The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
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So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
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Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
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Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
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Anyone got any good waypoints or route info or VERY upto date information about escorts and roads/safety.
Im entering in about one week from Zahedan in Iran and lookng for as much as i can glean. Hotels/Waypoints/Sites/Resturants...lonely planet is pretty crap.
Also is there any way to avoid going via Lahore and going via Peshawar to Chitral (NWF sort of area i spose), back towards Gilgit, KKH, then back to Lahore...or is two trips to Lahore the only real option (i spose i could drive round the first time, BUT i mean the area).
Finally who rough camped in pakistan (not in KKH area)....but further south and in the Punjab...any problems?
Also have a fresh set of T63's on trhe back of the bike for Pakistan and KKH. My front michelin sirac is knackered, but rear tourance still got a few thouasnd in it. Would people reccomend fitting the T63's (i dont think a t63 front/tourance rear combo will be so great...might try though!) for this stretch between mirjaveh and quetta.
we are on the other side, in India, and will cross into Pakistan coming from Amritsar end of this week. We intend to do the KKH return the normal way, via Islamabad, up the main road and then back to Lahore. The NWF - area is pretty much off-limits to our understanding, we definitey wont go there.
A friend of ours, Chris from Sydney, has just a couple of weeks ago crossed Pakistan on his way to Iran and had armed escorts all the way in Balochistan. Register and enquire with the local police and see what the story is, but I guess that camping is out of the question.
Take care and maybe meet you somewhere in the middle!
Yes, you can go Peshawar - Chitral, but I don't recommend it. The road is atrocious over the Lowari Pass. See my web site for pix and story. Go Gilgit - Shandur Pass instead and return the same way. The Shandur is magic with near zero traffic.
i had previosly had a visa from the consulate in Addis Abeba, but it expired by the time I finally made it to UAE, so I applied again. After waiting 4 weeks (they said it would take two) I hired Iran travel agency Iran tour agency Iran tour operator tour and travel to Iran visa fly to Iran tourism and applied with them. No payment upfront needed. I waited another 3 weeks and then said stuff-it, and got the bike on a cargo ship to Karachi. my plan was to drive to Islamasbad and find a cheap place to get me to the 'stans.
On the day my bike went to the port i get the email from key2persia saying my visa has been approved.
So now I am Karachi waiting for my bike to be released from the port. Hopefully tomorrow. Then I will zip up to Quetta, turn right and the next day hit the border.
Then a quick drive to Tehran to get the last visas (Uzbek and Tajik).
I plan to go fast through Turk, UZbek and slow down once I hit the Pamir highway. But its a lot of driving, to Tehran in less than 10 days from now. Won't see much, but i have not much choice.
i am enjoying Karachi - today off to see guys that do the truck art and see what they can do for the bike....
PS - sorry to hear the shitty news about your bike.
EDIT: I think the reason that i had trouble with the Iran visa the second time was that in January, Canada joined the US and Britain on a new round of sanctions against Iran. I suspect the delay was a result of that governmental tit-for-tat.
The worst part of the route is no road between Sahidan and Taftan (Taftan is the first border pass in Pakistan). But relax, the road will be alright after that. Attention: they drive on the left side of the road in Taftan and further on.
When you appear at the border show them your documents, take a seat and relax. They will do everything without you. If you are offered tea in a small cup be careful. This is not real tea. This is a very strong tea brewed with milk.
When leaving Taftan take bottled water with you as you will have over 500 ks of the desert.
If it's not vital for you to go via Pushtunistan (NWF) you might want to take a road to the right straight to Islamabad. You will go then via Belugistan. There will be a former two-way road there which is now only 0,75 wide of how it was before. As Belugi have roughly bitten it from both sides and sold asphalt for petrol. The sides of the road are ragged and very dangerous.
When you enter Belugistan the local police will make you have their excort. If you are not Rambo, don't say no. They just want to to be safe and not to be run over by a truck. This is politeness and not safety as they will also think over where you will sleep. It will be an old and big Toyota with a truck that goes before you at 40 ks/hour. There will be a driver and two security guards with guns. And you will follow them on your bike. They just want you to survive while travelling in their country. And this will cost you nothing. They even will offer you to sleep in police stations and when you are in the desert you might want to take this offer. And if you need they will take care of your food as well.
Please, drink only bottled water and for the first week of your trip eat only food that was cooked in front of you on the open fire.
It was fine with me to camp (sleep in a tent) in all Pakistan and I didn't have any problems at all. But if I have to place a tent in the evening in the middle of the way, I do it so that noone will see either a tent or my bike from the road.
The tyres of all sizes can be found at any big city. Maybe it's not the exact brand that you want but they will be good tyres to travel.
Be careful in the evenings as most of truck drivers eat teriak which is cheap heroin production leftovers that they eat so that they could drive at night. And as in the region there is an unwritten law 'I am bigger and I am right', this law together with teriak makes them not understand why you go towards them and why they should let you go.
As far as petrol stations are concerned, a typical one is a yard where they sell petrol from 5l tin boxesfrom machine oil. Don't be scared, it's a pretty good contraband Iran red petrol. And it's good also because they don't have anything to mix it with.
Oficially, you need a permit to go to Peshavar. This is the beginning of NWF and the end of it is in Kabul. If you don't do any ethnographic material about pushtu people don't rush into meeting with. You'd better have someone you know there. You can go there without permit if you have any tribe chiefs (read: field commanding officers)you know.
There is a pretty good road from Islamabad to KKH. And they won't allow you on the bike to the new road Islamabad-Lahore as they don't allow any bikers there. It's alright, you can take the old one. It's narrow with lots of trucks but much more interesting. And the new one is a typical highway.
If you go from Islamabad to India via Amritasar you won't need to go to Lahore. There is a detour road and you will need a turn to the left to Vaga border before Lahore. As even locals don't go to Lahore on their cars but take a taxi. As for them it's a city with most crazy traffic. The difference with Iran traffic is that they drive at 120 ks/h and in Pakistan and India they drive at 50 ks/h. And only this helps them stay safe on their roads.
Don't be afraid of anything. Stay very calm inside (don't rush for anything). I mean, even if something happens remain calm and that's how they will think that you the main boss and it's their duty to solve your problems. And smile. Smile calmly in any situations.
If you go to India, please, say hi to the Chief of Indian Pass whose name is Atull Handa.
Two of us were in Pakistan for approx 7 weeks from late June to mid-August 2006.
We entered from Zahedan late afternoon and spent the night in the hotel at Taftan, got up early and rode to Quetta in a day.
Beware of the ropes/motorcycle chains strung across the roads at the many police checkpoints, especially in the early morning sun - you can't see them.
We weren't allowed to ride from Quetta to Peshawar and were sent on a detour via Sukkur and Multan. We left the hotel at Sukkur very early because it was incredibly hot during the day (48degC). A policeman was waiting for us and offered to show us the way out of town. We accepted what turned out to be an escort all the way to Multan (400Km ish). This consisted of 21 pick-up trucks in relay stile, each containing 2-5 policemen. All very friendly but a real pain in the arse. I won't bore you with the details but I could write a whole chapter about that day.
When we got to Multan the police wouldn't leave until we had checked into the hotel and handed over our passports. We said we were planning on staying for 2-3 nights but would pay one night at a time. Once the police had left and the security guard changed shift, we turned our bikes round (they were parked inside the hotel) and loaded them up. We got up at 0500 and got out of town before anyone noticed. We never saw the police again or had another escort throughout the rest of our time in the country.
That day we rode to Peshawar. We did not need a permit. Indeed, the mention of it here is the fist I've ever heard of it.
Be prepared for unbelievable air pollution in Peshawar.
From Peshawar we rode over the Loweri Pass and on to Chitral. At the time the road was undergoing improvements and so much of it was dug up. It was a dirt road over a pass - nothing to worry about.
From Chitral we visited the Kalash Valleys and the hot springs at Gorem Chashma (not sure of the spelling) before riding up to the Shandur Pass. We spent four days camped up there during the Polo festival (July 7/8/9 anually). The Shandur Pass is beautiful as is the valley you will ride down to get to Gilgit. In Gilgit you will most likely stay in the Medina Guesthouse.
From Gilgit we rode north on the KKH to Passu. We would have continued up to the Chinese border but the weather was bad and Danny was sick. Instead I visited the Chapusan Valley.
From Passu we rode south on the KKH to Karimabad (a nice place to stay and visit) and then south again, through Gilgit to the turn off for Skardu. Here we turned East and rode to Skardu from where we rode across the Deosai Plains, through Astor and back to the KKH where we turned south to Chilas.
From Chilas we crossed the Babusar Pass in an attempt to ride straight down to Islamabad. Unfortunately the bridge was out and we had to return to Chilas. I would not recommend this route on a fully loaded bike. We rode for 12 hours of a 13 hour day and covered 73km. We lost count of our crashes and gave the bikes a really hard time. We sheared off 3 of the four subframe bolts and Danny lost his sidestand switch, wing mirror, hand guard and a heated grip. It was by far the hardest day of my (so far) two years on the road. The descent from the pass remains the most scared I have ever been on a motorcycle and having spent 12 years road racing in the British Championships I've had some scaru moments to compare it to!
From Chilas we continued south on the KKH to Abbotsabad where we turned off to ride to Islamabad via Murree. This is said (by Pakistani's) to be one of the most beautiful roads in the country. Unfortunately for us low cloud and rain spolit the views but we were given enough glimpses through the cloud from time to time to appreciate it a little.
As for tyres, we fitted Metzeler Enduro 3 Saharas in Pesawar (having carried them from Istanbul) and these were ample. The KKH is ALL tarmac. The Lowari Pass was dirt as was the Shandur, Deosai Plains and Babusar.
The road Dmitry refers to between Islamabad and Lahore is the Motorway. The Motorway is the only road you're not allowed to ride a motorcycle on - we know, we tried, the police blocked the road and threw us off!
Don't rush through Pakistan. It was hard when we were there but it gave us the best memories, most photos and stories of my trip so far.
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