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  #1  
Old 29 Jun 2010
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Azerbaijan by motorcycle

On July 31, I and my girlfriend will leave Italy bound to Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, completely overland.

We'll enter Azerbaijan here

Bing Maps

(main road from Tbilisi to Baku).

Does anybody know if this border station is open 24 hours? I e-mailed the Azeri Ministry of Tourism already one month ago but received zero replies (as I expected).

Second thing: what are your experiences with the Azeri traffic Police? I keep on reading stories of checkpoints with bribe demands, but a friend of mine that rode the area last year had no problems with uniformed officers.
I wonder if it will possible to ride Tbilisi to Baku in one full day: I know that somebody did it successfully, but if Police will pull us over too many times, I'm afraid we will not make it before sunset and I really don't wanna ride at night, also because I don't know the road conditions on that stretch for a big touring motorcycle like mine.

Thanks to everybody.
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Old 30 Jun 2010
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we rode for 2 days thru Azer and had zero problems, FWIW. The only unexpected thing was the 72 hour limit for the bike.

KP
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Old 30 Jun 2010
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I knew about the 72 hours limit, also my friend has been told the same thing, last year at GE-AZ border station.

This is why my Azerbaijan experience can only be Tbilisi-Baku-Qobustan petroglyphs-Tbilisi in 3 days.

Many thanks for your message! This is good news.
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Old 1 Jul 2010
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Im also leaving end of july for that area. I'm in BG now.
I didnt know about the 72 hour limit, its a good thing to know.
If you see a longhaired guy on an old black harley, that'll be me!

Doug
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Old 1 Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by rtwdoug View Post
Im also leaving end of july for that area. I'm in BG now.
I didnt know about the 72 hour limit, its a good thing to know.
If you see a longhaired guy on an old black harley, that'll be me!

Doug

Hey Doug!

Good to know you are riding the area.
I and my girl will be on a black Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide with Italian license plate starting with letters AB and oval sticker with "I" (Italy) just above it.
But if you are interested in hooking up (if our itineraries will match) drop me a PM and I'll send you our full itinerary day by day + cell phone.

Cheers

Nick
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Old 1 Jul 2010
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Azeri Police

I had some minor trouble with a couple of Azeri Police check points during a 3 day transit earlier this year.
At one I stopped for directions and was immediately accused of speeding when I clearly hadn't and managed to change the subject by getting out the map and asking the way. After a couple of minutes of smiling and hand shaking I waved goodbye and so got away without a fine.
At another I was shown a computer screen with a photo of me and a speed readout (which may or may not have been exaggerated!) and after some discussion I ended up paying a fine of around 10USD in local currency. The police had initially demanded 40USD so they may have been trying to take their cut.
All part of the fun in the end and it hasn't put me off AZ, I will certainly go back there one day but I won't be stopping near a policeman unless ordered to and I actually will watch my speed a bit more carefully!
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Old 2 Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by Figtipin View Post
I had some minor trouble with a couple of Azeri Police check points during a 3 day transit earlier this year.

Good to know.

Did you ride Tbilisi to Baku on the direct road? How are the conditions of that road? Traffic?
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Old 2 Jul 2010
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Baku - Tbilisi road

Yes I went on the main roads from Baku to Tbilisi, the road is mostly good tarmac but there are long sections of roadworks in the western half where you must drive along gravel tracks. Those sections were good fun on my XR600, you should be OK with some care on your HD.
I did Baku to Tbilisi in a day fairly easily, including those 2 stops with the Police but not stopping anywhere else for long. It would be nice to have more time as there are archeological sites that you can visit along that route.
The traffic did not seem bad at all in AZ, even in Baku. OK it gets very busy in the Baku morning rush-hour, like any big city in Europe.
The traffic in Georgia however I found to be very different... I felt safer driving in India. Don't be put off though, as except for the driving I enjoyed Georgia.
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Old 2 Jul 2010
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I got massively lost in Tiblisi, all the road signs are in arabic. Baku is ace if you find the right people, had some minor problems in a smaller town where no-one would take a tourist as a paying guest (even hotels), and I was massively knackered.

You might want to check out the situation with having armenian passport stamps. The Azeris hate the Armenians with a passion, talking to the locals while I was there some of them even started crying recounting the killings of Azeris in Yerevan. Interestingly Armenians I spoke to in Turkmenistan were pretty upset about the killing of Armenians in Baku and I never found out which happened first.

I loved Georgia and Azerbaijan - it was the first part of my first trip when everyone I rode passed stopped and waved, and everywhere I stopped I got tea.
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Old 2 Jul 2010
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I have heard something about problems with armenia & azerbi, can you pass from one to the other? or do you have to go back thru georgia?

I was thinking of going Turkey-Geo-Azer-Armenia-Turkey

thanks for the info on the road to Baku, 72 hours will be tight to get there & back on my bike, but I'd really like to reach the caspian sea

Thanks, Doug
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Old 3 Jul 2010
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What I was told in AZ was that they wouldn't let you in with an armenian visa is your passport, you might be able to get it put in on a staple so you can tear it out. Going from Armenia to Az directly was not possible in '07 but it might have changed.

I di Tiblisi to Baku in 2 days no problems. Look out for the soldiers 'sense of humour' at the Georgian border. They sent me through a door with the bike, when I rode in it was a room full of people having their bags checked, not vehicle suitable at all. I turned round and the soldier who directed me was pissing himself laughing. The 'helpers' at the border are ace but will ask for payment at the end. The border from Turkey into Georgia has a massive line of lorries waiting most of the time, just ride straight past them all.
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Old 3 Jul 2010
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Armenia-Azerbaijan border

Hi guys,

Been following this thread for a few days as we'll be heading that way in the next fortnight. Currently laid up in Istanbul after a cab decided to do a u-turn and knocked my wife off her bike. She's ok but it's 2 weeks later and only now are we thinking she might be able to walk in the next few days!!

To RTW Doug, from what we've gathered during our time here the border between Azer and Armenia is closed so you'll need to go via georgia - they really don't like each other. Some guys we met here who left a couple of weeks ago said they were pressed for bribes alot in Azer mostly by border/custom officials - at the port in Baku and when entering Azer they wanted them to pay 'tax' for the spare tyres they were carrying.

But generally, as described above they said they met lovely people - just a shame they only had 72 hours in the country! They're now in Turkmenistan and have reported the usual - being asked for bribes by the ferry ticket office for the priviledge of buying a ticket, horrendous crossing of the Caspian and almost laughable taxes and fees on the Turkmen side!

Fun and games!....
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Old 3 Jul 2010
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Thanks Bob,
I guess I'll visit georgia twice! Not too bad tho, as I hear good things about it.

Best wishes to your wife, I hope she is ok soon!

In the off chance your still in Istanbul in a few weeks, & I can bring you anything from BG, let me know. Since its EU now, I can get stuff here from england or wherever pretty fast
(Medicine, medical supplies, etc) as I dont know how good the stuff is, there in Turkey.

In fact, Grant is coming here for out HU meet next week, so he may be able to help out with stuff from London

Doug
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  #14  
Old 3 Jul 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobduro View Post
Hi guys,
horrendous crossing of the Caspian and almost laughable taxes and fees on the Turkmen side!

Fun and games!....
There are a fair few taxes on the Turkmen side but one of the ones is about 75 dollars to cover the petrol you will buy in the country. TK is the only place that does this, but when you weigh it against 7 cents a litre fuel it's a good deal.

Never had any problems with people asking for bribes in AZ, the closest I got was being force fed vodka at a Petrol station because it was a cops birthday! And one big fat guy propositioned me with the phrase 'hey you, how much, jiggy-jiggy', so look out for that!
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Old 7 Jul 2010
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hi there,
we're currently in tbilisi. tomorrow we'll leave towards baku, crossing the krasni most border post. we'll keep you upgraded on what about. what is the 72 hours rule 4 motorbike? nobody at the azeri embassy in rome did mention it.

p.s. to knight of the holy graal: nicola, i'm on my way with my dyna. i did the tbilisi-baku route on 2002 in one day (corrupted policemen stops included) so,
no worry, ride awake and safe!
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