In my boxes over the weekend, I also come upon an email from Tom (Turbo) O'Shea with his version of events he sent to a punter request in Feb 2013.
Chop wanted to know the dates and whereabouts of TK 231 leading up to and after the flight out of Karachi.
24/04/1980 We are on track at this stage heading south from Multan to Sukkur in Pakistan towards the Paki/Irani border.
25/04.1980 Sukkur to Quetta. There are two lines in the day book that read " Pakistan TV News reports the failed attempt of US rescue mission in releasing American hostages in Iran" little did we know that the shit was about to hit ..........
( we stayed put in Quetta and telegrammed London for advise and what our next move should be) added by Chop
26/04/1980 9pm in Quetta @ Hotel Bloomstar Chop reports to the pax that the group ( minus Tom & OMJ ) will be flying over Iran. Not too many happy faces in the group as I remember.
26-30/04 spent in Quetta
30/04/80 Quetta - Sukkur
01/05/1980 Sukkur - Karachi
02-03/05/1980 Karachi for the flight out to Athens via Amman
I finally meet up with you guys in Kavalla I think on about the 14th. All the punters were happy to see me and wanted to get back onto OMJ and go! I was absolutely buggered, so everybody pitched in and cleaned the bus while I laid on the beach and got my strength back. (Chop's interpretation, had a few beers and some ouzo and a feed)
The trip from Karachi to Kavalla was the worst I had ever experienced. To this day I don't remember eating, sleeping or turning the bus off. I went through a dust storm that blackened the sun and the only way I could keep going through it was to have a guy leaning over my right shoulder with a torch shining on the centre line of the road and another guy shining his torch on the edge of the road and getting directions from these guys 'left' "right" There was no other traffic on the road, fortunately. I don't remember who these guys were, I think they were hitching. There was about a 10 day gap from the time you left Karachi till I limped into Kavalla.
Then we turn around and went back into Turkey (how did I ever agree to a silly thing like That?)
It was only after watching the movie ARGO that I realised how dangerous the whole Irani thing was>
Although I did have huge signs made up for the bus in pharsi? saying "I am Australian, I am you friend"
There you are, I hope that fills in a few gaps
Interesting series of dates.
From my passport leave London 3/05/1980 (Karachi- Athens Express)
Issued Visa for Iran at Quetta 6/05/1980
Cross border from Pakistan into Iran 9/05/1980
Exit Iran at Bazarghan 12/05/1980
Exit Turkey into Greece 14/05/1980
Exit Athens for London 17/05/1980
Exit UK for Vlissingen 17/05/1980
I remember starting out the front at a sandstorm also, getting mesmerised. I think we decided pretty soon that it was hopeless and stopped.
Do remember going to Karachi Airport Customs to pick up a new windscreen from London, and when asked whether there was any alcohol in there replied to the effect "not bloody likely" only to find a bottle of whiskey inside when we subsequently opened the crate after leaving customs.
Seems as though both Tom and I are both suffering some memory loss if we did travel together. There were 3 of us, and we did share the driving.
From the information provided ,it seems fairly obvious Tom and Grant travelled together from Karachi 3/5/80 through to Kavala 14/5/80 in OMJ with a new windscreen and an unknown third driver.Neither can recall the other drivers.
This becomes interesting because it relates to the blog circa 9/1/14 concerning a smashed up Volvo ROD622N that I remember in Kavala.I found an old Overland Brochure from 1980 and calculated, Fingers [rip] and I would have been in Kavala 17th May 1980,and met up with Bill Dedear.
Shirley and Rolf were on the Pharaoh P45 which departed Kathmandu one week ahead of us,and possibly would have met up with Tom and Chop.If on itinerary P45 would have been in Kavala 10th May.
I have a photo from around 17th May 1980 showing the two Volvos and our coach which I think was JTE
I am now going to try to find my old passports to get exact dates.
Also Kit and Bob Cuthbert brought another coach to Athens around 30th May to take over from Fingers[rip].Bob Cuthbert and I finished P46 arr London 9th June 1980
I think the third driver may have been Bruce Driscoll. Tricia was in Athens with Kees Van Yperen and Tractor (Trevor .....?) on a Cleopatra on the 14/15 May and remembers Shirley and Alan McEachen being there as well ( probably separate tours ). She thinks that there may have been up to 4 coaches in Athens at the time, using several hotels.
Whether the new windscreen was for "our" coach or for another I cannot recall.
My memory may be planning tricks by placing events in the wrong trip, but with regard to the sandstorm we had to stop and when we awoke we were in the middle of a village. There is also a recollection of a broken spring leaf being welded, once the power came on, bring tempered and refitted.
When you think about the Iranian visa being obtained on the 6th in Quetta and not crossing the border till the 9th, something happened to eat up,the time.