Frank Arnold & Noel Cantrill
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Parental Warning: Contains several references that are for mature readers.
In 1966, Frank Arnold and Noel Cantrill, two intrepid twenty-something Australians, set off on the overland trip of a lifetime. The 1965 India-Pakistan war almost thwarted their plans, but after a journey by sea on the MV Guglielmo Marconi, they drove in a custom-fitted Kombi van from Pakistan, through Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq and up through Europe to London, a journey no longer possible today.
The trip was dicey and adventurous. To negotiate their way, they had to grapple with corrupt officials, were accused of spying and were awakened one night with a gun at the window. While the Beatles were dominating the charts, Frank and Noel were surrounded by the ancient history of Bamiyan, Persepolis, Petra and an Anzac Day dawn at Gallipoli all to themselves. They experienced first-hand the warm hospitality of the local people, which included getting down-to-earth with students from Peshawar University.
With amazing photos and never-before-seen footage that captures the landscape, street scenes, fashion and culture of the 1960s, this interactive, multi-touch eBook is an amazing resource that brings to vivid life Europe and the Middle East of the time.
Tap any of the 300 quality colour images and they fill the screen. Tap on any of the 20 movie camera icons to select authentic film clips vibrantly illustrating the world of the 1960s, a world that is gone forever.
What's New in Version 1.0.2
Updated the cataloguing-in-publication entry. Minor corrections to text colour.
Highly inflamably, highly enjoyable
I didn't think I would enjoy this book as much as I did. The movies and pictures are great and I have never seen an ebook like this. It is amazing to see what it was like back then and It makes me want to do this trip myself.
Behind the Flames
A decade or more before the first of the iconic series of Lonely Planet travel guides, long before the rise of the world wide web and gps satellite technology, and the year prior to the commencement of construction of New York's World Trade Centre of 9/11 infamy, two young Australian lads bunked out an old Post Office Kombi van, and shipped it over to Karachi in Pakistan.
From that bustling port city whose population closely matched that of their native land, began a 4 month road trip that transversed cultures and peoples from the Indian subcontinent, through the troubled lands of the middle east, across the Bosphorus into Europe - and finally London.
The adventurers were Frank Arnold and Noel Cantrill, both in their early twenties, and this was their first trip out of Australia. The year was 1966.
They journaled, wrote letters home, shot reels of 16mm black and white film (all they could afford), and took hundreds of colour photos of people and places and vistas magnificient.
For nigh on half a century these precious records have been stored away, poised for release into a very different world - in a very different way. Highly Inflammably!
These boys, now in their 70s have published an ibook, the first like this I have ever seen. So descriptive, so well illustrated, so interactive - so surprising!
The authors write parallel but totally complimentary accounts: Frank's - so purposeful, organised, objective and daring; printed in black: Noel's - atmospheric, subjective soulful; printed in red. Two very different travellers sharing with us one great journey.
The text is brilliantly illustrated with Noel's colour photos (spring to full screen at a touch), including the best panorama of a rainbow I have ever seen. Yes! There is a pot of gold.
Scattered through out the text are little icons of Frank, Bolex to Eyeball. When touched gritty sixties style film clips spring from the page with Frank describing a local feature or historic moment, or act of kindness and hospitality encountered along the way.
Too many adventures to mention here; high altitude Kombi pushing over the Khyber Pass; accusations of spying for India in Pakistan; a gloved hand, a rifle, a mood altering smile, followed by a jam session at a Secret Police office in Iran; a moment of local generosity broken down on a median strip in Baghdad, unthinkable now!
And a through the world's oldest continuous city, Damascus, on the Street called Straight where both blind Bartimaeus and the sighted Paul of Tarsus saw the light for the first time.
This book is published on the eve of the 100th anniversary of Australia's historic blooding into nationhood, when the right to be amongst the 8,000 allowable celebrants at Gallipoli in 2015, will be chosen from the over 42,000 applicants by ballot. Such is the desire of Australians to celebrate Anzac now.
In 1966 it was different.
After a tortuous drive to be at Gallipoli by dawn on Anzac Day 1966, our two adventurers marked the moment of the historic landing by facing the sunrise on the beach at Anzac Cove - totally alone
None the less, Noel was to write
"As when treading the earth of the Holy Land, strolling this small section of shattered and bloodied soil in the dawn of April 25 awakened sensitivities that I didn't realise I had. I really appreciated now that this journey of ours, undertaken for its promise of fun, sightseeing and adventure, was producing a series of small but significant steps in the journey of life".
An archeological time dig into a generation not long gone, but nevertheless, gone.
Highly Inflamably: One Way to Get to London
In 1971, when I was living and working in Sydney, two of my friends returned home from Canada via a Penn Overland tour from London, a high adventure, which impressed me greatly. When I learned about 'Highly Inflamably: One Way to Get to London' by Frank Arnold and Noel Cantrill, sharing an account of their amazing journey in the other direction, in a Kombi van in 1966, on their own, through far and exotic lands fraught with danger, when they were so young, I concluded they had to be made of sterner stuff. Tantamount to the spirit of Hume and Hovell, Burke and Wills, not to mention Scott of the Antarctic, who never could be sure about what was around the next corner either.
I find this book a real treasure, I felt as if I was right there with them, sharing all their experiences, but in the end I was glad I was reading it from the safety of my comfortable armchair, especially when I learned about some of the close shaves they had. How fortunate that Frank and Noel kept diaries, found letters and both were handy with a camera, I salute them for their achievement and thank them for it. I did not venture to England until 1972, via a conventional commercial flight on the 'kangaroo route' but how I would have loved to have spotted that Kombi driving around the streets of London sporting its NSW number plates.