Mother Of All Roadtrips – VII: Qissa Khwani, Old Quarter Peshawar

If you should think the city of Peshawar is just another edge-of-the-mountain town, dust-blown, tattered and gusty with bluster and intrigue, consider this: the very heart of the old quarter is called ‘Qissa Khwani’, the Storytellers’ Bazaar.  Not the bazaar of carpets or of silks, not of walnuts, spices or dried fruit, not of camels, … More Mother Of All Roadtrips – VII: Qissa Khwani, Old Quarter Peshawar

Mother Of All Roadtrips (MOAR) – VI: Grand Trunk Road

On the cusp of summer monsoon, but still swirled in dust and heat, our caravan assembled in the town of Raiwind outside Lahore.  Behold! a three-passenger, improvised roof-rack atop the little red VW station wagon, a small trailer with hitch, an assortment of personal and camping gear, four school-leavers, two adults, their young daughter and … More Mother Of All Roadtrips (MOAR) – VI: Grand Trunk Road

Mother Of All Roadtrips (MOAR) – V: Darshan in the Indus Valley

Northeast of the power-stepping guards at the Wagah crossing (see previous post, MOAR IV) there is a telling scene about what borders born of duress can inflict on a populace.  Punjab is the cradle of Sikh faith, home to the great majority of its faithful who now live in India. On a clear day, from … More Mother Of All Roadtrips (MOAR) – V: Darshan in the Indus Valley

MOAR IV: Someone’s Walking – Er, Strutting – on My Grave

It’s ticklish business navigating a cemetery.  There’s that saying, “Someone’s walking on my grave,” prompted by some chill running up the spine.  Travel thoughtfully, not least the great river valleys of the world, and you find stories of near cosmic scale lying at your feet, stories that send a shiver through the soul. A traverse … More MOAR IV: Someone’s Walking – Er, Strutting – on My Grave

Mother Of All Roadtrips – MOAR (III): A Long and Winding Descent

The Woodstock School campus, midst wooded foothills, has commanding views of some of India’s most sacred geography.  (When Pearl Buck visited she referred breathlessly to the school setting as ‘vertical real estate.’) To the south and east winds the course of the Ganga (Ganges) whose sprawling valley is the axis of Indian civilization.  To the … More Mother Of All Roadtrips – MOAR (III): A Long and Winding Descent

The Mother Of All Road Trips (II): A Schoolboy Fantasy

Almost all epic travels begin in innocence.  The prospective miseries, perils and vagaries of a journey are dwarfed by promise: of discovery, breathless tales, companionship, of besting challenges.  So it was that four school-leavers from an Indian boarding school began dreaming of a Eurasian crossing in the winter of 1965. Our imaginations were aflame with … More The Mother Of All Road Trips (II): A Schoolboy Fantasy

The Mother of All Road Trips: Beyond Route 66 (I)

Got a fantasy road trip squirreled away in the imagination?  Tiptoeing the spine of the Rockies? Tracing the shores of the Great Lakes?  Driving US Route 1 the length of the Eastern Seaboard?  The fantasy jaunt of the American soul would have to be a ramble down U.S. Route 66 – in a tail-finned convertible … More The Mother of All Road Trips: Beyond Route 66 (I)