Camper Trip

from 1973 to 1975


‘All you have to do,
take the first step ’

The first steps

were short trips all over Europe, the Middle East and a three-month journey across the United States. Having seen the beauty from the deserts to the seas and being touched by such diverse cultures as Islam and Buddhism on the different continents, we were ready for the big journey: a camper trip around the world.
Three years planning, and saving money, were spent meeting people who had driven campers to all corners of the globe. Some travelers fell in love with Africa, Asia fascinated others, and a few started their trips as far away as South America and Australia. All those travelers gave us excellent advice. Their adventurous stories and pictures of beauty around the world captivated us. The sparkle in their eyes, when telling their stories, assured us that we were on the right track with our dream.

On the road

Tuesday, June 26th 1973, was our departure day. We headed for the south. Sunshine was on our minds and in our hearts. Driving through southeast Europe gave us time to get used to our camper and its equipment, and slowly we became gypsies. The ferry over the Bosporus at Istanbul brought us to Asia where the real adventure began. Turkey is a country filled with history and very friendly and helpful people.
The Iraqis did not grand us a visa, remember Munich 1972!!!, and threw our passports back at us. Onwards we drove to Iran, a country that just opened its ears to the western world. Let’s see how far they will go.


followed as a highlight of our camper trip. When we entered Afghanistan the country was a Kingdom, living in almost medieval times. As we left a month later, Afghanistan was a Republic. The time between we spent staying out of trouble in the turmoil all around us.
In a convoy with other campers we crossed the highly feared Khyber Pass and arrived in Pakistan during the hottest season before the monsoon. Having to sleep in tschapoys in front of our camper. Our camper was without air condition, it was just a Hippie truck.


welcomed us by the millions: ‘How are you Mister? What is your name? Where do you come from?’ It took us some time to get used to having no privacy in India. But India was worth all the pain. It has such a diverse culture, that every day gave us a new and exciting highlight. The weather pushed us north and we enjoyed the mountain climate of the Nepalese Kingdom. Not only our bodies, but also our souls came to rest and peace in the Ying and Yang Kingdom. Trekking through the mountains of the Himalayas, we were touched by the Buddhism culture and it crept into our hearts.


did not grant us a permission to continue our journey to Tibet.


had us back. We learned quickly how to enjoy India more: never drive more than 100 miles per day! Everything else is nerve cracking. Going slow, India showed us all its beauty. The Taj Mahal, Katschurao, Jaisalmere, Jaipur and Udaipur, Puna, Goa and Trivandrum, the list is endless. India is too short for a lifetime. Birma did not grant us permission to cross and visit their country en route to Thailand. Thus Madras was our port of embarkation to Malaysia. The Indian ‘Chidambaram’ cruise ship, the former ‘Pasteur’ from France, was our ferry over the Bay of Bengal.


opened it’s doors in Penang. We arrived at Christmas Eve in this duty-free shopping paradise on the coast of Malaysia. We fill up with provisions for the next months and got the car serviced to top condition. We were ready for Southeast Asia.


held its promise of beauty and charm. We visited and camped in temples and monasteries. The Thais are beautiful and friendly people and our spirit lifted with every day. Chiang Mai was the city that offered both, charm and tradition. Calmed and at peace with the world at this peaceful spot we dared the adventure to cross the Mekong River to neighboring Laos.


was just a stone-throw away, from the Mekong ferry in the middle of the river, as a speedboat came out of nowhere and docked on our ferry. Quickly six wooden crates of weapons were loaded. In less then a minute the speedboat is back into the jungle along the river. We realize we are entering a war torn country. The night in Vientiane was filled with fighting between the government troops and the Pathet Lao. The bullets told us we are in the wrong place at the wrong time.


was our next destination. We left our camper in Singapore and took a flight to Jakarta in Indonesia. We crossed the island of Java by train. Bandung and Jogjakarta give us a friendly reception and we were back to taking it easy. In Banjuwangi we took the bus to Bali. Bali was a revelation of peace, happiness and beauty. Four weeks of relaxation on the beach and in the mountains with a romantic oil lamp living. Bali was the paradise island of our trip.

In Singapore

we had a hard time to find a freighter to North America. No shipping line was willing to take our camper and us. We did not want to separate from our home. If we travel, we travel together. At the shipping company of Yugolinea we got a very attractive offer: from Yugoslavia to North America for $1200, inclusive two passengers. We spent a night calculating and thinking it over. The next morning we woke up with a smile. Our decision: we will drive all the way back to Europe to board the Zvir for our passage to North America.


Halfway point

The Boston skyline

welcomed us to the United States of America. After two weeks at sea, there was nothing more exciting than our destination growing at the horizon and friends at the pier. In the USA we admired high tech on one day and enjoy the most beautiful National Parks the next day. Canada was nature pure. North America has it all. Mountains, deserts, jungle and oceans. Too much to discover in a couple of month, but enough to give you a great appetite for returning soon.


brought back the adventure in travelling. Scary nights in cactus fields alternated with family fiestas, enjoyed by the whole village. Lobsters and coconuts were free for us, and our camper got loaded with handcrafted souvenirs. We visited the cultural highlights all over the country.


with its colorful market at Chichicastenango, put us back on the Transamericana Highway and en route to Panama.


was survival of the fittest. If you were not permanently on high alert, your camper was gone. You and your trip could finish here. The Transamericana Highway ends here and we had to ship our camper from Colon to Barranquilla in Colombia.

In Colombia

the fight of the fittest continued. With machetes on hand we drove through the Andes Mountains. Passing beautiful orchid and coffee plantations. During a water smashing festival we arrived in Ecuador.


coastline was lined with fishing villages and oil rigs. The drive was easy and the Diesel cheap. At the beautiful city of Lima we started our climb up the Andes. High up in the Mountains we enjoyed the solitude of the Cordillera. The driving was slow over these rugged but beautiful high plateaus. Machu Picchu was the long awaited highlight with the train ride along the Urubamba River. Following the shoreline of the Lago Titicaca we crossed into Bolivia. The rugged dirt roads took its toll on our camper and we spent days repairing broken parts.

Chile and Argentina

were in domestic political turmoil and we spent many nights with guns pointed at us by the good guys as well as the bad ones. But it was worth all the trouble as we neared the Isla del Fuego and were surrounded by untouched wildlife. We saw for the first time Penguins in the wild and we played with the seals for days. The Pampa provided us with the best steaks and in Buenos Aires we listened to the gripping Tango music.

Rio de Janeiro

kept the promise as the most beautiful city of the world. The view from the Corcovado over the city was breathtaking. Such were the Tanga-girls on the Copa Cabana.
With our money spent and the oil pressure dropping in our engine, we recognized that our trip had come to an end. In Sao Paulo, where we could not get a decent price for a passage to Europe, we decide to smuggle our camper to Paraguay. Our last natural highlight of South America were the Iguazu waterfalls, in the triangle of Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. Never in our lives did we see so many beautiful butterflies. Iguazu is also the entry point into Paraguay and within three day we had our airline ticket to Germany. We left our camper behind, somewhere in the jungle.


After two years, on July the 15th 1975,
our big journey ended.