London to Sydney in bus; via Everest, Taj Mahal

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London, Sep 15: As many as 38 passengers will embark upon a three-month adventure trip to Australia, when the London-to-Sydney bus service opens on Sunday.

The OzBus departs from the Thames Embankment at 9am, and will take passengers past the Taj Mahal, Mount Everest, and an Indian tiger reserve, on-route to Sydney.

The exotic route also covers Gallipoli peninsula in Turkish Thrace, Ko Samai island in Thailand, and Uluru sandstone rock in Australia.

With a view to making it a worry-free trip, the organisers will be bypassing the hotspots of Afghanistan, Burma and East Timor.

The tickets for the bus come at a price of 3,750 pounds. A second bus departs next week.

The aim behind launching the OzBus is to provide a regular monthly return service.

Mark Creasey, 38, the property entrepreneur behind the OzBus, has nursed the ambition ever since he tried to return overland from a backpacking tour of Australia in his early twenties.

The buses have safes, stereos, small libraries, cooking equipment, crockery, and fridges or cool boxes. All passengers have been advised to bring basic first aid kits, insect repellents, malaria tablets, and a 12-week supply of condoms.

While many nights will be spent under canvas, passengers will stay in hotels in Iran and Pakistan for safety reasons.

The two drivers for the bus service include a 50-year-old Belgian man who has driven trucks over the Sahara, and a 28-year-old New Zealand woman with experience of a range of European terrains.

One third of the travellers are British holidaymakers, a third Australian backpackers returning home, and the rest are from Ireland.

“They are natural travellers and probably more open to wacky ideas," Timesonline quoted Creasey as saying.

OzBus will begin one of its Sydney-bound services next year in Galway.


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