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Middle EastTopics specific to the Middle East countries, from Syria south to Yemen
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Jordan - Israel - Jordan Crossing details... again
I have posted this question in one form or another on other threads, but haven't heard much response, so I will summarize my thoughts here.
The 'middle eastern' leg of my trip will be entering from Turkey to Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and then Israel & Palestine, and I would like to go back out the way I came. I am clear on visa and other information for every leg of the journey except the last one.
Once in Jordan, I can obtain a double entry visa from the embassay in Amman, or possible when entering the country. This will be what I need when coming back via King Hussein Bridge which does not provide any visa's. When exiting Jordan at King Hussein Bridge, I will need to ask the border guards to put the exit stamp on a piece of paper, something which they may or may not do. I will have a quick letter translated into arabic stating my intentions, and will be as friendly as possible to increase my chances.
Once leaving Jordan, I will now be entering Israel where again, I will have to ask the border to put the entry stamp on a piece of paper. Here, I will have a letter translated into Hebrew stating my reasons, which this time will say that I plan on continuing my trip to other Arabic countries that will deny me entry etc, as well as my plans in Israel, where I will be staying etc. Again, I have to hope that they choose to do me a favour, and stamp the piece of paper.
All this will have to be done in reverse when exiting Israel via the King Hussein Bridge in order to assure that there is no written record of me being in Israel, or leaving Jordan when I get back up to Syria.
So, is there any limitation to doing this with your bike? What would be the difference if you were on foot? How comfortable are people with leaving their bike at a garage in Jordan, probably for over 2 months? Costs?
Does this scenario seem plausible if all goes smoothly. If I manage to get out of Jordan with the exit stamp on a piece of paper, but then am refused a stamp on paper when entering Israel, can I go back into Jordan? There is a valid reason to not want an Israel stamp on your passport - because you want to go to other arabic countries. But what valid reason is there for not wanting a Jordanian exit & entrance stamp in your passport? Will they not know right away what you are trying to do if you ask for the stamp on a piece of paper, and would they care in order to protect Syrian interests, or are they likely to be ok with it and stamp outside the passport.
I know this question has been asked, and I have read the information as well as called the embassy's for all 3 countries here in Canada, but I would really like to get concrete and more recent information. Again, thanks to all you wonderful Hubbers, this really is an amazing community. Hopefully if some of these questions are answered here, it can become a useful thread for others trying to go in and out of Israel via Jordan and Syria with their bike.
The impression given was that even if the Israelis had turned us away because of the not wanting our passports stamped issue, the Jordanians would have been fine about it. After all, what difference does it make to them whether you come back in 1 hour or 2 months once they've stamped you out?
This whole passport stamp thing is a load of bullsh1t anyway. Tony Bliar (or any other Western politician/diplomat) can get into any Arab country no problem with an Israeli stamp in his passport. Given that politicians and diplomats have a lot more to do with the Middle East's problems eg Bliar and Bush killing 100,000 Iraqis in an illegal war about WMD that were never there, why should it be tourists who get hit with this rule?
Thanks for your response, Ilesmark. I see your point. Also, the second passport is definantly something to consider. I thought about it before, but for some reason thought I couldn't get on (Canadian). I am now leaving for Europe in 3 weeks, but maybe I can get the process started, and finish it through mail/local embssay's/reletives in Toronto.
Just to clairify, your expereince differs slightly in that you left your landcruser at the Allenby Bridge (aka King Hussen), and went into Israel on foot, is that correct? What was long term parking there like? Saftey for a bike? Cost? Did you leave it there because you had to, or wanted to?
I wouldn't worry about getting a second passport for this purpose (although Israel / Arab countries was one of the justifications for me getting mine) - that thread was only included for the Allenby bridge border crossing info. What the rules are for Canadians getting a second one I wouldn't know.
We left the Landcruiser at a little car park. From memory, it was on the right near the Jordanian border post as we approached the crossing - we asked around if there was a place to park and it was where we were sent.
This place wasn't hugely expensive but it was fenced off. I can't comment on how good it would be for a bike full stop, or indeed for a Landcruiser for 2 months! We chose to park there and cross by foot because we were only planning to stay for 2 days and because we weren't sure about avoiding incriminating stamps on the carnet, to say nothing of getting insurance for Israel and the uncertainly about whether we'd be let into Israel at all.
At various points on our trip, we preferred to park the car and let someone else do the driving and this was one of them.
Riding in is still my first option, as I would like to do some riding in the country along with my other plans there. Parking in Jordan is a good fallback plan although two months seems like a long time to park it there. If I get refused the stamp at Israel border, I can just drive back and set up the long term parking. My main concern is that any potential theif might see it there day after day after day, and thus consider it as a good target. Who knows...
At least I now know that someone has successfully got all 4 stamps on seperate pieces of paper. I won't be the first to attempt it. Thanks for the great information, very helpful. I'm open to other thoughts aswell if anyone else has experience.
previous reply to a previous post:
Came to Syria through Gaziantep, then to Jordan, from Jordan to Israel, through King Houssein border, which is the northern border. I got refused on the Jordan side, and had to go back to Amman to get a paper from some kind of administration, to allow me the border crossing with my bike.
So, back to the same border. Getting in:
I managed to get a stamp on a separate piece of paper on the jordanian side. Israel border: surreal. Gun pointed at me - because I had lights on. Then 5 hours of inspection and questionning, because of the syrian visa ("why do you have a syrian visa?" I got the world map out of my bag... No joke. I had to explain that lybia is not that easy, and Irak not easier... "Do you have a return plane ticket?" My bike was parked right in front of her...). I managed to get a separate stamp for me, but NOT for the motorcycle (you don't need a carnet, but the importation of the vehicle is marked in the passport itself). The stamp is either in english or...in hebrew. Getting out:
Much easier on the Israel side, for I knew everyone there. Surreal again (shaking hands, talking for hours about the travel, life in israel and so on). Managed to get the stamp on a separate paper. For the vehicule, same again: stamp on the passport - quite big this time.
Jordan side: I explained everything ("please do not stamp the passport, I'm going back to Syria, etc" "aïwa, aïwa, no problem"). No problem until I had to put my hand between the carnet and the stamp. He stamped my hand. Then looked at me, intrigued, and then sorry, when he realised what he was about to do.
I went back to Syria, then to Turkey and Iran. Nobody suspected anything. Somebody I met on the road had to argue that the stamp for the exit of the israelian territory was a stamp from cambodia. It took some time, but it worked."
Thanks Vincek. I had not seen that one before, very interesting. Was it you, or someone else? Do you have a link to the origional thread?
So he is saying that to get out of Jordan with your bike requires a special pass from Amman. When entering Israel, he managed to get his own stamp on a piece of paper, but the vehicle importation was marked right in the passport, and then stamped on the seperate Jordanian thing? Woudn't that be a complete give away when you got back to Syria?
Interesting, and good to hear. I'd like to know more about what documentation you had to get from Amman bescides a double entry visa, for the bike to be able to temp import it out of Jordan and back in. My understanding is that at that partictular border crossing, you cannot get any visa's, you have to already have them in hand.
Sorry, I don't have the link of the original thread right now, but if you have a look at my posts, you should find easily (it's on the first page of the middle east section).
What happened was that Jordan customs and authorities are scared to death that someone could do something in Israël because of a negligence on their side. So they're extra careful. This extra carefulness was acted by my entry refusal: they were convinced that I would have been turned out on the israeli side, and therefore that they would have been blamed for letting me in in the first place. Now, if the same guys are still working at this border (rather nice people), if you say that some other motorcyclists have crossed the border already (one of them with a french registered blue and white BMW k100), I suppose it should be no problem. Cars get in easily...
As regard to the document I got in Amman, I really don't know what it was: I got sent from buildings to buildings for a while, until I kind of lost patience and ask them to write me any bloody document that would get me through the first gate (my girlfriend was landing few days later to join me for two weeks. Knowing I was in Syria at the time, she got the interesting idea to include Tel-Aviv in "any city in the states surrounding Syria"...). I got the document, and it work. I still don't know what was written on it.
The vehicle stamp on the passport is a different issue. It can be either in English, OR in Hebrew. In the latter case, it is a complete give away. In the former, it depends on the guy at the Syrian border.
I had a single entry visa for Jordan, and got a new one when I came back from Israel (a double entry visa is a give away too...). You therefore have to pay twice the visa, the exit tax and the compulsory insurance. You can get visa at any Jordanian border, as far as I know.
For Israel, bring your green card: insurance is compulsory, and cost about 100$ at the border if you don't already have one.
Hope this is clear enough, and if you have any questions, don't hesitate.
That is clear, thank you very much. It sounds like I will be completely screwed if I get the hebrew vehicle stamp in my passport, so perhaps I can try really hard to get that on a seperate piece of paper as well. Or do what you did, and physically put my hand in front of the stamp to try and stop them.
So they check your Jordanian visa when coming back into Syria then. I would think that they would only care about syrian visa's at that point, but your right, it would be a give away also. You could try saying that you were going to ride in Saudi Arabia, or possibly Egypt, and that's why you bought the double entry, but then never actually left Jordan. Who knows. It still sounds like even if you do everything right, you still need to have a bit of luck.
If you got absoloutly screwed, you could always go back to Israel and take that extremely over priced ferry to cyprus and out to greece. I really don't want it to come to that however. Thanks again..
In case you decide to leave your bike at the Jordanian side.
I left it last year, with most of my luggage, at the border in the garage of 'mister Ali' witch is next to a enclosed parking place. The charged me one Jordanian pound a day, and got it back the way I left it.
That sounds fairly good, about a dollar and a half a day, about $100 for just over two months. How long did you leave it there for? Is it just a normal enclosed garage, or is it open to the eye, and guarded? Do you have any rough directions or possible GPS coordinates? Thanks
It's I think what you would call a garage box there's someone present the whole day. It's got steel doors so your bike is out of sight.
It's about a hundred meters before the actual border crossing on your right
like I said, next to a parking place for cars witch has a big P sign in front of it. You can't really miss it, and if you do, it took me just one person to ask.
I've got a picture of it, but have no clue how to put it on this side. So if you want to see what it looks like I can send it to your email address.
skip the hassle and take the overpriced ferry to cyprus........
let's face it.......
ferry is what, 500 euros? including paying off the f*&*ng customs guys in Cyprus?
Let's say you go back from Israel through Jordan, Syria, Turkey to Greece. How much you have to pay for visa, gas, food, insurance, places to sleep etc. Another advantage is that you can drive your own motorbike in Israel with all your gear/luggage/stuff. Saves you hiring a bike/car or busfares in The Promised Land
For me it is cheaper to leave Israel through Cyprus because I go back to the Netherlands through Greece anyway. Why bother go back through Jordan,Syria and Turkey if you've seen it already? (and just recovered from Montezuma's revenge :-)
I see your point Willem, and it's not a bad one either, but I would like to think of the ferry more as a backup plan. I would like to explore this option as much as possible, and then if you really get stuck in Israel, you take the ferry. The cost is insane, and I probably would not be spending nearly that much going back the way I came. I would like to take another route out of the Middle East so I wouldn't be seeing the same thing as well.
I also think it is a fairly interesting experience, and learning opportunity to try and do things like this in other countries - getting yourself into sticking situations and finding solutions. I will be 20 at the time of the Middle East, so it is an interesting exposure to the bureaucracy of the world for me. I feel that as long as I have a backup plan, nothing horrible can really happen. Most of all, I agree that having your bike and gear in Israel is a huge plus! Although there are the obvious setbacks when driving in Palestine, it would be great to tour some of the other parts of the country. Thanks for your input. Other thoughts?
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