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Lonely Planet's 16 000km road trip

2013-05-31 13:04

LONELY PLANET JOURNEY: The Lonely Planet crew are blocked by snow along the Stelvio Pass in Italy. Image - Lonely PLanet

To celebrate its 40th birthday, Lonely Planet has sent two travel writers in a Mini Cooper D Clubman on an epic 16 000km journey across Europe, Asia and Australasia.

The journey celebrates the seminal trip from London to Sydney made by Lonely Planet co-founders Tony and Maureen Wheeler behind the wheel of a classic Mini. The trip led to the publication of the pair’s first guidebook, Across Asia on the Cheap, published in 1973.

The book’s success led to the start of the iconic travel publisher Lonely Planet.


The Wheelers paid just £60 for their 10-year-old Morris Mini Traveller, which they drove from London to Kabul in 1972. It had a top speed of 112km/h and with its timber option would have cost £552 new.

The 2013 Mini Cooper D Clubman is powered by a 85kW 1.6 capable of reaching 196km/h. The model's average fuel consumption is rated at 3.3 litres/100km.

According to Lonely Planet Traveller editor Peter Grunert: “This is an incredibly exciting project for Lonely Planet, 40 years on we are still seeking the world’s most original experiences out there on the road.

“The world has changed immeasurably in the past 40 years, with borders opening up, transport links improving and new technology available. We are recreating the trail-blazing spirit of Tony and Maureen’s first trip, using a similar Mini and route, but with a 21st century twist to reflect the world of travel today.”


Co-founder Tony Wheeler said: “I’m really excited to see how the trip turns out, travel has changed so much since 1972, with new destinations emerging such as Myanmar and others, like Afghanistan, no longer open to tourists.

“This is a great way to celebrate the heritage of Lonely Planet by recreating how it all began but with new technologies and ways of travelling for the 21st century. For me, Lonely Planet has always been about the journey, so it’s great to still be out there on the road 40 years later.”

The journey can be followed on the group's website , on Twitter and in forthcoming issues of Lonely Planet Traveller magazine.
Read more on:    road trip  |  travel  |  mini

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