The Bridge at Dozan, Bolan Pass, near Quetta, Pakistan

The Bridge at Dozan, Bolan Pass, near Quetta, Pakistan
The bridge carried both road and rail over a creek bed. The bed had to be dug out by hand over many days, with much help freely given by locals. Click on the photo and scroll down, to bring up the story of this bridge. Go to: to find more.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Restoring 65-year-olds Takes a Lot of Time

And the Scottish weather hasn't helped either. "Summer" was about three fine days.

So,  the latest from Andy:

Albert General Update
25 November 2011

Friends – all!

 Since 26 October last I have been taking an R&R nap in the Southern hemisphere but am now happy to confirm I’m back at the Albert desk  with the year 2012 clearly in focus.

Tuesday 21 August 2012 – is the new departure date for Albert’s
long-awaited “Great Silk Road Adventure”. 
The Ancient Silk Road, showing how the bus will cross the Caspian Sea by ferry (avoiding Iran). The  northerly route via Almaty is at about the latitude as Shanghai.        Kazakhstan is a HUGE country. Read all about it in "Discovering Kazakhstan" by Christopher Robbins.
It’s easy . . . to state reasons for having had to postpone the original  departure by one year, but I prefer to stay mindful of the considerable restoration progress that has been achieved – with so much help.

Roadworthy . . . the fact is Albert is now legally “on the road”,  physically able to self-start and drive the public highway, albeit with a few adjustments still to be made before making any lengthy trip.

Next. . . comes the paint and shine, to restore the Albert bus look.

Dreams . . . the secret of it all.  And the secret is - not to let it go.  The dream of seeing No 2004 back on Sydney streets is etched in my persona. It is irremovable so, stay aboard and let’s all enjoy the ride!

Publicity . . . we need another PR shout . . . tv, radio and press. During the Australia Day 2012 Motorfest celebrations I will be assisting David Griffiths drive his restored Albion No 1892 around
town on Route 444.  Two Albert-eers refining their Albion crash-box skills for the Great Silk Road Adventure later in the year.

Australia Day 2008:  Two Sydney old double deckers in George St. outside the Town Hall gun it for the race from the lights.

All supporters & ex-Albert-eers . . . in Sydney on that day . . . please step forward for a free ride and may be you can add your inspirational story-line.  We need all ideas to attract our share of the limelight.

Returning to Scotland . . . on 1st February I will immediately be implementing stage 2 plan culminating in the bus being filmed in Albert red, green and cream crossing the Firth of Forth with the
famous Rail Bridge in the background (on Sunday 1st April 2012).

Life goes on. . . albeit on the administrative rather than the physical side. Items receiving immediate attention include web enhancement; new sponsorship approach; Crew recruitment; route planning and
logistics; finalising the restoration; film script.  Others, of course.

A New Title . . . “The Great Silk Road Adventure” now adorns the website.  Stating a clearer picture of what our objectives really are is essential.  Sorry it took me so long.  The history remains, of course.

Itinerary detail . . . showing our precise Route and Timetable will not be displayed publicly on the website.  Believe it or not, there is some competition about and whilst no other event can replicate our venture I sense one or two might like to borrow some of our thunder.

SE Asia extension . . . for now we will keep this as an option to be re- visited once the Silk Road logistics are well in hand. I am keen, as I know some of you are, but to expose such a possibility now would be confusing to the public and media.

Patience - I was told from the outset that the restoration would take longer than I originally planned: –---  but nobody ever told me why.  Now I know the answers . . . to be discussed at a later time . . . over a glass.

Australia Day 2013 – So!  We will now be looking at the ultimate prize for a Sydney bus, returning home on Australia’s great Day of celebration to Circular Quay after 44 years overseas; bus aged 65; with just a splash of glitz and a few stories to share.  

I am confident that when this day comes it will render all the delays worthwhile and engender a strong feeling of satisfaction in us all.

Thanks . . . to all of you for reading this.  You are my inspiration.  

The bus will make it, no worries, with laughter and tears no doubt. The experience will be worth every penny.  And when we’ve tied up, we’ll have the ultimate party.  Maybe put coins in the parking meter and go up and do the Bridge walk.  Yes, that one up by the Flag!


New Timetable

Tuesday 21 August 2012 depart Glasgow
Thursday 06 September  arrive Istanbul

Turkey - Kazakhstan

Tuesday 11 September  depart Istanbul
Tuesday 09 October  arrive Almati

Kazakhstan - China
Tuesday 16 October  depart Almati
Tuesday 22 November  arrive Shanghai

China (via Singapore?) to Australia
Tuesday 27 November 
     (Ship Shanghai direct to Western Australia . . or
      . . by road Shanghai to Singapore  +  ship to W.A.?)
  Tuesday 11 January 2013

Australia and Home!
Tuesday 08 January
Saturday 26 January


Your comments on anything said, or un-said . . . please!
(Albert's Facebook page is good for this. ed.)

With my best wishes . . . . . Andy

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