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Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
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Middle EastTopics specific to the Middle East countries, from Syria south to Yemen
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Me and my friend are going next year on a motorcycling trip from Croatia to Jordan, and are currently in phase of creating a plan for the sponsors (hence my early inquiry). Basically, everything has been going smooth so far until we got to the middle eastern part of the map, and the most important part of our trip. Our plan was to go - Turkey, to Syria, Lebanon, Israel over to Jordan and go back on a slightly different route, probably Jordan directly to Syria and back to our starting destination. As we see it now, we have two big problems there and that's the current deteriorating state of affairs in the region and our visit to Israel.
First issue is out of our influence and we just have to wait until mid September of 2014 to see how it will play out.
The second one is a lot more tangible and needs to be solved before we head on in further planning. After exhausting search in the abyss of the internet, I've only found one option that will require us to change our route slightly to Syria, Lebanon, back to south Syria, Jordan and then cross the King Hussein/Allenby Bridge into Israel (purportedly Jordanians don't stamp at exit there) and then back through Jordan and Syria. That should leave us without any evidence of being in Israel. But now it appears, from some old and scarce bits of information, that Allenby bridge is a specific type of border crossing where people board special shuttle buses to pass it.
Does anyone know if there's a possibility of crossing the bridge with a bike, or if there is any other way of visiting Israel and managing to go back through Syria/Lebanon?
There is an option of leaving the bike in Jordan and visiting Israel bike-less, and then going back normally through Syria and/or Lebanon from Jordan, but you guys understand why I would try any other option over that (unless it's the only option).
If Syria's ok to cross by then...
I'm not sure about the bridge, but if Israeli stamps in your passport are the problem, is getting a second passport an option? (there's ways around if your government does not allow a second passport, just think creative ).
I am glad you do no longer think about crossing the border from Lebanon into Israel :-)
Indeed, you can not cross the Allenby / KING Hussein Bridge with any vehicle, unless you have some very special permits which are next to impossible to get as a tourist.
There are two other border crossings, one in Elat / Aqaba in the South, and one at the SHEIKH Hussein Bridge (Israeli name: Jordan River Crossing) near Bet Shean in the very North. Problem here is that you will have to have the Jordanian exit and re-entry stamp as well as the Israel stamps on separate papers which is depending on their mercy. Therefore, a second passport would be the best option if that was available for Croatians.
I am rather pessimistic about the possibility to cross Syria anytime soon. Even if the war - which will probably drag on for years to come - would stop, there is, unfortunately, a big chance that large parts of the country will remain lawless, destroyed, with desperate people who will not be ready and able to welcome travelers. There is basically no infrastructure left there, not to mention the millions of internally displaced persons (IDPs). You better develop a plan B which might be another challenge given the deteriorating situation in the region.
Croatian authorities are lenient when it comes to giving out second passports, so acquiring it is not a problem. But, as Achim stated, that leaves the whole issue in the hands of luck and border officers. That is, if Jordanians would agree to stamp their exit stamp in my second passport, so i can hide evidence of leaving Jordan at all. My friend says that Israel gives out some kind of paper/barcode visa so I'm fine there.
What's the situation with bribing? I'd be willing to pay hefty for a possibility of going in Israel with my bike...
Pertaining the situation in Syria, I sincerely hope that things won't get worse, but i think there is little chance of the situation not deteriorating even further. And I'm not saying that just because of my trip
I have a couple of friends in Syria so if there will be any possibility of crossing it, i'll know about it. Plus, I'm used to living and managing in war infested regions, after all, i'm from the balkans
This is my dream trip, and i've been contemplating it for a long time, so i'm not giving it up easily...
I know that this thread is not on moral or other questions and everybody has to make his or her choice whether to pay a bribe (and make life more difficult for any other traveler after that), but please think very carefully before trying to bribe an immigration officer in either Syria, Jordan or Israel. You will most certainly not enter the country but its prison cells.
I am sure you will be able to fulfill your dream and your trip with or without Syria, Israel by bike or other obstacles. Just remain creative in your travel planning!
I don't by any means condone bribing, but I'm just exploring all possibilities. I'm sick of morally corrupt behavior in my country, last thing i want to do is to exercise the very same behavior on my trip. But, i thought of it as a backup plan. That's why i asked, better safe than sorry. I'm always exploring various creative ways of travelling, but i was really hoping i will be able to travel the whole trip on my bike, which now seems almost an impossible feat... I'm still hoping someome will pop up who managed to pull it off to enlighten me on the technique
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