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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 10 Jan 2012
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how (un)safe is the Russian Caucasus

Hi all,

I'm planning a trip around the Black Sea this early summer.
I would like to visit Georgia but I'm not sure about things.
How safe or unsafe is the Ossetia region or the Dagastan region?
(if the border between Russia and Georgia or Azerbaijan will be open .... which is doubtfull)
Thanks for any usefull information
Peter
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  #2  
Old 10 Jan 2012
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Was looking at this yesterday. Check the foreign and commonwealth office website. Seems most of the Caucasus is a no-go area with only a small western strip. As far as I know talk of a border opening is restricted to locals only. However, there is a ferry between Sochi, Russia - Batumi, Georgia.
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  #3  
Old 11 Jan 2012
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How much Adventure do you have appetite for ... ?

If you do a search there are a few threads on this topic.

Basically, the Russian border with GE and AZ are closed to non CIS passport holders.

The North Caucasus are 'OK', but you want to keep your wits about you. Dagestan and Chechnya are the most challenging, but I personally WOULD go back there if I was passing through the region. Adygeya, Kabardino Balkaria and Karachaevo Cherkessia should be no problem at all. North Ossetia will be heavily militarised, and covered in road blocks. Ingushetia is one area I would avoid.

Just be aware that when you go to Chechnya in particular, you are effectively entering a private fiefdom.

It will be a lot easier there is you speak Russian. If you dont speak Russian or have a fair bit of self confidence, stick to the part west of Ossetia

There are literally dozen and dozens of nationalities in that region sandwiched up against the mountains. Dozens of languages.

Dont be confrontative. There is a lot of machismo in the air down there. And they are inevitably more hard core than you are. Be open, be friendly, let them take you to heart and you should be fine.
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  #4  
Old 23 Jan 2012
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I'm just looking into passing through this area in June 2012 on my way back from the Middle East. I'm on a UK Passport with an Oman registered bike.


I'm planning on

Oman
UAE
IRAN (Get Visa in Muscat)
Armenia (eVisa Possible)
Georgia (get Visa in Dubai)
Russia (get Visa Before)
Ukraine (No VIsa needed)

Have I missed something - Iran/Armenia/Georgia/Russia - all looks possible....

Counting down the days
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  #5  
Old 25 Jan 2012
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Thanks for the information, Simon.
It's surely very helpfull... I'll keep all your remarks in mind.
And check for myself if I'm ready to travel that region solo... or if I should stick to the Volgograd / Kalmukkia region...

Peter
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  #6  
Old 25 Jan 2012
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Hi.
I rode with a friend last year through the russian Caucasus.
We crossed the border in Kerch (took the ferry to Russia) on the Black Sea. From there we went to Vladikavkaz, and then north to Elista, and Volgograd.
We never felt unsafe, but it was quite an experience.

There are lots of both military and police roadblocks on the road north of Vladikavkaz, and some of them are a bit intimidating.
We were thinking about going to Grozny but we changed our minds. As far as I understood the road there passes through Ingushetia.
In one of those, the police officers seems to be high on drugs or alcohol, and all they wanted was money. They use the mobile phone trick: wrote a sentence in russian and use the mobile to translate it to portuguese. We had to open our bags and they made me sat in a car to try to get some money, but we managed to get away without paying. Time, smiles, make yourself a bit stupid, and they get bored. After that one, at some (minor) checkpoints we just waived and kept going without stopping...

(That was the only serious harassment experience with police officers in our 12000km trip through Russia)

As Colebatch said, even if you don't speak russian you can feel lots of different cultures and habits in such a small area.
There's a strange feeling, as you leave the mountains behind, as if you were some place else, and you are back in Russia again.

A place I will always remember is the Beslan School. It's a punch in your stomach.




Quote:
Originally Posted by deepstar View Post
I'm just looking into passing through this area in June 2012 on my way back from the Middle East. I'm on a UK Passport with an Oman registered bike.


I'm planning on


Armenia (eVisa Possible)
Georgia (get Visa in Dubai)

Counting down the days

EU citizens donĀ“t need a Georgian visa;
I got the Armenian visa at the border: 10$
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  #7  
Old 25 Jan 2012
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Thanks for this info.
I'm sure it's an experience to explore the Caucasus region.
But the more I read about it, the more I'm thinking of skiping this region on my "First time to Russia trip".
I have travelled Eastern Europe, Balkans,Turkey, Syria,... on my own before, but I presume the Russian Caucasus is just to intimitading for me to got to all by myself. I simply don't have the guts to go there . So, I'll probably stick to Volgograd, Astrachan, Elista region. And feel more comfortable...
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  #8  
Old 25 Jan 2012
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I was planning to go from Georgia to Russia and continue from there to Kazakhstan...
So, if I understood the messages correctly, would be wiser to follow western road to Sochi.
I read also that road between Tbilisi and Vladikavkaz should be really nice (do not know if this border is open...)
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  #9  
Old 26 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemuli View Post
I read also that road between Tbilisi and Vladikavkaz should be really nice (do not know if this border is open...)
Hi, I think that no one really knows if this border is open for foreigners...
There are several threads about this issue on the HUBB

When are you planning to be there ?

Peter
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  #10  
Old 26 Jan 2012
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Plan is to start riding from German HU-meeting.
In this area most probably around August. Plan at the moment is to get to China in early September.

Was just reading another thread and if borders are not open, then at least ferry from Turkey to Sochi should be ok.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skin View Post
Hi, I think that no one really knows if this border is open for foreigners...
There are several threads about this issue on the HUBB

When are you planning to be there ?

Peter
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  #11  
Old 27 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
If you do a search there are a few threads on this topic.

Basically, the Russian border with GE and AZ are closed to non CIS passport holders.

@ Colebatch: Russian border with GE is closed to all other nations but open to local Abkhazians , some Georgians who can approve they have relatives in Abkhazia. Othervise it is closed.

Russian border between Azerbaijan (to Daghestan) is not closed to foreigners.
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  #12  
Old 27 Jan 2012
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Dagastan

Hi i have been invited to do a talk about our stans trip in a school in north Dagastan, at the end of june , i will post how i feel about the security situation when i return ( or come and talk to me at ripley)

zebb

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  #13  
Old 28 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemuli View Post
Plan is to start riding from German HU-meeting.
In this area most probably around August. Plan at the moment is to get to China in early September.

Was just reading another thread and if borders are not open, then at least ferry from Turkey to Sochi should be ok.
Hi Hemuli
Seens to be no exact answer to the Gerogia / Russian border some say its open others its closed, like you we will be arriving Georgia from Turkey 15/16 August 4 days in Georgia then up the Military Highway to the border, from the pictures i have seen i think just to be able to ride to the Russian border will be worth it even if we are turned back, just hopeing all good in August.

Eric
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  #14  
Old 28 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revenue View Post
Hi Hemuli
Seens to be no exact answer to the Gerogia / Russian border some say its open others its closed, like you we will be arriving Georgia from Turkey 15/16 August 4 days in Georgia then up the Military Highway to the border, from the pictures i have seen i think just to be able to ride to the Russian border will be worth it even if we are turned back, just hopeing all good in August.

Eric
I try to get border information from Georgia embassy, as soon as I hear from them, I will post info to here.
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  #15  
Old 30 Jan 2012
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I was speaking with STANtours last week - they thought the georgia/russian border was closed to foreigners at the moment. i assume that they have pretty up to date info
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