THE ROAD TO AŠA
The journey so far
At the beginning of 2008, in a 30 year-old Mercedes bus named “HOPE,” Julian Amery left London and a 20-year career in the restaurant business to embark on a solo, overland trip, heading East.
In midwinter, Julian and HOPE crossed the Alps into northern Italy; watched the Valentine’s day lovers in Venice; consulted the Oracle at Delphi; braved an icy Anatolian plateau; and crossed the Euphrates in time for the dawn of spring in Azerbaijan. They visited the sacred places of Persian Zoroastrianism, navigated Tehran’s traffic insanity, then caught the full moon equinox of Now Ruz in the desert mountains of Eastern Iran. They made friends with other mystical vehicles in Balochistan, and smiled at the Taliban in Quetta’s vegetable market.
They heard the call of Buddhism in Baltistan; saw K2 from the Burji-la pass; prostrated before the Sikh gurus inAmritsar; paid their respects at the Taj Mahal; looked out from the high hills over Dharamsala; washed in the Ganges; and reached for the stars in Haridwar.
They crossed the monsoon-drenched Bihari badlands, and drank the finest teas of Darjeeling and the lowest Tongba in Gangtok. They met a guru at Rumtek and they fell in love at a monastery in Kathmandu. They trekked through leeches, blisters and clouds to see the top of Everest; played Connect 4 with Sherpas; crossed the Khumbu Glacier; and collected crystals on the north face of sacred mount Kailash. They shared barbecue on the beach in Goa and washed at the roadside water tanks of Gujarat.
After two years of wandering and adventure, HOPE and Julian felt the call and decided to return to Europe. They wanted to bring something back, and complete the circle. HOPE brought Julian safely to the harbour at Copenhagen with the images, tastes and scent of the journey in their wake.