Troubador Strangers Like Angels

Released: 28/05/2014

ISBN: 9781783063628

Format: Paperback

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Strangers Like Angels

with a devil or two to boot


Strangers Like Angels chronicles the journeys of Alec and Jan Forman to far and distant lands as they embrace their pioneering spirit. Following adventures in Canada, Antarctica and the Sultanate of Oman they set off on the original gap year in the seventies. Travelling in their Land Rover, they use only a map and compass to navigate through the Sahara Desert and tropical rainforests in Africa, back to Europe and out to Asia via the Hindu Kush, and on to the Himalayas. They grapple with the realities of poverty and yet experience surprising hospitality and welcome from unlikely sources. In the confined space of their vehicle, Alec and Jan learn what it takes to support and sustain themselves and their relationship on an exciting and often harrowing journey. Exchange of news through airmail letters to and from England keeps them in touch with family matters. Beautiful photographs and illustrations with maps complement the text, taking the reader along on the journey with Alec and Jan. A light, entertaining read of a true story of adventures, travel and divine encounter, blended with winsome tales to delight the heart, Strangers Like Angels will appeal to fans of memoirs and travel books.

During Lockdown we were thrilled to engage with more new readers of our book as we caught their interest through posting on Facebook every few days over three months, the chronological order of photographs of our epic journey - for viewers to virtually travel along with us in our Land Rover - 40,000 miles through 29 countries in Europe, Africa and Asia. A journey in reality that took us 14 months in 1977/78.

Land Rover Owner International

Land Rover Magazine

Seattle Backpackers Magazine

I really enjoyed this tale of travels to parts of the world that are still remote and unknown to us even today. What a journey! Jan and Alec Forman tell the story of their year driving a Land Rover through some of the roughest terrain on the planet. Their interactions with local people in North and West Africa as well as the drive through the Arab world to India and Nepal is full of stories. They encountered people and cultures that have largely disappeared in our modern age of mobile phones and 24 hour new channels. This was a journey that changed their own lives as well and we get to peek in on that transformation as well. Every chapter leaves you wondering what happens next. Well done.

by Connie Gerwing

"After meeting Alec and Jan Forman, and reading Strangers like Angels, you are immediately disarmed by their matter-of-fact manner and quiet modesty. Their affability belies their unflappable nature, steely determination and stoicism as they faced mechanical breakdowns, lack of roads, navigation problems, and ill-timed illness making their way through some of the most dangerous places on Earth. It is inconceivable to me to set out anywhere without knowing when I am going to arrive and what’s for dinner? At the same time Alec and Jan were setting out for places that were just co-ordinates on a map, if I had to travel 20 miles to visit my brother on the other side of Manchester, I would check my tyres, oil and water! They write as if they were travelling the length of the A1, and all they had to worry about coffee breaks, loo visits and petrol stations? Never-the less you get a sense of the heat, dirt and desolation and sheer vulnerability to the elements, optimism overcoming fear (my least favourite emotion) and the possibility you could die in a place without a post code? It is a triumph of trust in God and the kindness of strangers".

by Jim Proffitt

I think what I enjoyed most about this book was the fact that unlike other books, it doesn't only speak about the exciting adventures of such a journey, but also about the long queues to get visas and insurances and the repairs that were necessary on the landrover. While reading it, I learnt about the whole travel, and not just the fun, envious parts of it. It has inspired me and made me dream of travelling myself.

by Charlie

Alec & Jan Forman

Alec and Jan met in Germany whilst both serving with the British Army. Alec, an aircraft engineer was seconded to the British Antarctic Survey and lived in Antarctica for three southern summer seasons. To date he has visited over eighty-five countries and all seven continents. His claim to fame is having a glacier named after him in Antarctica as noted in

Jan used her nursing and midwifery skills in Canada, Sultanate of Oman and Mali, West Africa. She has visited over fifty countries many of which are shared about in Strangers Like Angels. Alec and Jan currently enjoy exploring and hiking in the Dreilanderecke of France, Germany and Switzerland.

Jan and Alec Forman

Back in time, Jan & Alec with our Land Rover.
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