Immerse yourself in the true account of one couple’s global trek in an age before smartphones, GPS, and hashtags. Alec and Jan’s quest to cross Europe, Africa, and Asia in a Land Rover will test their mechanical knowledge, resourcefulness, and beliefs to the core. Often, their route takes them where there is no road, and more than once they find themselves stuck or changing course. Will they be able to complete their journey?
After years of planning, Alec and Jan set off from Brentwood, England full of anticipation for the journey ahead with everything they need packed into their Land Rover. At the Strait of Gibraltar, they leave European familiarity behind, crossing from Europe to Africa. The sights and smells of the new continent entrance them as they journey from country to country and face their greatest challenge: navigating the harsh terrain of the Sahara desert.
With their original route to India blocked by geopolitical events, Alec and Jan form a new plan to reach India overland by driving north, exploring more countries in West and North Africa and into Europe. Their second Sahara crossing brings challenges including punctures, dust storms, and punishing heat. In Vienna, a chance encounter leads to a new friendship.
“If you've ever dreamt about traveling around the world in a Series Land Rover, read this first.”
Alec and Jan’s eastward route starts in Hungary and winds through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan finding new travelling companions along the way. Mosques, temples, jagged mountains, and ancient structures line their path to India. From country to country, they receive kindness through a universal currency: tea.
New cultures, sights, and challenges await the explorers in India. Now in winter, Alec and Jan face snow troubles while navigating the mountains of Nepal and in Turkey on their way back home.
explmore presents readings from Strangers Like Angels, With a Devil or Two to Boot. Narrated by Alec and Jan Forman.
Leaving England, Alec and Jan test out the Land Rover as their new home for the first time, staying in campgrounds and with friends in Germany. They start new rituals, including writing in their diary and letters to family back home.
Corrugated sand tracks make for a bumpy, jarring journey as Alec and Jan attempt their second 1,000-mile Sahara crossing, this time unaccompanied in the heat of the summer.
Mechanical troubles stall Alec, Jan, Jean-Luc, and Martine in a remote spot in Afghanistan. Atop the majestic panorama of Band-e Amir, an attempt to find the best viewpoint nearly spells disaster.
Alec and Jan navigate the remote Bolan Pass through Pakistan, battling weariness after more than a year on the road. Customs officials in Iran give Alec and Jan a trying time on their journey west.
“What the Formans found was not just an epic off-roading adventure, but a new perspective of the world, encountering new landscapes, foreign cultures and kind strangers along the way – the kind of life-changing experience we all dream about.”
Make your escape to a time before GPS and hashtags replaced with maps and film canisters. A perfect travel reading companion, Strangers Like Angels - With a Devil or Two to Boot is available in print and ebook formats, as well as free podcast readings presented by explmore.
Alec and Jan still proudly own their legendary Land Rover Series III. She took them 40,000 miles, through 29 countries, in Europe, Africa and Asia — back in 1977. Today, she sits in their back garden, waiting for a chance to return to her former glory.