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TRAVEL Hints and Tips Post your TIPS to travellers - all the interesting little tidbits you learned on the road about packing, where to get stuff, and how to cope with problems. Please make sure the subject describes the tip clearly!
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Old 3 Nov 2003
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Posts: 184
Planning your route

I am in the process of planning my Big Trip for next year and one of the major factors during this stage is planning the route (obviously). The problem is that there are various problems in some of the countries we plan to enter en route to India (from UK) and I wanted a way of getting the overall picture of which countries are ok, which ones could pose some problems and which ones were absolute no-go!
So, I have created a map of all the areas of interest on plain white paper, outlining the countries borders with a black marker pen. I have then stuck plastic overhead-projector slides over this and bought some coloured pens which can be wiped off with a cloth. I have then researched each country and established whether it is politicall fine (solid green), some issues (green stripes), some serious issues (red stripes) and absolute no-go (solid red). So now I can get a good idea of which routes are based at a glance and if the staus of a country ever changes I can simply wipe the pen off and colour it appropriately.
I have put a picture of it on my website (see link below) in 'The Big Trip' section.

My website

[This message has been edited by PaulJ (edited 03 November 2003).]
Africa Trips web journal
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Old 3 Nov 2003
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Location: Whangarei, NZ
Posts: 2,227

Very thorough you are!

Looking quickly at your proposed itinerary I can see a few problems:

Algeria/Morocco border closed.

Guide required all the way through Libya (€€€!).

There's only one border crossing between India/Pakistan (at Amritsar).

Not sure whether you can cross the Southern border crossing between Pak/Iran.

I woudn't have painted Kashmir solid red, some people have been threre lately.

For further info poke around this site.

Salut from Southern France, the bikers' paradise,

Jenny & Peter.

Europe to NZ 2006-10
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Old 3 Nov 2003
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Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 184
Hey, thanks for the tips. I've got some comments/questions about the points you made.

Firstly, the proposed route is a very rough quide to where we want to go.

Morocco - I am aware that the border to Algria is closed. Still hoping this will change soon.

Libya - didn't know you needed a guide through here. You seem to think this will be expensive. If we just rode through as quick as possible...how much do you think a guide would cost?

If the Moroccan/Algeria border is still closed when we leave then we will get a ferry from France to Algeria or Tunisia. Really weant to ride across North africa (especially to get to Ethiopia!), so getting through Libya is quite important.

India/Pakistan - I was concerned about the India/Pakistan border, so it is good news that you say there is at least 1 border post open!!

My website
Africa Trips web journal
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Old 14 Dec 2003
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Bribie Island, Queensland, Australia
Posts: 233
We rode to kashmir in 2001 with no problems. Huge army presence but did not bother us other than a few road blocks at sensitive areas. At the road block they looked at our paperwork,but were not that interested, really checked out our bikes because they were very keen on seeing what the bikes were all about. That is, curiosity rather than a security check.
Must add that the road from Manali to Leh then Leh to Srinigar is as good as it gets anywhere in the world.
So very pleased we rode that area.
Houseboats in Srinigar are out of another century and so very cheap to stay in.That could be because of the noise of the army shooting in the distance.
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Old 16 Jan 2004
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Location: Berlin
Posts: 58
I see two problems:
the first might be turkmenistan. Ask at Stantours.com (David Berghof).
Second: crossing Caucassus. Going from Vladikavkas to Tblisi can be barred. Othe rways I would not recommand. Detour: a ferry from Sochi to Georgia. Or skipping Russia an cross Caspian Sea to AZ. Thus avoiding "Kavkas"

Happy trails

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