Welcome to David and Janet Ribbans blog

We live in Adelaide, South Australia and enjoy travel in the Australian outback in our Oka 4WD motorhome, hence the blog title.

To quickly locate any of our more than 80 travel and technical articles, use the drop down menus below or scroll down the lists in the right hand sidebar. But please read the disclaimer first, we've tried to be accurate and current but things can change...
You can also visit the official Oka 4WD website here.

Pandora Web Archive

We're now honoured to have our blogs archived
on the National Library of Australia's Pandora Web Archive.
Bookmark this link to the archived version in case anything ever goes wrong with Google, or I accidentally hit "Delete All" in a fit of pique. The drop down menus above might not work in the archived version but everything else should...

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Pioneers Anglicare Gig 15 May 2015

Played by the Playford Pioneers (including me on the tenor sax), 15 May 2015

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Travels in Nepal, February 1975

As part of our overland journey from the UK to Australia in 1974/5, we spent 2 glorious weeks in Nepal.

The countryside was scenic and peaceful and the Himalayas were spectacular and visible from almost everywhere.

Once you negotiate the lower foothill mountains from India, the Himalayas are an awe-inspiringly mind-blowingly beautiful sight and wherever you go in Nepal, especially at the western end, they are always there, huge, gleaming white, distant but seemingly close enough to touch.

The Nepalese people were very friendly and the ancient religious buildings and structures were very impressive.

So it was with great sadness we heard about and watched the unfolding earthquake disaster in April and May 2015, almost exactly 40 years after our visit.

This is a slideshow of our travels showing how things were in 1975. They may never be the same again.

Travels in India, March 1975

After traveling through Afghanistan and Pakistan in 1974/5, we arrived in India, where we toured around the north and a stayed for 6 weeks. In between we also spent 2 glorious weeks in Nepal.

India was not our favourite country, it was an overcrowded, dirty, dusty place but with a colourful past and heritage.

Traveling in India was a very frustrating business partly due to the oppressive people pressure and also because (at the time) all the road signs were in Hindi.

Both India and Pakistan have immensely colourful, cultural histories and there was and is a lot to see in both countries. But neither country compared favourably with Afghanistan and Nepal in the overall sense of ease of travel and fun of adventure.

Yes, there were magnificent sites to visit and exotic experiences awaiting us but they were always overawed by the pressure of population and overcrowding. They were mostly hot, dusty and dirty places, and poverty was everywhere. There was no peace and quiet, no privacy and because of people pressure we seldom felt safe or at ease. In 1975 the Indian population was 600 million and you couldn't move for people. Now the population is over 1 billion and how it doesn't burst its seams is a mystery.

While they were very interesting places to visit culturally, life was a struggle, navigation in India was a nightmare (we used the sun mostly), finding safe camping spots was difficult and they were not really nice places to be in, (unless you were in an environmentally insulated tourist bus, in which case you might as well visit India on the Internet, it's cheaper and you won't get sick).

We spent 6 weeks in India and it's a country we still talk about a lot but didn't really like while we were there. It was just a difficult and frustrating place to travel in.

Here’s a slide show of some of our Indian photos (one Malaysian pic slipped in unnoticed).

Travels in India, March and April 1975 from David and Janet on Vimeo.