Strangers Like Angels - with a Devil or Two to Boot - A book by Alec & Jan Forman

An original overland adventure story

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?

Strangers Like Angels Book
46 chapters, 387 pages
Strangers in the Sand

Imagine yourself in the desert.

Setting off

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.

Rerouted

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.

Wake up each day to a brand new chapter of adventure

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“If you've ever dreamt about traveling around the world in a Series Land Rover, read this first.”
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Over the Jagged Mountains

Experience the Near East frozen in time.

Onwards to the Himalayas

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.

Homeward Bound

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.

Start your trek with Alec and Jan.

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Listen to adventure

explmore presents readings from Strangers Like Angels, With a Devil or Two to Boot. Narrated by Alec and Jan Forman.

Venturing forth opening spread

Get stuck in a good book

Breathtaking moments from Strangers Like Angels

Ch.4: Venturing Forth

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.

Ch.16: Extreme Challenge

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.

Ch.27: Such a Beautiful Land

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.

Ch.41: Highs and Lows

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.

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“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.”
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Book authorS

Alec and Jan
Forman

Alec and Jan met while serving in the British Army, fell in love, and embarked on their life together with a shared love of adventure. Following their 1977 epic journey, they became involved with relief and rural development projects in Mali and Moldova. In celebration of 40 years of marriage, they wrote a book called Strangers Like Angels - With a Devil or Two to Boot. Today, they delight in sharing their story and inspiring others to seek out their own life changing adventure.

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Seeking life changing adventure

An in depth look into the reasons we decided to explore more.

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Letters from Antarctica

Read the correspondence from Alec, from when he was seconded to the Antarctic, in the early seventies.

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Return of a Legend

Witness the documented account of our efforts to restore our legendary Series.

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Buy the book

Paperback

Available at

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eBook

Apple Books, Kindle, Nook

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Got questions?
Here are the answers.

What engine was fitted in your 1974 Land Rover Series 3 LWB and how did it perform on the journey you took in 1977?
Twelve metal fuel jerry cans on the roof rack, plus a big wooden box?  Surely the Land Rover was top heavy!
What ever happened to your legendary Land Rover?
Your photos are stunning, worthy of an exhibition! - What camera did you use?

The Legend

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.

Throw a few coins into the restoration pot