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dirkaleven1982 6 May 2012 09:52

Overland Europe to India and Nepal
 
Dear overlanders,

I just returned after an amazing trip travelling overland from Europe to Nepal. Since I did my research before departure on the internet forums, I want to share some of my experiences.

Route:
Netherlands-Germany-Poland-Ukraine-Black Sea Ferry-Georgia-Armenia-Iran-Pakistan-India-Nepal. Most of the overlanders decide to travel via Turkey. Of course a great route as well, but I think Georgia/Armenia were maybe the best parts of my trip. Nice mountain roads, almost no traffic, great off-road possibilities, beautiful historical places to visit. The hard part is to find the exact ferry times. Please contact UkrFerry, and email with mister Vladlen Tarasenko. His english is good, and he is a reliable guy in Odessa. His email address:vyt-ukrferry-tour@mail.ru and company's address:

"Our exact address: SUBSIDIARY COMPANY "UKRFERRY TOUR"; Ukraine, Odessa, 18, Schepkina street, office 1, the second floor. For information: on a ground floor bank "PIVDENNYI" is located. For your facility: The office is located at the crossroads of Schepkina and Preobrazhenskiy streets. This is a 10 minute walk from from Deribasovskaja street or 20 minutes of driving by car from railway station."

The ferry is great fun!

Second big thing to think of doing this trip is of course the safety situation in Iran-Pakistan area. If you start your research, you will find out Balochistan is the danger area. This starts actually in Bam (Iran) and continous to the border (Taftan) and all the way to Quetta and beyond. I had great doubts before and even during my trip if it was wise to do it. In Bam I decided to visit the overlanders-hotel and talk to the owner. Here I decided to continue, and I enjoyed every single bit of the journey! The situation is absolutely not safe. Travel wise, and get your information from the local police and people. Respect this information, and don't be a hero. I stayed in the same hotel as the kidnapped Swiss couple, and learned they decided to ignore the police advices... The police was very helpfull to me. On the various police checks they insist on escorting you. I had escorts all the way from Bam-Taftan-Quetta-Sukkur-Multan-Lahore! These escorts are free of charge, except for a lunch or some small contributions.

The road from the border to Quetta is long. Most bikers decide to do this in one day. I was very happy to stay in Dalbandin. There is a good hotel there to spend the night. This allows you to drive more at ease and enjoy the great great beauty of the trip! Border to Dalbandin: 6 hours, Dalbandin to Quetta: 6-8 hours. Quetta was really at war at the time I was there (april 2012). Very tensed and a lot of police and army on the road. 4 attacks in the week before my arrival killing 20 people... And last week we received the awfull news about the the killing of the red cross doctor. So again, the area is not safe, but in the meantime it was the best part of the trip perhaps because of the great natural beauty.

I was travelling as a single driver and enjoyed every single bit of it. Hope many people more can enjoy this. Such nice people on the road, especially in Iran-Pakistan and of course in Nepal! If you have questions, I am happy to assist. For those who are Dutch, have a look at dirk.waarbenjij.nu

Cheers.

Dirk

haggis 8 May 2012 07:52

Quote:

Originally Posted by dirkaleven1982 (Post 378034)

Second big thing to think of doing this trip is of course the safety situation in Iran-Pakistan area. If you start your research, you will find out Balochistan is the danger area. This starts actually in Bam (Iran) and continous to the border (Taftan) and all the way to Quetta and beyond. I had great doubts before and even during my trip if it was wise to do it. In Bam I decided to visit the overlanders-hotel and talk to the owner. Here I decided to continue, and I enjoyed every single bit of the journey! The situation is absolutely not safe. Travel wise, and get your information from the local police and people. Respect this information, and don't be a hero. I stayed in the same hotel as the kidnapped Swiss couple, and learned they decided to ignore the police advices... The police was very helpfull to me. On the various police checks they insist on escorting you. I had escorts all the way from Bam-Taftan-Quetta-Sukkur-Multan-Lahore! These escorts are free of charge, except for a lunch or some small contributions.

Cheers.

Dirk

Hi Dirk

I am travelling the Turkey- Iran-Pakistan route. After the death of red cross guy the other week it shook up my plans a bit. I now have plan B going across Caspian and heading to China for the KKH into Pakistan.

Of course my family is not happy with me planning to go through the Iran-Pakistan route, and I was not so keen after recent events but a part of me still wants to do this.

If I change the plan to head north to china, I'm concerned about the additional time needed ( I have to be back at work later in year)

I just seem to be going in circles at moment, not getting anything acheived although I am applying for all possible visas in meantime.

I know this is not best way to guage or plan but if you had choice between Bam - Quetta or KKH into Islamabad what would you think best in general?

dirkaleven1982 13 May 2012 17:13

Hi Steven,

I totally understand your difficulties, I had exactly the same. The region is not stable at all. So what is wise today, might be foolish to do tomorrow. I met quite some travellers who didn't have the visa in time, and they were forced to ship their bikes. Not quite the excitement of overlanding...

I wouldn't dare to answer your question. It shocked me as well to hear the news. Although I was escorted the whole way, I'm not sure if this made the situation more safe. I think it will be a serious risk always to take the BAM-Quetta road. My plan was to prepare all the visa etc, but not be determined to do it. I talked with the locals on the road, getting closer to Bam and the border. At that time I felt safe, continued and enjoyed avery single bit. But I'm not sure if I would do it again, guess I would have the same mentality again.

It will definitely take more time to take the KKH way, but for sure it will be beautiful! I don't know how safe that way is though. My embassy recommended to take this route btw, they thought it was crazy to take the Bam-Quetta route....

My advice: try to keep both options open, and play by the ear. The locals know more than all of us. I wish you a safe and great ride!

Andrew White 19 May 2012 21:51

Hi guys,

Im in Brasov, Romania at the moment and plan on crossing through the Taftan border at the start of June.... Also nervous about this but its kinda a necessity for me as im going on and crossing into China via Tibet (if our tour group gets 2 more aussies that is)

What is your time frame for entering Pak?

Cheers


Quote:

Originally Posted by dirkaleven1982 (Post 378908)
Hi Steven,

I totally understand your difficulties, I had exactly the same. The region is not stable at all. So what is wise today, might be foolish to do tomorrow. I met quite some travellers who didn't have the visa in time, and they were forced to ship their bikes. Not quite the excitement of overlanding...

I wouldn't dare to answer your question. It shocked me as well to hear the news. Although I was escorted the whole way, I'm not sure if this made the situation more safe. I think it will be a serious risk always to take the BAM-Quetta road. My plan was to prepare all the visa etc, but not be determined to do it. I talked with the locals on the road, getting closer to Bam and the border. At that time I felt safe, continued and enjoyed avery single bit. But I'm not sure if I would do it again, guess I would have the same mentality again.

It will definitely take more time to take the KKH way, but for sure it will be beautiful! I don't know how safe that way is though. My embassy recommended to take this route btw, they thought it was crazy to take the Bam-Quetta route....

My advice: try to keep both options open, and play by the ear. The locals know more than all of us. I wish you a safe and great ride!


Piersb 15 Jun 2012 21:13

What about crossing pakistan further south?
 
Hey all - I am considering london to india this summer on my Africa Twin, a very long standing dream, but I am cautious about the Iran/Pakistan issue, for obvious reasons. Dirk - do you feel that most of Iran is safe and if so, what do you think about heading south to the coast and crossing via Karachi, is there a route into India that way or does one have to go out at Lahore? Any other good sources of info for researching routes would be great, thanks!:scooter:

nomad.r 16 Jun 2012 00:18

HI piersb there is only 1 point you can cross into india from pakistan and that's through the wagha border near LAHORE, i think there are 1 or 2 other places to cross but they are only for locals

nomad.r

Omie 17 Jul 2012 13:36

There's only one crossing for bikes between Indo Pak and that's Wagah. The other one is for trains at Monabao.

BTW the bikers hesitant about Balochistan can always load their bikes on train and cross the unstable parts this way. Safe but you'll miss a lot.

Cheers

dirkaleven1982 18 Jul 2012 16:50

The only logical route is the one I took. You'll be escorted all the way. BTW, Pakistani authorities do not allow you to take a different route, so South is not an option. I agree by train you'll miss some great fun. On the other hand I've seen the rail, and it seems to be a great way of travelling as well!

BigO 17 Jan 2013 17:47

Hi, Did you have any issues crossing into and exiting Ukraine?


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