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Old 21 Jun 2007
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Swapping the bike for a horse in Iran.

I am not sure "Travel Hint and Tips" is the right section but anyway:

Ive just been told a story this morning at work.
The story was about a Frenchman friend of one of my colleagues who travelled in Iran last year.
He was backpacking and at a certain point he couldn't find (or didn't want to, we don't know) any decent transportation suitable to his route so he bought a horse from locals and carried on his travelling through the northern region of Iran riding this horse.
At the end of the trip he couldn't sell it back (my colleague said he paid £200 for it) so he gave it away in exchange of accommodation and food. I think he was riding (that's proper "riding" I suppose) following the Karakoram Highway and apparently didn't have any problem at all, he knew something about horses from back home, though, and in these regions a horse is probably a common mean of transport.

I was thinking, just to share on the HUBB my mid-afternoon delirium at work:

If your motorbike gets stolen or somehow terminally unusable, there is a lot of gear that can be used on a horse:
-panniers (especially the soft throw over ones would be perfect and comfortable for the animal too).
-your riding boots/jacket/pants
-helmet (in case of a fall)
-gloves
-you can neglect petrol stations but you probably need to carry extra water (it can go in the jerrycans instead of fuel = fuel for your ride), for the rest all your stuff is good and can be fitted on a horse with minimal/none modification - it will look a flashy too.
-no spare parts needed
-no oil (I am not sure about "maintenance" - don't know anything about horses)
I am sure there are a lot of downsides like it is slow and it hasn't got a 12v socket etc.

I believe the story to be true, the following bit about swapping rides is my little sick fantasy for the day but to get me out of a desperate situation I would definitely consider it. Don't you?

I was wondering though: can you cross borders on a horse? Will the custom officer ask you for a Carnet? It would be funny to see how they check the frame number...

Regards to all.
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Old 21 Jun 2007
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I have a friend who planned his trip that way. Started in California on a $500 Honda XL 500. Rode down to Guatemala using soft panniers and traded it for a horse. Again, he knew about horses. He toured Guatemala for a time and gave the horse to people who had been kind to him and would not accept cash. Then flew home and back to work.

Another guy I met in Pakistan was trying to extend his visa because his horse was still up in the mountains with some friends and he had to sort it out before he could leave the country. Others were having trouble with visa extentions, but the Pakistanis thought that was so cool, they gave him an extention at once.

Buying horses to tour Mongolia for the summer is becoming popular as well. They are cheap, and that's how the locals do it!

I'm not very into horses, but I like them well enough and there are some interesting posibilities.
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Old 21 Jun 2007
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I have thought about this too, but horses kind of scare me! They can get you to some pretty remote areas though. I heard there is some kind of organization that is made up of traveling horse enthusiasts, perhaps they have a website like the HUBB, Horses Unlimited?
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Old 22 Jun 2007
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horse website

Well in fact, there is a horse website that fits the bill. ;-)
The Long Riders' Guild

Lorraine
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Old 16 Jan 2009
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RTW on horseback....

I came across this topic tonight, and it reminded me of the Argentinian cowboy guy who galloped under my window in Italy, 2 summers back:

Eduardo Díscoli - DE A CABALLO AL MUNDO :.

(In Spanish, but there are pictures) This guy has been on the road since 2001, when he left Argentina, he seems to be taking it really easy though, since it looks like Italy to Israel has taken him about 18 months .
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