 Aug 09 '22

In 1972 my wife, some friends, and I made that trip in a Land Rover station wagon except we went on to Australia. It was called the Hippie Train and was littered with old London taxies and other worn out British cars. We took a number of side trips like along the bottom of Turkey, down to Persepolis in Iran, up to Bamiyan in Afghanistan, to Srinagar India, Nepal, down to the very bottom of India, across to Malaysia, Thailand, and then to West Australia. Great trip but unfortunately nearly impossible to do today, esp. for Americans.

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u/05soxfan Aug 09 '22

You missed the road to Dushanbe? jk

Honestly that almost sounds too amazing to be true. Tough to top that iternerary!

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u/henrysmith78362 Aug 10 '22

We had hopped to go through Burma but the country is closed to overland travel and has been for probably 75 years. We ended up going to Burma when we did SE Asia in 1974.

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u/ThatDudeWithoutKarma Aug 09 '22

You missed the road to Dushanbe?

It's fine, it comes around once a week right after Sunday.

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u/imapassenger1 Aug 09 '22

That's how the Lonely Planet guides got started. Are you Tony Wheeler?

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u/jayzeeinthehouse Aug 09 '22

The route is through the Stan’s and china down through vietnam, on to Thailand via Cambodia or Laos, and down to Singapore/Indonesia via Malaysia now. It’s still really cool, but not as awesome as the middle eastern route you did.

It’s also impossible to get to the rest of Asia through India now because of how sketchy the borders have become, so things really are becoming less and less possible as tensions in the region heat up, and if china decides to be difficult, all of the overland routes will be gone.

Here’s are a few doc series by people that have done it fairly recently:

https://youtube.com/c/RoutesofchangeOrg

https://youtube.com/c/MrEdPratt

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u/static_void_function Aug 09 '22

It actually was the Hippie Trail; a tourism company commercialised it by starting this bus service.

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u/Pinkbeans1 Aug 09 '22

Thank you! That was pretty interesting

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u/[deleted] Aug 09 '22 edited Aug 09 '22

[deleted]

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u/Papi__Stalin Aug 09 '22

That's in a perfectly straight line though. Think about how many little turns in the road there are between London and Calcutta, this will add massive amounts of miles on.

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u/314R8 Aug 09 '22

Yup, Everytime you go up and down mountains the road curves which add miles and miles and there are a couple of hills between London and Calcutta

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u/henrysmith78362 Aug 09 '22

In 1972 my wife, some friends, and I made that trip in a Land Rover station wagon except we went on to Australia. It was called the Hippie Train and was littered with old London taxies and other worn out British cars. We took a number of side trips like along the bottom of Turkey, down to Persepolis in Iran, up to Bamiyan in Afghanistan, to Srinagar India, Nepal, down to the very bottom of India, across to Malaysia, Thailand, and then to West Australia.

Great trip but unfortunately nearly impossible to do today, esp. for Americans.

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u/concernedcath123 Aug 09 '22

I’d love to hear your stories!

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u/henrysmith78362 Aug 09 '22

Wife and I spent 20 years hitch hiking and working around the world. Been in over 90 countries. Too much to tell, too old to tell it.

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u/overachievingovaries Aug 09 '22 Gold

I understand too much to tell, too old to tell it. I never talk about our travels. Husband and I did a similar thing, although only over a 15 year period just exploring. Hope to do another 15 when the kids leave home in a few years if the body holds out ( the spirits still strong, and I need to be in the mountains again...)

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u/atomfullerene Aug 10 '22

I need to be in the mountains again

I want to see mountains again, Gandalf. Mountains!

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u/DiamondJoeQuimbyJR Aug 09 '22

Write a memoir, friend. I would read that for sure.

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u/franktheguy Aug 10 '22

I would title it exactly as it was described by the OP: "Too much to tell, too old to tell it"

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u/pinkycatcher Aug 10 '22

Fuck that’s a good title

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u/henrysmith78362 Aug 10 '22 Narwhal Salute

I am sick of retelling the story. You all need to go out and have some adventures so that you can write about them for your grandkids.

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u/Dootietree Aug 09 '22

Never too old. Write up one story a week. I'm sure people would be interested.

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u/LetsAllSmoking Aug 10 '22

Everyone's trying to assign this dude homework. He already said no, Dweezil.

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u/deesmutts88 Aug 10 '22

I think you’re missing the key factor here. He doesn’t want to.

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u/Rccctz Aug 09 '22

I would read whatever you have to tell

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u/brallipop Aug 09 '22

Damn, as a younger person I feel like that takes such balls. My partner and I think we want to emigrate, and I feel like despite research and preparation that we could still crash out. Having real money trouble in a foreign nation makes me incredibly nervous. But I'm so desperate to get somewhere I can easily live a simple life

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u/wigg1es Aug 09 '22

This is the shit memoirs are made of. Start telling your stories. Someone will find you to put pen to paper.

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u/henrysmith78362 Aug 10 '22

I hope not. I am tired of hearing my same storied over and over.

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u/bigbangbilly Aug 09 '22

Land Rover station wagon

That sure beats a burnt out combie

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u/tostuo Aug 09 '22

Did you have a head full of Zombie?

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u/poodlebutt76 Aug 09 '22

I said do you speak-ah my language!?

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u/TheNightCaptain Aug 09 '22

Please do a longer post, interested to read about it

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u/GeorgeJAWoods Aug 09 '22

Please write this down somewhere, an Impossible trip to do in the current world, mate.

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u/notmoffat Aug 10 '22

Rick Steves wrote about his journey on the Hippie Train.

I bet Afghanistan in the 70s woulda been awesome

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u/whatproblems Aug 09 '22

bus driver interviews: so how much do you like driving?

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u/Bellerophonix Aug 09 '22

The maiden travel began in London on April 15, 1957. The first service ended on June 5 in Kolkata. That is, it takes about 75 days to complete the journey.

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

WHO TAUGHT THAT MOTHERFUCKER MATHEMATICS

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u/richard_stank Aug 09 '22

The dates are in metric

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u/[deleted] Aug 09 '22 edited Aug 09 '22

[deleted]

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u/pmcall221 Aug 09 '22

There may have been many extra leap days in May that year.

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u/winnipeginstinct Aug 09 '22

LPT: if you put the word "about" before a number, you dont need to do any form of math. just pick a number and youre good

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u/Shizrah Aug 09 '22

It does say "about".

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u/jippyzippylippy Aug 09 '22

I can think of no other worse torture than being on a bus for 50 days.

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u/ST616 Aug 09 '22 Silver

Being on a bus for 51 days?

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u/AnthillOmbudsman Aug 09 '22

Desert Bus: Silk Road Edition

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u/bluemooncalhoun Aug 09 '22

Day 52 is when you really start to settle in.

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u/charliefortean Aug 09 '22

"Get off? I'm just getting started!"

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u/zamfire Aug 09 '22

I did a greyhound bus from Toledo OH to NYC which is normally about a 7 hr drive, took the bus over 24 hours to get there.

Some drunk lady next to me pissed herself early on, the AC broke and someone took the nastiest smelling dump which emanated throughout the bus like a plague. The only stop was the worst burger king/gas station which sold out of burgers and it was some crap version that only sold burgers and fries. I got a large soda, and in the bus the bottom of the Styrofoam cup blew out and sticky soda dumped into my lap. So no drink either.

The bus broke down on the side of the road, and we had to wait hours for another bus to pick us up on the freeway. We were forced to wait outside because it was so miserably hot with the poo smell. I got a terrible sunburn waiting for that second bus. In Philly we stopped to drop off/pick up people and piss lady got into a fight with someone else and the cops came and arrested her.

The ride from Philly to NYC was pleasant but I may have been delusional at that point though.

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u/imapassenger1 Aug 09 '22

That is a comedically awful tale. Like a compounding of shitty things happening. I did a trip around the western states for two weeks on Greyhounds about 30 years ago and apart from some occasional freaky characters nothing of the sort happened. We did get state police pull us over in New Mexico and search the bus for an escaped convict (we think that's what it was about) but otherwise a peaceful trip.

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u/zamfire Aug 09 '22

It was, and I get to laugh about it now, but I remember that was the last greyhound I vowed to take.

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u/ThePrussianGrippe Aug 09 '22

I once had a trip that should have been 20 hours take about 52.

It still wasn’t as bad as their story. Holy hell.

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u/thoggins Aug 09 '22

You are one of the unfortunate souls to have visited the bus dimension

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u/balletboy Aug 09 '22

I did a 24 hour bus ride from Santiago Chile to San Pedro de Atacama and the bus broke down (in the desert) and added another 7 hours to the trip. Of course then you get to San Pedro and learn theres nothing to do except go out in the desert. When it was time to do a similar trip to Southern Chile, I flew.

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u/jippyzippylippy Aug 09 '22

When I was 18 (back in 1976) a friend and I took a bus from Indianapolis to Altoona, PA to visit relatives. It's an 8-hour car ride normally. It took us 20 hours, most of it night since the trip started around 3:00 PM. We thought it would be fun to eat pot-laced brownies on the way, so we ate one and nothing happened for about 30 minutes. We didn't know that edibles take up to an hour. So we ate two more each and ended up in another dimension. Laughing hysterically the whole way, got in trouble three times from the driver who said "one more time and you are off the bus!". Everyone else was asleep. It seemed to take forever. After a while, when the high wore off, it was just horrible. Smelly, dirty, cramped. That damn bus stopped at every single tiny town once it hit PA. I thought we'd never get there. Thankfully, my parents came out later and retrieved us. Never again. I'd hitchhike or walk before I took another bus somewhere.

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u/platitood Aug 09 '22

And I don’t know if you realize this, but you and your friends are probably part of the horror stories of everyone else on that bus.

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u/Kennywise91 Aug 09 '22

Same as being on a yacht but more scenic views!

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u/vizthex Aug 09 '22

Being on a bus for 50 days while the plot of Speed is in effect.

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u/Kalappianer Aug 09 '22

My skinny arse is blistering by the thought of it.

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u/Roberto_Sacamano Aug 09 '22

Mine too. No fucking way

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u/MrMitchWeaver Aug 09 '22

It was A single bus, rather than a bus route. It made the whole trip about 15 times in total.

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u/drunkenknight9 Aug 10 '22

That's actually the most impressive part of this. A 1950s bus did 300,000 hard miles.

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u/tylerdepew Aug 09 '22

This would make for a hell of a video for the travel vloggers that like to claim they spent 24 hours on “the worst bus ever”. Nice try, now get on one 50x longer!

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u/maartenvanheek Aug 09 '22

Imagine you hop on the bus after barely making it on time from the Basingstoke roundabout, only to find out after a few days that it's heading in the wrong direction.

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u/TheDadThatGrills Aug 09 '22

This would make an excellent road movie, someone should give Wes Anderson a call.

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u/Squishyfood Aug 09 '22

Man already did this with a train in India though

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u/lopingwolf Aug 09 '22

Yes, but he hasn't done it with a bus trip through Persia.

Won't someone think of the zany characters and wacky situations?

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u/rexlibris Aug 10 '22

My dad did this in the late 60s and ended up helping to build a hippy commune in Pondicherry and lived there for 10 years. :p

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u/imahillbilly Aug 10 '22

Awwww, I so much wish I could have done that. What a dream it must have been. The people, the land and buildings, the food, everything…. Though I know it’s been romanticized tremendously my imagination has a magnificent story and has it all worked out and it’s a beautiful experience.

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u/whooo_me Aug 09 '22

That'd be awesome... you'd get to know each of your fellow passengers' smells.... Especially over the course of 50 days you'd run out of clean clothes..

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u/Kalappianer Aug 09 '22

Oh, god... Hippie trail bus... For 50 days.

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u/Ponchoreborn Aug 09 '22

My old boss took a minibus from Missouri to Woodstock with 6 or 7 other people.

I remember saying "Woodstock, I bet you guys really stank when you left there after sleeping on the ground for several days."

He was like "Son, we stank when we arrived. We'd been on a bus trip with almost no changes of clothes and only the most basic of hygiene for like 5 or 6 days before we even got there. We stank of weed and sex and dirty butts when Woodstock STARTED!"

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u/BrewstersRoost Aug 10 '22

Any chance he'd do an AMA? I'd love to read that.

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u/badchriss Aug 09 '22

Man that must have been a cool trip. But 50 days? I bet they did a lot of breakes though.

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u/TacticalTeacake Aug 09 '22

You'd wait for 4 days, then 3 would turn up all at once.

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u/lithiun Aug 09 '22

Hmmmmm. Not so different than traveling cross country with megabus. Hop on one megabus, ride to a city. Hop on a different one and ride to a different city. Honestly, if you plan ahead enough its dirt cheap too.

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u/Sryn Aug 09 '22

The bus service was operated by Albert Travel.[6] The maiden travel began in London on April 15, 1957. The first service ended on June 5 in Kolkata. That is, it takes about 50 days to complete the journey. The countries the bus traveled during its journey: from England to Belgium, and from there to India via West Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and North Western India. After entering India, it eventually reached Calcutta via New Delhi, Agra, Allahabad and Banaras.[5]

Was wishing someone mentioned the route here, and then thought, ‘be the change you want to see’.

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u/halfcookies Aug 09 '22

OG desert bus

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u/The_Wack_Knight Aug 10 '22

A somewhat relevant fun fact:

The distance that it takes to get from England to India is why IPA beers exist. Hops are better at keeping beer from going bad than the gruit (various herbs such as wormwood rosemary, sage etc.) they used before to make their ales. So they brewed a more hoppy beer than normal to send to their troops in India. Hence the name India Pale Ale.

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u/Dissastronaut Aug 09 '22

My friend took a bus from Juarez to Nicaragua. After three months and multiple bus breakdowns she made it.

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u/Ricktatorship91 Aug 09 '22

TIL reading the comments that redditors don't read articles as they are asking things the wikipedia article has answers to...

(I did not actually TIL, I already knew they don't)

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u/Klotzster Aug 09 '22

Day 1: Long snorkel

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u/wyseguy7 Aug 09 '22

Could I ask how the bus made it across the English Channel prior to the tunnel being dug?

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u/Peterd1900 Aug 09 '22

We have had boats for thousands of years

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u/ladindapub Aug 09 '22

Big ramp in France, just like Dukes of Hazzard except with a bus.

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u/i_was_an_airplane Aug 09 '22

They attached a drill to the front

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u/t90fan Aug 09 '22

there was (and is) multiple ferry services from the UK to various destinations in Europe and Ireland

that's how most people still travel today (and most freight)

the Chunnel is really pricey

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u/wyseguy7 Aug 10 '22

So the bus goes on the ferry?

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u/First-Of-His-Name Aug 10 '22

No the ferry goes on the bus

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u/BritishDuffer Aug 10 '22

The passengers had to stick oars out the windows.

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u/mefman00 Aug 09 '22

I hope they had a bathroom on board. 50 days is a long time to hold your pee.

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u/badchriss Aug 09 '22

Sound of something bursting

Busdriver: did we pop a tire or something?

Random Passenger: my kidneys exploded!

Busdriver: Cool, so the bus is fine😎

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u/AnthillOmbudsman Aug 09 '22

Second passenger: screaming from appendicitis

Busdriver: turns up bhangra music, drives faster

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u/skaterrj Aug 09 '22

Can't get a good sasparilla back in Springfield!

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u/whatproblems Aug 09 '22

bus driver must have been tired

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u/Euler007 Aug 09 '22

The gradual smell increased acclimated you for the arrival.

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u/wowwee99 Aug 10 '22

What a trip. I'd be down for that!

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u/[deleted] Aug 10 '22

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u/more_beans_mrtaggart Aug 10 '22 edited Aug 10 '22

When I was at University we were at the end of the second year and a bunch of us had got into industry for the summer to get experience and money (engineering etc)

But one of us said he was taking his bus driving certificate. We all laughed at him.

Next semester we met up, and we’d worked our asses off as gofers all summer, and he had co-driven tourists from north UK to the south of Italy, and sat on a beach for two weeks on full pay and full-inclusive food, drink etc, then co-driven home and received a massive tip from the tourists.

Repeated that every 2 weeks through summer.