Overland on The Hippie Trail was published in March 28, 2018 by The Wild Rose Press, and Larry’s inspiration for the title is an interesting one. “There was a hippie trail for trekking overland from Europe to Kathmandu and India that I travelled during the Beatle era,” Larry said. “The story is fictionalized and romanced. Nostalgia of baby boomer era.”
The story takes place on a trek from Europe to India overland on the hippie trail through Asia. “A love story between a Warsaw Pact higher up complicated by politics due to NATO love objective that was a former Marine, intrigued by the mystique of Beatles era India.” The setting starts with the trek through Muslim Asia down to India with half the story in Baroda, Gujurat, India. “There’s intrigue of a historically significant culture,” Larry explained, “and also the challenge of the post-colonial aftermath of what had been the Crown Jewel of the British Empire.”
In Overland on The Hippie Trail you’ll meet Hunter, a former combat Marine from the Vietnam War. “Hunter has a chip on his shoulder from how the hippies treated his ilk when he came back home’’ Larry said. “He shared their love of other cultures and the open road and with that allure began to travel. While in Vienna to get his visas for the Asian countries on the way to India for his trek on what is called the hippie trail, he meets the daughter of a politburo official from Poland, a member of the Soviet bloc.”
You will also meet Ewa, the Polish daughter of this official. She is attracted to Hunter and also his sense of adventure and asks to go along. “They bond from their adventures and then fall deeply in love, but Cold War politics presents seemingly insurmountable obstacles to pursue their life together.”
Hunter and Ewa are finding broader concepts to life, political, religious, historical, and cultural. “But falling in love in their circumstances makes their biggest goal the fulfillment of what should have been a simple one,” Larry added. “To marry and spend the rest of their life together. Cold War politics, however, inhibits this. Hunter’s and Ewa’s final destination is a religiously based social welfare ashram in the home state of where Mahatma Gandhi had lived. They are welcomed by a Swami and his aids as they do their best to alleviate horrific poverty from the aftermath of having been colonized and its resultant chaos. The Cold War presents obstacles for two lovers that fear never getting to fulfill their romantic destiny.”
Larry explained the three key elements in this story are the Beatle era baby boomer Age of Aquarius allure to open up to new ideas and cultures. To find peace among chaotic circumstances due to human frailty that diminishes magnificent cultures and religious philosophies. And there is redemption in love and understanding. “The story is about human frailty in chaotic conditions which is survivable and a growing experience.”
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Let’s get a closer look at Overland on The Hippie Trail.
There was a new age. One called the Age of Aquarius with a restless, ideological generation in the spirit of Woodstock and a reverence for new worlds opening up to new ideas. When the Beatles presented a mystique of India into pop culture, the Hippie Trail derived where hip adventurers traveled overland from Europe to Kathmandu and India. Hunter was not among these hipsters. Still bitter over treatment as a Marine combat veteran from the Vietnam War, he nevertheless shared allure for the open road. While getting visas in Vienna he came across a Polish girl, Ewa. A Warsaw Pact girl whose politburo father got her unequal privileges she gladly abused to join Hunter on the trek to India to check out the new age together. Shared experiences and hardships bonded them. But Cold War politics made falling in love the worst hardship of all.