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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 3 Jun 2010
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Travel to Jordan thru Turkey and Syria

I would like some info abut a trip I would like to take. I would be traveling on a BMW K110RS with my wife. How long would it take to go from Istanbul thru Syria and into Jordan? What are the roads like?
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  #2  
Old 5 Jun 2010
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Hi,

The roads in Jordan are on the whole excellent, the roads in Syria are fine only there are no road markings for the most part and there is a bit of a free for all when it comes to road positioning -- and there's a predilection for people to drive trucks towards you on the hard shoulder of the "motorways".

The roads in Turkey can be pretty poor for tarmac roads although they're mostly fine: I don't know the technical term but quite often it looks like they've dragged a giant comb along the road leaving parallel grooves which cause a motorbike to self steer which is a bit disconcerting but you can get used to it; far worse are the roads where it's like the 4 inches of tarmac have melted and become gloopy ruts where the trucks have been, leaving you jumping in and out.

But you get used to it all.

As for time, I had a ferry to catch and went from Karak (middle of Jordan) to about an hour east of Istanbul in three days of not speedy (50-70mph) but long days. That's on motorways and dual carriagways and includes the 2hrs per border crossing as I had a decent idea what I was doing having gone the other way a week or so before.

So that's about your minimum time give or take.

Cheers,

Ian
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  #3  
Old 7 Jun 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kewheels View Post
I would like some info abut a trip I would like to take. I would be traveling on a BMW K110RS with my wife. How long would it take to go from Istanbul thru Syria and into Jordan? What are the roads like?
Hi, Kewheels.

In 2008 I rode my Harley from my hometown in Italy to Petra in Jordan and it was a great trip.
If I did it on a huge Ultra Classic Electra Glide without finding any problem at all, it means you can do it also.
Roads are fine, no problems: just in Turkey tarmac may become a bit slippery in case of rain but there's no real problem, believe me.
Just watch out for Police radar enforcement control in Turkey: they are everywhere (and I was caught riding at 105 km/h with limit of 70... this resulted in a TL 100 fine).
Sometimes in Syria and Jordan the highway becomes an ordinary road when crossing Damascus and Amman, so you are likely to find some traffic jams.
Humps on the road just before entering small towns (also on highways) that are not marked by any road sign, so ride slowly before entering villages, otherwise you will "jump" a little bit.
Turkish, Syrians and Jordans are wonderful and hostful people: they contributed in making this trip the best of my life as a motorcycle rider.
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  #4  
Old 8 Jun 2010
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Idfooo& Knight

Thank you both for the great info.

What maps did you use?

I have a Garmin Zumo 450. Would it be useful?

As a American citizen can i get visas at the border?

I would like to take a ferry to Cyprus and I have been checking and at this time it does not seem possible. Do either of you have info on ferries.

Thanks again

Kewheels
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  #5  
Old 9 Jun 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kewheels View Post

What maps did you use?

At that time, I did not use a GPS, only paper maps and using the directions of the kind and hostful people you'll also find everwhere...

As for the other questions, sorry, but I cannot help you, mate.
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  #6  
Old 10 Jun 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kewheels View Post
What maps did you use?

I have a Garmin Zumo 450. Would it be useful?

As a American citizen can i get visas at the border?

I would like to take a ferry to Cyprus and I have been checking and at this time it does not seem possible. Do either of you have info on ferries.
Hi Kewheels,

I had a look at a few Turkey maps but nothing really felt right. In the end I bought the Freytag & Berndt map which was fine. Turkey is pretty big, though, so I'm not sure any map can really do it justice.

For Syria and Jordan I had the Reise Know How maps (1:600 000 and 1:400 000) which I liked.

I had a Garmin GPS 60Cx with only the standard basemap -- I couldn't find any downloadable maps for the ME. It wasn't useful in any way as a SatNav. Aleppo, for example, had four or five major road heading into it which all stopped at least 1km from the centre. And that was it -- OK, it might have the ring road! When riding down the main motorways it was generally claiming I was 1km into the desert. So to get out to St Simeons (NW of Aleppo) it's paper maps and road signs (and pretty easy).

That said, the GPS is useful for knowing where you've been, which is why we have them.

The Paper maps were fine.

The road signs are pretty good. I don't remember anywhere of significance where there wasn't an English translation.

American citizen at the borders? Pass. I'm sure the info must be here somewhere. Brits and Irishmen were certainly OK getting visas at borders.

Ferries? Pass. That must be around here somewhere also.

Remember, if you cross into Israel (which the Syrians are quite happy to let you do) you'll not come back by land as the Syrians will turn you round at the border if they can reverse engineer your route to see that you have been in Israel (irrespective of your two passport shuffle).

That said, as KotHG said, the Turks, Syrians and Jordanians were all fantastic, friendly and welcoming.

Cheers,

Ian
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  #7  
Old 11 Jun 2010
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Hi there

I'm planning a similar trip in April - May 2011 what time of year are you going?
I have been pouring over Hema Maps which for Turkey are 1:800,000 and show the different types of roads - which is good depending on your riding preference :-)

Hema Maps Australia > Home

I'm also taking a Zumo GPS, but not sure how reliable it will be.

Cheers
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  #8  
Old 12 Jun 2010
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Turkey,syria & jordan

We are going Sept 2010. My bike is in Germany so we are going to take a train from Austria to Turkey.

Garmin sell a SD card for Turkey and another one covers Jordan but no Syria.

I want maps for backup and daily route planning.

I willl check out the maps mentioned.

Kewheels
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  #9  
Old 13 Jun 2010
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[quote=Kewheels;292698]We are going Sept 2010. My bike is in Germany so we are going to take a train from Austria to Turkey.


Hello,

I'm traveling to Jordan then Egypt in September. I'll be in Istanbul about the 2nd week of Sept.

Francis
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  #10  
Old 13 Jun 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kewheels View Post
We are going Sept 2010. My bike is in Germany so we are going to take a train from Austria to Turkey.

Garmin sell a SD card for Turkey and another one covers Jordan but no Syria.

I want maps for backup and daily route planning.

I willl check out the maps mentioned.

Kewheels

The good thing about the Hema maps are they show scenic routes..i.e. good for riding routes :-)
Enjoy your trip, I'd love to here how you go!
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