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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 16 Jun 2006
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UK to India avoiding Iran

Hi There,

i'm looking to ride to india in January, but despite reading lots of good reports about iran given the current climate i'd rather give it a miss... Is it possible to go south through the middle east and get a ferry across? or will it be just as hard to get a visa through Saudi Arabia as i've read on here?

i'd rather not got north through the kuds simply cos it'll probably be rather cold!!

i'm quite prepared for hard riding and lots of paperwork..

any help, ideas much appreciated!

thanks,

ted
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  #2  
Old 16 Jun 2006
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I am just sitting in front of a map of India, according to which there are regular sea routes from Mumbai to Aden. So why not enter Iran (dangerous is, as far as I understand, only Baluchistan), take the ferry to the UAE and then ship the bike from Aden?

Regards

Lars
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  #3  
Old 16 Jun 2006
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mayhem: have a long think about Iran (maybe you have already). I wouldn't hesitate with a UK passport. But you need to weigh the options yourself of course.

Iran is not like Iraq at the moment - law prevails. It is a cultured, literate and open civilisation. Huge curiosity will be your biggest issue. People will want to talk to you, not cut your head off.

As far as alternatives go, I would hesitate long before shipping anything to an Indian port myself. Flying into Delhi. Maybe.

How about through the stans, China, into north Pakistan? Expensive. Lots of borders. But safe and certain. Look here for those who have already happily trodden this path:

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories/mcmillan/

I'd say this is your best non-Iran option to India. It has the advantage of keeping the two wheels on the ground, mostly. But yes, pricey and lots of forms. Still good though.

Hope this helps,

Simon
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  #4  
Old 16 Jun 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Kennedy

How about through the stans, China, into north Pakistan?
Hi Simon,

don't think he could do it in January though... passes not open
Thats why I'm going in late May

John
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  #5  
Old 17 Jun 2006
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Hi Ted,
I understand your concerns only too well! My trip was just cut short due to the trouble in Baluchistan. I would say however, that apart from the Baluchistan difficulty that Iran is an extraordinarily freindly and welcoming place. I would keep it as an option and keep your eye on the situation as it develops.
The other options, as far as I could tell were the ferries to UAE etc. and going north through the stans and down through China and Afghanistan to Pakistan. I had thought that it wasn't possible to bypass Afghanistan to get to Pak but could easily be wrong. If not though, Afghanistan is even more dangerous than Iran right now so that would be a pointless diversion. Another option would be to ship your bike from Istanbul to Delhi or somewhere and fly yourself, but this rather takes away from the point of an overland trip.
From where I sit it seems ferries passing Baluchistan are your safest option, but keeping an eye on the situation in Baluchistan and hoping for a calming down of tensions should be kept as a possibility.
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #6  
Old 17 Jun 2006
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Cool thanks...

for all the tips, lots of useful stuff to think about...

i'm figuring that i'll have to just try and keep my options open pending any political nastyness and stay monitoring the situation in iran

Matt i've just checked out your blog which is fantastic, and i feel your sorrow at having to call short your trip. undoubtedly the right move under the circumstances tho. if you ever plan to try again, give us a shout!
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Old 17 Jun 2006
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like matt above, i have just had to cut my trip (uk to singapore) short due to iran, i simply couldnt get a visa on a british passport, for the same reasons as matt i didnt attempt to get a transit visa (see the 'iran now' forum in travellers advice section) so i tried to air freight to delhi from istanbul. This is quite possible normally but a large fire has stopped lufthansa flying dangerous goods from here so only turkish airlines do it, they charge a for a minimum weight of 1100 kg = 4000 euros for air bill alone! So if you consder this an option check lufthansa are shipping again, or sea freight maybe, i couldnt as i had too little time. But consider Iran, everybody raves about it that i met on route.
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Old 17 Jun 2006
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Hi Paul,
Sorry to hear your trip was cut short too. Hope you have a good trip back.
Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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Old 22 Jun 2006
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I thought the problem in Baluchistan was in Pakistan, not Iran? Apparently, Iranian visas can be obtained easily and quickly in Ankara, according to info in other HUBB forums.
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Old 22 Jun 2006
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There may well be trouble in Pakistan as well, as in this area the tribesmen are unlikely to be too bothered about national boundaries and the traditional province of Baluchistan stretches into Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, when I was there the trouble was on the Iranian side of the border.
Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #11  
Old 27 Jun 2006
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As with everyone else, if you can get into Iran then do so - its awesome, the highlight of our trip and vv friendly. You won't have any problems. That said you probably won't get a visa because you are on a UK passport. It seems at the moment just about all UK passport applications are being turned down, indeed friends got stuffed on the Indian side and had to ship their bikes out of India because Iran was a non-starter. If you can get in and are worried about the South and Pakistan you would probably find a truck heading to Pakistan in somewhere like Kerman. Nearly all the southbound freight goes through there so you get trucked to Quetta.

All in if you can get into Iran I really would not worry. I would certainly much rather be in Iran than somewhere like saudi. If you can't get into Iran I guess I'd pick a route through the 'stans, but I guess you would have to try and get into China at some point to get south and that may present its own problems...
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  #12  
Old 28 Jun 2006
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Iran/Pakistan border

Does anyone have any hard information on the ferries around the border? I have found plenty of news reports of plans and international agreements for a ferry from Chahbahar to Gwadar/Karachi and from Dubai to Karachi/Mumbai but have not yet found a ferry operator.

I am presuming that these ferries, if they exist, are Ro-Ros. Does anyone know otherwise?
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Old 11 Jul 2006
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I think such agreements mean nothing until a boat actually leaves the port. Dubai-Karachi can be done on a Dhow, but it's not Ro-Ro. ;-)
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