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The Last Overland

Alex Bescoby


ISBN: 9781789295498
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'A journey that I don't think could be made again today'. . . It was this comment by Sir David Attenborough on the fiftieth anniversary of the iconic First Overland expedition that became an irresistible challenge for filmmaker and adventurer Alex Bescoby. In 1955, Attenborough, then a young TV producer, was approached by six recent university graduates determined to drive the entire length of 'Eurasia', from London to Singapore. It was the unclimbed Everest of motoring - many had tried, none had succeeded.

Sensing this time might be different, Attenborough gave the expedition enough film reel to cover their attempt. The 19,000-mile journey completed by Tim Slessor and the team captivated a nation emerging from postwar austerity. Tim's book, The First Overland, soon became the bible of the overlanding religion.

Inspired by the First Overland, Alex made contact with now eighty-six-year-old Tim and together they planned an epic recreation of the original trip, this time from Singapore to London. Their goal was to complete the legendary journey started more than sixty years ago in the original Land Rover. In awe of the unstoppable Tim, and haunted by his own grandfather's declining health, Alex and his team soon find themselves battling rough roads, breakdowns and Oxford's constantly leaky roof to discover a world changed for the better - and worse - since the first expedition.