Aston Martin's Epic Trip

___________ Historic first crossing of Asia's new Highway to the West ___________

True-life Adventure

Flashback to a 12th century monk painstakingly crafting the world's first illustrated road atlas, and fast-forward to the future when traders and tourists from the East are making their way to Europe and the West in a car journey of comfort and speed.

It sounds like a time-traveller's tale of fantasy. But this is for real.

Richard Meredith and co-driver Phil Colley, two adventure-loving Brits, road-tested a record-setting journey from Tokyo to London when they made the first-ever car crossing of the new Asian Highway

And they did it in an Aston Martin V8 Vantage, personal transport of the company's CEO Dr Ulrich Bez.

Their trailblazing trip on a route that follows many of the Silk Roads of old, takes them from Japan through the wilds of China and the volatile states of Central Asia, before joining Europe's motorway network at Istanbul.

The Asian Highway, little-known as yet in the West, is one of the most important developments in road transportation for centuries. But while its purpose is to increase trade and eradicate poverty, there are serious warnings of modern-day hazards ahead.

Will it make life easier for gangs in the drugs and sex trade, people traffickers and illegal migrants? A conduit for the spread of disease? Another source of congestion and pollution?

Hardback: 232pp including
full colour pictures

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Richard Meredith is a former national newspaper journalist and business magazine publisher who took to writing adventure travel novels when he found himself at a crossroads in life.

His first book, One Way or Another, came after what he called 'A Gap Year for Grown-ups' in which he visited six Continents on a restless odyssey that brought him into a catalogue of scrapes and misadventures.

Undaunted, he then took a family hatchback from the UK to South Korea in Which Way Next on a hair-raising journey that included an unscheduled drive through Afghanistan's Khyber Pass just weeks after the US invasion.

Like this latest trip across the new Asian Highway, he tries to harness publicity from his adventures in generating funds for charitable causes and has so far raised more than £400,000 for orphans and children in danger.

He has also published an anthology of his experiences as an author to help new and aspiring writers.

When not travelling, he lives in a century-old, former farm-worker's cottage in Buckinghamshire with a pub at the end of the lane.

For more background information visit

Richard Meredith and travel specialist Phil Colley completed the first-ever drive of the full extent of the new Asian Highway after an incredible 49-day journey from Tokyo to London in an Aston Martin V8 Vantage car.

The journey was undertaken in collaboration with the United Nations. It promoted the UN-backed Road Safety Is No Accident campaign and the Make Roads Safe initiative of the FIA which are both aimed at increasing awareness of road safety to help reduce the shocking toll of accident injuries and fatalities, especially in developing nations.

The map below displays the route driven by Richard and Phil and was independently tracked 'live' by Eurowatch.

EurowatchTracking data courtesy of Eurowatch, Temple Chambers, 3-7 Temple Avenue London, EC4Y 0HB

© 2010 Mercury Books and Word Go Ltd.