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  #1  
Old 6 Dec 2007
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Leaving bike in Syria/Jordan

OK. I'm in Syria with my bike. And, now that the snow has hit the ground, I finally collected my Iranian visa (I applied 5 months ago). It's unwise, at best, to try and ride over the mountains into Iran from Turkey at this time of year. Is it possible to leave my bike in Syria for a few weeks while I fly to Iran and back? Will this create any problems with my Carnet? Also, I know I can get a Syrian visa at the border... but can I get one at the airport upon my return? (I have a reasonably secure place to store my bike and gear while I'm gone.) Thanks for your help!
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Last edited by hopelessly lost; 8 Dec 2007 at 12:02.
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  #2  
Old 7 Dec 2007
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Bike

Hey Jer,

You sure did spend a lot of time in Lebanon, any longer and we were going to send in a search party to find the person responsible for keeping you there. Does she have any sisters?

No idea about Syria, but if you can't find out for certain, pop across the border back to Antakya. Turkey is no problem for getting in and out of after leaving your bike there. And as you know they are fabulous hosts.

Did you get back in to Syria on the same visa that you got at the Allepo crossing or did you have to get another one?
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  #3  
Old 7 Dec 2007
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Ha! Yeah, I fell in love with "Lady Lebanon," rather than any particular person! I guess I was in Beirut for a while, hey? And, yes, I did have to get another visa for my second entry into Syria. I'm going to check with immigration tomorrow and see if I can get another visa in advance (my third!) for when I return from Iran. However, first I have to see if I can find an affordable flight. I think leaving the bike behind will be ok (though she'll resent me for it).
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  #4  
Old 8 Dec 2007
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Well, I have some answers to my own questions now, so I had better post them!

NO, you can not leave your bike in Syria... unless you have a reliable Syrian person who is willing to accompany you to the Immigration office and take charge of the bike while you're gone. My hotel said I could leave the bike with them, but I didn't have the heart to ask them to come and wade through red-tape at Immigration. Originally, I didn't think there was evidence in my passport of bringing a vehicle in and all that info was exclusive to my Carnet, but they knew right away that I had a vehicle in the country. Boo.

Yes, you can get a Syrian visa at the airport (according to every travel agent I spoke with).

So my new question is this... Can I leave a bike in Jordan and fly to Iran? I'd still really like to go, but my options are few. (I won't even bother applying for a transit visa through Saudi because I've read so many places that it's impossible.)

And, as for backtracking to Turkey... I just can't stand going back at this point. It would feel too much like lost ground (it's a character flaw of mine. I'm working on it.) I suppose a train might be an option, but then I'm still in Tehran with a motorcycle in winter. This whole traveling with a bike thing can be complicated, hey? Or maybe it's just me.
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  #5  
Old 8 Dec 2007
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Jordan

Sure Jeremy, we'll accept your current alibi for the time being.

As for Jordan, no idea. They were very efficient though, very computerized so they will definitely know that you brought in a bike with you. They were sticklers for a couple of details, on the temporary import document the guy at the border on the way in only gave most of us 3 days in error and at least one of the guys got 7. Upon exit, those with three days had to pay an additional 5JD, despite our feigned outrage. I think that that document was used as a supplement to the carnet, you needed both to get out.
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Old 9 Dec 2007
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Saudi

Jeremy,
I emailed the British,American and Saudi embassies in Riyadh about transit visa but no replies.
What bike do you ride ?
If it is a Harley and you were writing a book about your RTW trip the Saudi Harley importer might sponsor you to enter Saudi like they did for a couple a while ago. I think the story is on the Hubb somewhere.
I can go and ask the local dealer if they were interested,only 1klm from me and I have bought stuff off them.

Cheers
Ian
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  #7  
Old 9 Dec 2007
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Well, a Saudi transit visa would be nice! I ride a Kawasaki KLR 650, though. It vibrates as much as a Harley, but there's way less chrome. It'll have to be a quick decision, though. I'd rather not be stuck in Syria or Jordan for Christmas! If they'll sponsor me, I'd apply... what's the time line for such a process?
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  #8  
Old 9 Dec 2007
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Sorry, it would have to be a Harley for them to even think about it. When they were sponsor before the couple were on a Harley and they used it for publicity photo shoots and interviews. They escorted them through Saudi, each dealership taking turns from Dhahran to Riyadh to Jeddah.
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Ian
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  #9  
Old 10 Dec 2007
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hey, well thanks for trying. i'm still working on leaving my bike in syria. for every 18 hours of time i invest, i make a tiny bit of progress! i think i may be onto something, though... i'll keep you posted.
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  #10  
Old 19 Dec 2007
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Bad poster. I promised to keep you all updated and I never did!

first i need to take back what i said earlier... YES! you can leave your bike in Syria and fly away for a short visit to another country (mine's in Damascus for a few weeks while I visit Iran). But it's a pain to get the paperwork... and they do ask for it when you try to leave!

I had to spend a day at the Immigration Office in Damascus going from desk to desk with paperwork to finally get a letter of approval signed and stamped by "The General" allowing me to abandon the bike temporarily.

You need a Syrian citizen to accompany you to the office to officially take charge of the machine (the manager of my hotel agreed to perform this service... for a small fee!) You also need a passport photo and photocopies of your passport info and Syrian visa pages (which you can get done at the office).

I paid 15 pounds (around 33 cents) for an official form, but that was it. The process took all day (including several hours riding to the Lebanese border where I was told that I must store my bike while away... this turned out to be a filthy lie).
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