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Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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Old 14 Sep 2008
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Groningen, The Netherlands
Posts: 48
Europe to the Stans: climate and when to go?


After returning from a trip from The Netherlands to Cap town last winter it is getting itchy again.
Now planning a trip one-way to the central Asia.
My company will not be pleased when I request a unpaid leave during summer.
I'm wondering what season would be preferable.

I would like to set departure in September. Travel for approx. 10 weeks and fly the bike from the Sans back to The Netherlands.
But will it be to cold on the route?

Ik would like to hear climate advice on both routes

The 'northern' route UKR-RUS-KAZAK and
The 'Southern' route TURK-IRAN

I will be very pleased to hear from you,

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Old 14 Sep 2008
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Location: Moscow
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sept ok

ukr-rus in september is +5C worst and +25 best
north KZ may be around 0C at night.
don't do it in oktober - no pleasure
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Old 16 Sep 2008
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Location: somewhere on the road between Ushuaia and Alaska
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I'm currently in Central Asia. Route was through Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan (currently in Bishkek).

Turkey/Iran/Turkmenistan/Uzbekistan should all be good for your time-scale I think. We did it in July/August and it went up to 50 degrees.
Bear in mind though: The Turkmenistan Embassies are not the easiest to deal with for visas. Brussels & (particularly) Vienna were the friendliest. (Though Vienna, last minute, decided to request a LOI for a Transit visa... something which doesn't exist and they changed their requirements again a week later).

Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan are more mountainous. Tajikistan in October will be quite cold in the mountains. Kyrgyzstan should be a bit better - but I'm fairly certain you'll get snow at the passes from October onwards.

As for flying back: it won't come cheap! We're currently looking into flights from Bishkek. Research shows that shipping from Almaty is better & cheaper. (But cost of living/accomodation in Almaty is fairly high). Try to do some research on this before departure.

Last but not least: Iran = Carnet de Passage. Taking a ferry from Azerbaijan to Turkmenistan would bypass Iran (though I heard the ferry service can be a bit unreliable).

Hope this helps!
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Old 18 Sep 2008
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Location: Groningen, The Netherlands
Posts: 48
Thanks both Motobelka and Bjorn,

So speeding up in the beginning of September from The Netherlands will be helpfull to reach the Stans before it will get to cold. After searching the HUBB for advice on shipping (aircargo) back tot Europe I can't find any information. Besides the info's of Bjorn on Almaty wich is further North.
Any idea where I can find some info on costs and possible hassles on shipping back the motorbike? Not to much worries about myself.

So please keep me (the HUBB) informed about your findings on shipping from either Dushbane or Almaty.

Kind regards,
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Old 30 Sep 2008
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 26
Exclamation Kazakhstan

I have just finished my trip on the 20th of September from the U.K i rode to Almaty.. two years ago i rode through a similar route passing through Kazakhstan in mid / late October and on to china.. it was very cool/cold last time. This time getting there in the start of September i nearly suffered with heat exhaustion.. Just a few words of advice.. in 2006 i had no problems in Kazakhstan.. this time i was a little less fortunate and i was robbed by 3 guys .. in a remote area they didn't get what they wanted and as i made my escape on foot leaving my bike behind they had several attempts at running me over.. some.. (only a few) of the 20+ year old men are quite aggressive. in 2006 i had a knife pouch on my belt this time i didn't.. i never drew it but i think it makes them think.. contra to common belief they don't all have guns or even knifes.. and as a hole they are good people..also don't leave your map on show as that is the first thing they want to see.. and they will remove it without asking and are not keen to return it to you.. the country is great tough riding quite a few new roads going in some of the tracks are really tough riding in the dryer months.. as far as shipping your bike back..Almaty ain't the place to do it from..Atryal is your best bet .. Mine has gone missing at the moment..good luck and enjoy..j www.slowbikes.com/Home the mission
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