Calcutta Three Times a Year by Coach? _ A FTER one
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of the most gruelling journeys ever undertaken by a passenger-laden coach, the nine-year-old A.E.C. Regal Ill, which left London on April 15 on a round trip to Calctitta, is back in its depot. The vehicle is little the worse for wear following the 20,000mile run, and Garrow-Fisher Tours, Ltd., London, S.W.1, plan to travel a similar route three times a year, starting in 1958.
The Harrington-bodied vehicle, pioneering the first overland bus route to India, had 20 passengers aboard when it left England. They had each paid £85 for the trip. After crossing the Channel to France they travelled through Italy, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran and Pakistan before reaching their objective.
Mr. " Paddy " Garrow-Fisher, a proprietor of the travel company who own the coach, drove all the way. Among the hazards he encountered were torrential rain, sand and dust storms, floods, and often almost impassable roads. Passengers occasionally had to dig the vehicle out of mud before they could continue.
Many nights were spent camping when it was impossible to reach . an hotel, and several delays were caused by Customs formalities at various frontiers. Minor repairs to the coach also took up some time, but Mr. Garrow-Fisher said last Friday that he was pleased with the vehicle's performance. It was damaged only once, when involved in a mishap in Turkey, but there was no serious delay. '
The journeY back to London was taken by a different route, which added an extra 1,600 miles to the total covered.
If licences are granted by the Traffic Commissioners, Mr. Garrow-Fisher expects to vary the route back on every trip. He is now engaged on preliminary plans for a repeat journey next spring, followed by another in the summer and the last one of the year in autumn. •