Hippies whose trail was disrupted by the turmoil in Iran in the late 1970s can take the bus back next summer if they have saved up for the last four decades.
A travel company in Gurgaon has announced a Delhi-to-London-and-back bus service from next May, by when it hopes the pandemic-induced international travel curbs will have been lifted.
Buses on the Hippie Trail — from London and other European cities to India and Bangladesh through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan — had become popular among low-budget travellers from 1957 onwards. After the Iranian revolution in 1979, followed by civil war in Afghanistan that year, the service stopped.
Delhi’s Connaught Circus used to be one of the stops for these brightly painted buses with charming names like Waltzing Matilda and Swagman. Most of the trips ended in Calcutta or Panjim.
The tickets were priced between £85 and £145. Adjusted for inflation, they would be worth more than Rs 1 lakh today.
Since those days, air travel has become more affordable and the global political geography has changed, effectively ending transcontinental passenger road transport in this part of the world.