Phewa Tal

FROM THE NETHERLANDS TO NEPAL – and back again

THE JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME (October 1977 - March 1978)


Hippie trail resources


Between circa 1967 and 1980 tens of thousands of Western youth from Europe, North America and Australia travelled overland to India and Nepal. Despite the differences in routes, duration, experiences or motives (drugs, enlightenment, new horizons), the journey proved a transformative, if at times perilous, experience for virtually everyone. Many of the stories of travellers from different countries collected here exude the youthful longing for freedom and sense of adventure that stands out foremost in my own memory of this experience.
Your feedback or suggestions are welcome at g.aartsen [at] xs4all.nl.


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Click here for a full list of blogs and books by Dutch 'hippie trail'-ers.


Adventures on the 'Hippie Trail' (in English, unless otherwise noted)

1967: Hans Roodenburg (NL), On the Hippie Trail (blog, 2006)

1968: Steven Abrams (UK), A Diary of my overland journey from England to Australia (blog, 2003)

1969: John de Figueredo (UK), Overland UK to Australia 1969 (blog, n.d.)

1969: Len Hunt (UK), Trip of a Lifetime - 47 days in 1969 (blog, 2015)

1969: Erik Pontoppidan (Denmark), The Hippie Trail - The Road to Paradise (blog, n.d.)

1969: Bruce Thomas (Australia), Overland Odyssey 1969: Colombo to London by Car Along the Legendary Hippie Trail (blog, 2018)

1971: Heinz Wüppen (Germany), Indien 1971 mit dem Auto, Part 1 and Part 2 (video journal, 2013)

1973: Jude Eaton (UK), England to Australia (1973) Anticipation - Part Two, Parts Three - Five (blog, 2019)

1973: Zbigniew Kosc (Poland/NL), Journey to Afghanistan (1973) (photos, 2008)

1973: Keith Rajala (Canada), Kathmandu to Tonbridge, England - The Hippie Trail (blog, 2017)

1973: Tony Walton (UK), On The Hippie Trail: Overland to India and Nepal in 1973 (blog, 2012)

1973: Alan Williams (South Africa), On the Hippie Trail to Kathmandu in 1973 (blog, n.d./2021?)

1974: Jean van Berkel (NL), On the Road to Kabul en To Pakistan, India and Nepal and overland back to Europe (blogs, 2002)

1974: Richard Gregory (UK), The Hippie Trail 1974 – London to Kathmandu (blog, 2006)

1974: Rudolf Landolt (Switzerland), The Hippie Trail – Memories (blog, 2019?)

1975: Simon Andrews (UK): The hippy trail to India 1975 (blog, 2015)

1975: Hans Grimm (NL), Hippy trail 1975 (Flickr photo blog with captions, 2007)

1975: Michael Taylor (UK), A BIT of a trip – on the Hippie Trail (blog, 2017)

1976: Chris de Bié (Germany), Storia Theurgica – The Hippie Trail (access to broken links: 1, 2, 3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 5, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 6.10, 7.1, 7.2, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.6 (blog, 2016)

1976: Jan Pauwels (NL), JePe's Blog - Over mij (blog/Dutch, 2021)

1976: Vicente Segura & Gisela Schütze (Peru/Germany), On the Road to India and Nepal – From the Inca Trail to the Hippie Trail (photo blog, n.d.)

1977: Gerard Aartsen (NL), From the Netherlands to Nepal – and back again (this blog, 2021)

1977: Colin Clews (UK/Australia), Hippie Trail 1977 (Flickr photo album, 2010)

1977: Peter Engelhardt (Germany), Kulturschock Hippie-trail (blog/German, 2006)

1977: Wim de Groot (NL), Indian travel journal 1977 (blog/Dutch, 2017)

1977: Mike Newman (USA): Around the World (photo blog, n.d.)

1977: Vitsnu Pongsmai (Thailand), On the Hippie Trail to India 1977 – From Munich to Madras (blog, 2014)

1977: Evelyne Segura (France), "On the road" ... vers l'Inde (video blogs/French, 2013)

1978: Rob Gerritsen (NL), Afghanistan (photo blog/Dutch; 2020)

1978: PK Mahanandia (India), The man who cycled from India to Europe for love (BBC News, 2016; Oneworld, 2017)

1978: Rick Steve (USA), Istanbul to India by bus (blog, n.d.)

1978: Michael Zuther (Germany), Ausfahrt nach Afghanistan/Ride to Afghanistan (photo blog/German, 2005?)

⁍ For printed adventures on the hippie trail in various languages click the covers to the right or see this reading list at GoodReads.


'Overland' bus drivers

1972: Jonathan Benyon (UK), Road to Goa (blog, 2007, 2021)

1973: Derek Amey (UK), Travelling Overland...The Adventure of a Lifetime (blog, 2005)

1978-80: Trevor Carroll (Australia), Crossing Continents with Top Deck (Tricky Press, 2017)

1980: Darcy O'Donnell (Australia), Overland: London to Kathmandu (blog, 2008?)


Nepalis' experiences with 'hippie trail'-ers

Jagannath Adhikari, My encounter with hippies (blog, 2019)

Prasiit Sthapit, Something Big And Glorious And Magnificently Insane: Hippie Kathmandu, (Photo Kathmandu Exhibition, 2018)

Trilochan Shrestha, The Gangster of Love (Nepali Times article, 2018)


Documentaries

Man Alive (BBC2, England): The Hippy Trail (1970)

Ausreisen, ausreissen (SF DRS, Switzerland): Unterwegs auf dem Hippie-Trail: Junge Schweizer auf dem Guru-Trip (German, 1973)

The World About Us (BBC2, England): The Road to Kathmandu (1977)

Top Deck Travel (London/Australia): An Asian Overlander (1979)

Werner Penzel (Germany): Vagabunden Karawane: Musikalische Begegnungen auf dem Weg nach Indien - 1979 (German, 1980; DVD 2005)

Matzka-Kiener Filmproduktionen (Germany): Ein Traum von Kabul (German, 1996; DVD 2006)

Summer of Love (Arte, France/Germany): High sein, frei sein, überall dabei sein (5 parts; German, 2007)
– Auf dem Hippie-Trail nach 1. Ibiza; 2. Marokko; 3. Kabul; 4. Goa; 5. Kathmandu

Weltjournal+ (ORF2, Austria): Verlorenes Paradies: das Kabul der Hippies (German w/English subs, 2016)

Andere Tijden (VPRO, NL): Op vakantie naar Afghanistan (Dutch, 2017)

Richard Gregory (UK): Blazing the Hippie Trail – Overland to Asia 1955-80 (2021)


Research

Mark Liechty (USA), Building the Road to Kathmandu: Notes on the History of Tourism in Nepal (Himalaya - Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies, 2005)

Richard Gregory (UK), A Brief History of the Hippie Trail (2008, 2022)

Darragh van der Stel (NL), BOM Shiva Shanka. Een analyse van de reis van Westerse jongeren over de Hippie Trail tussen 1966 en 1980 (MA thesis/Dutch, Erasmus University Rotterdam, 2011)

Mark Liechty (USA), Something Big And Glorious And Magnificently Insane: Hippie Kathmandu (Social Science Baha Talk, 2013)

Dilek Özyildirim (Germany), Der Hippie Trail als neue Form der Pilgerreise. Ein Vergleich zwischen der christlichen Wallfahrt nach Jerusalem und dem Hippie Trail nach Indien (BA thesis/German, Universität Augsburg, 2013)

Grant Szuveges (Australia), The overland hippie trail to India and Nepal in the 1960s and 1970s (BA thesis, La Trobe University Melbourne, 2014)

Sharief Gemie and Brian Ireland (UK), The Consul and the Beatnik: The Establishment, Youth Culture and the Beginnings of the Hippy Trail (1966–8) (University of South Wales, 2017)

Mark Liechty (USA), Far Out. Countercultural Seekers and the Tourist Encounter in Nepal (University of Chicago Press, 2017)

Sharief Gemie and Brian Ireland (UK), The Hippie Trail. A History (Manchester University Press, 2017)

Grant Szuveges (Australia), The Overland Hippie Trail to India and Nepal in the 1960s and 1970s: A Comparison with Contemporary Backpacking (PhD thesis, La Trobe University Melbourne, 2020)

About me

Gerard Aartsen (1957) is an English teacher educator at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, School of Education. He is also a student of the Ageless Wisdom teachings and is the author of several books on the presence of extraterrestrial visitors and the evolution of consciousness. For more information: www.bgapublications.nl.