Commuters on London-to-Sydney bus via the Taj on verge of ‘mutiny’

November 14th, 2007 - 1:56 am ICT by admin  
Each passenger had paid almost 4,000 pounds for their tickets for what was termed as an epic trip passing through 20 different countries. But a string of delays, shortages and itinerary changes have started taking their toll on morale, which may result in a revolt, the Telegraph reported.

The situation became worse recently when the 38 passengers were forced to change bus in Iran after a series of prangs left their bus in need of repair.

“What with breakdowns and delays the whole bus is up in arms,” one passenger wrote in a recent email to her family.

Lucy Allen, 22, told her family: “We are currently stuck in this hell hole waiting for a replacement bus as ours is no longer roadworthy, but where on earth are they going get anything decent in Iran? Mutiny is in the air and everyone is so angry it’s unbelievable.

“The only food supplies we’ve been able to buy since Istanbul is from petrol stations.”

She also claimed the itinerary had changed with promised stops in China, Laos, Mount Everest and Darwin being dropped off the list.

However, a spokesman for the OzBus service dismissed reports that the bus was facing a mutiny. He said it was on schedule and the itinerary was still in place, though he admitted that “there may be changes” in the future.

“As far as we are concerned they are all having a good time,” the spokesman told the Daily Telegraph.

He said passengers had changed to a hire bus in Teheran after their original transport suffered a broken exhaust and wing mirror, adding that they had stayed in the Iranian capital for one day and one night as scheduled.

The first bus left London on September 16 and is scheduled to reach its destination in the second week of December, after passing through Pakistan, India, South East Asia and Indonesia. A second service is following around a week behind.

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

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 were advised to bring basic first aid kits, insect repellents, malaria tablets, and a 12-week supply of condoms.

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. (ANI)

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