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Campervan Crazy is not just another book charting the developmental history of the VW camper. The authors make it clear from the start that is not their intention.
The purpose of this book is potentially much more serious, more vital; to capture the particular variety of madness that makes people want to live in a tin can for weeks or months on end and make difficult journeys to far-flung corners of the world.
For me, that’s what motorhome travel is all about – travels where the journey is at least as important as the destination and creates magical, indelible memories that stay with you once you are home again.
The book starts with a very brief introduction to Volkswagen campers before getting to the meat of the matter; personal tales of bus-powered journeys all over the world. The first story is that of David and Cees’ 1978 journey to India in their 1967 Canterbury Pitt conversion. Their route took them across Europe and into the former Yugoslavia, down to Greece and then through Turkey and into Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and finally into India.
The events of the last decade have made the idea of western tourists visiting Afghanistan seem far-fetched at best, but in the 1960s and 70s it was an entirely feasible thing to do. The Eccles’ photos of Afghanistan reveal just why it was worth the journey; the scenery of Band-i-Amir puts a shadow over most of what Europe has to offer, and few westerners realise just how rich in cultural and social history this ancient country is.
If I was to criticise this book, it would be to say that after reading the story of David and Cees’ journey, the rest of Campervan Crazy struggles to top this (although the epic journey of the Zebra Bus from South Africa to Europe comes very close). However, there are plenty of other great travel tales, plus fantastic pictures of interesting buses and information about the bus scene in the UK.
If you are into custom buses and the VW scene, this book covers these areas too, with knowledge and enthusiasm. This book could only have been written about VWs – but at the same time anyone who loves campervans will enjoy it, even if they aren’t VW fans.
Title: Campervan Crazy
Authors: David and Cee Eccles
Size: 240 x 250 x 19mm