New book tells story of Leeds adventurer who had a fare way to go

Running repairs to the cab in India.
Running repairs to the cab in India.
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It was the taxi ride to end all taxi rides.

One battered black cab, three friends and 43,000 miles right round the world over the course of 15 amazing months.

Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Now the pals, including Leeds lad Johno Ellison, have written a book telling the story of their journey from London to Sydney and back behind the wheel of the eBay-bought cab.

Entitled It’s On The Meter, the book charts Johno and co’s sometimes chaotic progress through four continents, 50 countries and 10 time zones during 2011 and 2012.

It includes everything from an altercation with Iran’s secret police to a narrow escape from the Taliban and has already been given the seal of approval by two people who definitely know what they are talking about.

World-famous explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has hailed the book as “an inspiring story told with lashings of energy and humour”.

Johno Ellison relaxing at home in Boston Spa after the trip.

Johno Ellison relaxing at home in Boston Spa after the trip.

Travel writer Bill Bryson, meanwhile, said: “This is the trip I would take if I were younger, braver and lightly but certifiably out of my mind.”

Explaining how the book came about, Johno said: “I really enjoy writing and really wanted to share the story with a wider audience.

“We feel like we got into some pretty crazy situations so we’d love for people to read everything from start to finish.

“When I tell people about the trip I don’t want to overwhelm them with all of what happened to us over those 15 months but I think the book allows them to take it all in at their leisure.”

Mount Everest base camp.

Mount Everest base camp.

Johno, 32, met his fellow adventurers, Paul Archer and Leigh Purnell, while studying at Aston University in Birmingham.

They hit upon the idea for the trip – which raised £20,000 for the Red Cross and ended with a thankfully-hypothetical £79,006.80 on the cab’s meter – during a night at the pub.

Johno, who grew up in Boston Spa and went to St Aidan’s Church of England High School in Harrogate, now lives in Kuala Lumpur.

He wrote the book with fellow round-the-world ‘cabby’ Paul while the third member of the gang, Leigh, penned its afterword.

“At times it was pretty tough to write with us all living in different places but I feel like it works really well,” said Johno.

“The double-author format allows us to tell the story from different perspectives.

“Hopefully it might inspire other people to give their own crazy dreams a shot!”

It’s On The Meter is published on March 10 by Summersdale, priced £8.99 paperback.

Elijah Lawal, Google's communications manager for the UK and Ireland.

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