I forgot to mention before I was referring to IRAQI KURDISTAN! hahaha sorry.
A friend and I are planning to go from Iran through Iraqi Kurdistan to Turkey on our F650s. I have a few questions that if anyone has up-to-date information it would be sweet:
1. Is the border with Turkey open?
2. Can we take bikes in easily?
3. Has anyone been and can give other advice?
My advice is from 2011 November - i know its not recent but... so i wont write about border crossings on the turkey side. -When I was there they had the usual trouble between the two countries but the border was open and friendly!
This area is amazing! Accommodation can be a bit expensive but camping is another option.
When crossing into Iran, you might want to use a larger border so you can use your carnet de passage. Though, ive heard of people crossing with just temp. papers which they should issue at smaller crossings. I crossed a small one and they wouldnt stamp me out or Iran (though this isnt a problem for carnet de passage anyway - i later found out.
People are so so NICE! you might be lucky to be invited into their homes and they love travellers.
Have fun! you will love Iraq. oh and there are heaps of checkpoints they just want to see your passport and let you pass unless you go out of the area then they will turn you around. And don't be worried about going into the wrong places - they will make sure you are guided and stay in the safe places.
Thanks for the info Maximondo!
Out of interest what was the visa situation? Were you able to just pick up a visa at the border? Or did you need a visa for Iraq (even though the area is under KRG control)? Also I assume that a CDP isn't needed for Iraqi Kurdistan?
Also it looks like you were there around the same time.. What was the weather like? Any sight of snow?
Visa-You just get it on the border (and a very small one!). If you go to an embassy they will think its for the whole country and might not issue it.
Visa Cost - I thought it was going to be $10 but it was free for me as a New Zealander. However it is only for the Kurdish Area.
Weather - I was sick of the cold in Iran (it was snowing!) hence my choice to go through Iraq, lower mountains means it will be warmer and I was right! Its a bit nippy at night but its fine. I didnt have enough time to go into the mountains as I was meeting a friend in Turkey. But I would have loved to go up there, but then again I hate being cold and damp on the bike....
If you cross into Iran after that - it will be cold! Even Turkey was freezing! In fact I didnt warm up until I got to Ethiopia (Feb 2012)! Thats when I shed all my winter gear that was given to me during my time in the Kurdish areas (Iran & Iraq)
If you have more questions just ask!
Oh I just thought of something... USD are acceptable everywhere - i found it hard to find cheap acc. in big towns because they normally go with the whole family so they need a suite - like a mini apartment. I managed to find one for $40
You can not take cheap fuel from Iraq into Turkey. I normally carry spare fuel, but for once I wasn't (lucky me) while crossing into Turkey I saw everyone
(Turks and Iraqi's) was getting their fuel confiscated off them.
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