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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 9 Oct 2011
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The stans in a rush How long from uk?

My lad and myself are both in jobs where we can only get 2 weeks off.
our plan is to get a couple of mates to ride out to east turkey for us and fly back so we can fly out and ride back ...via Iran ,the pamir highway, kazak russia and ukraine etc. Back to Sheffield UK in 2 weeks? Are we dreaming or is it do able?
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Old 9 Oct 2011
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You are dreaming in my opinion. 1000's of kilometers? Expensive visas for such a rush trip? Pamir Highway? Your proposed route would take you through borders at Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, and Poland. That's a lot of borders to cross just to get back to the EU. And the logistics of getting those visas lined up in advance for a two week trip makes my head spin. A country a day? Wow! I don't think so.

I understand the allure of ride reports like:


It is a hauntingly beautiful part of the world.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076
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Old 9 Oct 2011
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Hi, i am afraid that i must agree. The only trips that riders complain about is when they are on very tight time shedules.
You could have an enjoyable ride back from Eastern Turkey; see some of Eastern Turkey, maybe visit Georgia, ferry from Trazbon to Sochi, Russia, Ukraine (Crimea), Moldova, Romania, etc to home. Only visa for Russia needed. Andy
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Old 10 Oct 2011
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Originally Posted by spot View Post
My lad and myself are both in jobs where we can only get 2 weeks off.
our plan is to get a couple of mates to ride out to east turkey for us and fly back so we can fly out and ride back ...via Iran ,the pamir highway, kazak russia and ukraine etc. Back to Sheffield UK in 2 weeks? Are we dreaming or is it do able?
Let me guess. Are you Nick Sanders? If yes - it is possible. If not - forget about it. From Pamir to England it is about 8000 km. In my opinion you need at least 4 weeks for such a trip.
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Old 12 Oct 2011
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Well, people are different, and I cannot tell, if doing things in a rush would be your thing...

But for me, this would be too much of a hurry. Not a good idea to have to have to ride tired,try to keep up a good speed, and possibly end up riding the last daily bits in the dark in very different traffic, either. Risky, and just would not feel like a holiday I think!

Some more time, or a shorter travel plan - "less is more" - would definitely be in order for me. Or if for some reason I´d absolutely HAVE to go that far in such a short time, then I´d try to make it one-way (so I´d ship the bike back & fly home from the other end).
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Old 25 Oct 2011
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I think you would find yourself really feeling the pressure. We had 11days from the Kazakh - Russian border to get back to the UK including a rest day in Volgograd (our first in two weeks because the roads in kazakh were far worse than expected). Simple things like the volume of traffic going from the ukraine to poland lost us 7hours, meaning we had to drive to catch up the time. I ride a motorbike as well and think catching up time in a 4x4 is easier, but it still wasnt nice feeling tired and under pressure. Keep it simple for those two weeks, pick the least number of miles and enjoy it - save the stans for another time.
If today was perfect there would be no need for tomorow
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Old 26 Oct 2011
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Thanks for the replies guys. They are of course perfectly sensible.Unfortunately my lad has set his heart on the Pamir highway. He was there a couple of years ago when there was trouble and had to detour around so to "just" go to Iran or somewhere is not on his agenda. I am currently looking at organizing a one way trip with someone else meeting up with us in Almaty and either riding out or back. I have started a thread under Trip Transport, so far without any interest. That puzzles me as it seems logical to share bikes on long trips. with judicial use of bank holidays and cough... an unavoidable delay, we can stretch time of work to 3 weeks.
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Old 26 Oct 2011
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3 years ago I met in Bukhara one Dutch guy riding a diesel Enfield Sommer -not exactly a rocket- with (both) front forks leaking oil all over who had to be working in a week. I don't know if he made it, but he said he was riding 12-14 hours a day starting at 6am or so. If he survived and is around, he could definitely team up quite well with your mate or at least provide good advice...

As the others, I think it is going to cost you a too much for the time you are going to enjoy it in such a rush. But if it is the plan and you have the determination, then wish you the best luck and fun. Have a safe trip and do not risk too much.

BTW, the first day back at work won't be very productive, that we're all sure, aren't we? (I hope you aren't both surgeons!).

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Old 11 Sep 2012
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An update. The stans in a rush is possible. My lad ended up going without me, in a £ 300 people carrier from a scrap yard. Sheffield to dushanbe in Tajikistan in just over a week. The van was sold( at a profit) in krgystan.Unfortunately once again he did not manage to drive across the" roof of the world" because of insurgent action in Khorog but he got through to Almaty in well under 2 weeks. Obviously a couple of months would have been nice but lack of time does not have to stop adventure travelling!
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Old 12 Sep 2012
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Ha! Good on yer........love it when the seemingly impossible becomes reality. Excellent result.
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