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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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  #16  
Old 25 Feb 2011
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Hi Neil,

after you left istanbul, more than 20 riders called here to give a break in november and december.Told all of them to follow your black clouds, no need for GPS!!!!!!!.Dont worry, keeping your bottles in safe for your return.
2 members are going to Shanghai.İsmail and Burak will fire on 10.th of march.
So cold in istanbul, here butterflies of freedom awake, too.Problems in north africa so ı keep staying here until beginning of april.
This year we started operating a search and rescue team with 2 ambulances
for riders and adventure accidents.
Lets keep in touch.Dont hesitate to call me when there is something to be done in Turkey.
best wishes.see u somewhere on the road.
zeki.
(handsome photo of sucking diesel included)
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  #17  
Old 25 Feb 2011
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Despite all the stories of kindness and generosity, which I don't dispute, the world is not always bed of roses. Scratch the surface and there can be a festering boil of bigotry and intolerance fuelled by medieval dogma, a social utopia it aint...

Nevertheless, I'm sure you'll learn as much from the places you visit and people you meet as they from you but it would be foolish not to be cautious. I hope you both experience the best that this part of the world has to offer, have fun and I look forward to reading about your adventure.
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  #18  
Old 26 Feb 2011
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I can't speak for Pakistan, but I did ride across India and Iran. I say, go.

While in Iran I met a French couple who'd driven from India via Pakistan in an old Renault boulangerie van, and they said the Pakistani portion of the trip was great. Very friendly people. And this was just a few weeks after that massive flooding that allegedly was going to plunge the country into chaos. While riding, the security details can be sometimes dispensed with (allegedly) and the biggest annoyance with those is that they trundle along at 50km/h with a pair of relatively useless cops riding two-up. And they stop frequently. These French folks said that if you just stick to the main roads and avoid the federally administered tribal areas in the northwest, pretty much anybody will be fune.

I think the hardest part will be India, because of its terrible roads and hair-raising traffic. Buses and trucks will be your worst enemy. I've done Belgrade--Jakarta so far on this trip, and India was far and away the most challenging portion.

And as for Iran, I can't say enough good things about that place. It's an excellent country to ride in. The lack of sucks, and you do get this uneasy feeling that the basij might mess up your holiday if you do something stupid, but aside from that -- I've never been anywhere more hospitable. Plus the roads are good and the gas is still ridiculously cheap, even after they doubled the price a few years ago.

The timing might be less than optimal, as you suggested, what with the revolutions spreading across the Arab world that might possibly inspire the Persians to give it another go. I don't think it'd be very pleasant to be stuck in Iran if they throw another ding-dong like they did in 2009. (Although I cheer on their efforts from afar!) As for the most recent unrest, a friend of mine near Tabriz said that it was confined to north Tehran and the rest of the country was pretty much business-as-usual. Why not ride to Pakistan, and from there read up on the news to see if it looks like Green Revolution 2.0 is in the cards? And then you can make an educated guess about whether or not you should make a run for it.

Cheers!
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  #19  
Old 26 Feb 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimVanMorrissey View Post

I think the hardest part will be India, because of its terrible roads and hair-raising traffic. Buses and trucks will be your worst enemy. I've done Belgrade--Jakarta so far on this trip, and India was far and away the most challenging portion.
Yep, I share that opinion. Pakistan and Indonesia do get close though, especially Indo!

In fact traffic is what´s most likely to get you into serious trouble over there. But of course you must also keep in mind the political and security situations. I must say, that what I´d read in the papers, or seen in the news about Iran & Pakistan, before I went there, had given a much darker picture of those countries. Can´t say that I´d still know them very well, though, and sure there are troubles, lots of them.

But they are big countries, so by sticking to the main overland route in southeast Iran and Pakistan, not very likely that you´ll see any of those. For us (in Nov-2007) the escorts were continuous and also very slow in Iran (started from Bam), but on the Pakistani side we were allowed to go free most of the time, and even when escorted, they kept a decent speed, and made quick switches of the escort vehicle, while the Iranians made us wait for hours at checkpoints. But how the escorts work is something that changes all the time, and each travellers experience of them might be different.
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  #20  
Old 27 Feb 2011
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hi poddlebiscuit
if you have some time read our diary inputs for these countries on our website for a little bit of info of the time we spent in this part of the World.
plus feel free to PM or send me an email.
as a female I rode my own bike through these areas..this created a huge amount of interest, especially in Iran where women are not allowed to ride their own motorcycles - they can drive but not ride.

your girlfriend can ask me anything she wants via PM or email or here, whichever is best for her.

my main advice is - respect their culture - especially as a foreign woman in a muslim society.
have fun - it is a fantastic and enlightening experience.
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  #21  
Old 1 Mar 2011
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Wow thanks guys and girls. All of this is helping to give me a good idea of what to expect.
My plan now seems to be to ride from Nepal down through a bit of India and cross into the north of Pakistan on the border crossing mentioned eariler and then decide together whether to chuck the 90 on the train or continue riding. I think given that we wont be getting to Iran/Pak untill this time next year I can't make that decision anytime soon. And that all depends on visas too. If visas dont go to plan then I'm not too sure what the plan will be: can't go through Saudi because me and Laura Aren't married so going shipping to UAE isn't an option either.

Lisa Thomas: I think Laura might send you a personal message over the next couple of days. Thanks for the offer and I'll let her know.

Many thanks
Ed+Laura
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  #22  
Old 2 Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poodlebiscuit View Post
can't go through Saudi because me and Laura Aren't married so going shipping to UAE isn't an option either.
Probably would be very hard to get a Saudi visa & enter with your vehicle regardless of your marital status.
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  #23  
Old 2 Mar 2011
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go!

Not much to add on above remarks, but still.....

We rode some parts together with Neil and Helen. We are now in cambodia and I still see Iran and Pakistan as the best experience we had. It would be really shame to miss out on them.

As a girl riding my own bike I didn't face any problems, only maybe getting stinking hot in the proper dress and veil. O yes, and my dress became more and more a spannier dress having to adjust my chain al the time and having a few flats.....
Don't worry about the escorts, most are extremely friendly and it will give you some nice pics with kalashnikovs to send home ;-)

You can also pm me if you would like to know more


Personally if I was doing it again I'd ship around India and ride through Iran/Pakistan
==> good comment Neil

And if your going to Pakistan I would also ride up the KKH, really loved that ride and I foresee nothing is going to beat that on.

greetz Els
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  #24  
Old 7 Mar 2011
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Went through last year

We rode through Iran Pakistan last year on a vstrom 650. It was all pretty good other than getting throught the flood affected areas which was slightly challenging. The people were wonderful and very friendly and helpful. The pakistan police could be a little over protective at times and the Iran police could be a bit non-caring but overall a wonderful experience. I had my wife on the back and she has a different opinion but she talks of most of the journey quite positively.
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  #25  
Old 8 Mar 2011
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Yes, but what does it mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knight of the Holy Graal View Post
Correct!
Learning some sentences like this will open many doors and will let people appreciate you from the beginning.
I experienced this in Turkey, Syria and Jordan and I always saw sincere smiles on the faces of people I was saying this to.
Yes, but what does it mean?
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  #26  
Old 8 Mar 2011
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Aside on Hello, Welcome, Peace be with you in Arabic



Quote:
Originally Posted by nanagosa4 View Post
Yes, but what does it mean?
You are referring to remark below I believe:

Quote:
Originally Posted by istanbul bisiklet motosiklet View Post
Key is Selamünaleyküm.say this each time before you start talking.
Well the normal spelling is "As-Salam Alaikum"or just "Salam Alaikum".

The true meaning of "As-Salam Alaikum" is not a mere "Hi", "Hello", "How are you" as we are accustomed to using today - it has a much deeper meaning than just a standard greeting. In actuality, there are three meanings for this greeting:

1. As-Salam, as we know, is one of the names of Allah. Thus, when we say "As-Salam Alaikum" we are actually saying that may the trait of Allah (as-Salam or peace and tranquility_ be upon you and may He protect you;
2. As-Salam is also in the meaning of submission or surrender. Thus, when we say "As-Salam Alaikum" we are actually saying that we submit to what you would like for us to do (obviously within the limits of the Shariah);
3. As-Salam is also in the meaning of protection or safety. Thus in this meaning, when we greet another believer with "As-Salam Alaikum" we are actually guaranteeing believing brother or sister protection from any evil from ourselves and that we will not do a single thing to harm them - either physically or even spiritually. Not only would we not harm them with our hands, but we will also not cause them grief with our tongue...

Reference: Otowi: The Meaning of As-Salam Alaikum
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  #27  
Old 8 Mar 2011
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I came through Pakistan from China via the KKH in September 2009 and all i can say it has been my favourite country of the whole trip. The people are so welcoming and as long as you stay away from known trouble spots you should be ok. The issue is you may not get a visa. I heard they'd stopped issuing them last year when the US started bombing the Pakistan/Afghan boarder regions but my information my be out of date now.

Russ
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  #28  
Old 8 Mar 2011
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It means 'peace be upon you'.
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  #29  
Old 9 Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboCharger View Post


1. As-Salam, as we know, is one of the names of Allah. Thus, when we say "As-Salam Alaikum" we are actually saying that may the trait of Allah (as-Salam or peace and tranquility_ be upon you and may He protect you;

Great explanation.

There is a DHL courier who delivers to my office, who is from Morocco and he told me already months ago that the meaning of the sentence is this I quoted.
I did not know about the other two.... Good to know them!
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  #30  
Old 7 Apr 2011
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Waffle

Heya Poodlebiscuit, neat trip you've got planned there.

Have you heard of a fella going by the name of Ryan Scott, a Kiwi, who a few yars back rode bored out C50 from Vietnam to England. From what I remember - and I have his contact details if you need them - his was a local bike, sans Carnet, that he piloted up into China, then back down doing some crazy route through Iran and Iraq and some other such danger until he got to England. Crazy crazy trip. He did it compltely off radar with forged documents. Shame he's not documented it anywhere.

My personal experience is of rding a CT110 - a variation of the C90 theme - from Sydney to London in 2009, the route I took being one largely similiar to yours.

From Thailand I too shipped to Kathmandu. I can't for the life of me remember the company's name, but it's on here in the shipping guide. I can dig it out if need be. I reckon it cost about $600 to ship it, plus my flight. It was an easy process and landed in Kathmandu no fuss.

I got my visa on arrival for that country, but for India and Pakistan I got them in Thailand. Getting the Indian one was fairly easy, getting the one for Pakistan was a problem, as most people here will attest. I got it through perserverance and luck, not to mention the engine size of Dorothy, my bike, which the man laughed at moments before changing his mind and issuing me a ten day tourist visa. It cost $200. I was robbed. But I got my visa.

Sadly I couldn;t get one for Iran, being British and all. Which caused a bit of a dilemma. Like you I considered shipping and flying over, to Turkey, to the Middle East, anywhere.

I ended up going through China having ridden the KKH. I was in China a week before crossing into Krygyzstan. I used Stan Tours so had a guide the whole way. It cost $2000 or thereabouts and wasn't much fun but it got me through.

From there west, through Kazakhstan and Russia, picking up visas as I went.

It sounds then you've got two options; do a Ryan Scott, or do a Nathan and Dorothy. His method was cheaper and braver, mine was costly and more sensible. Depends on what kind of guy you are.

Question is, would I have ridden through Pakistan with my girl on the back; no, I wouldn't, though I know people who have. If she's desperate to do it and it's her idea, then fine, but if you've dragged her along for the ride and some nasty shit happens then I know how I'd feel. But that's your call.

For what it's worth I loved Pakistan, despite only being there ten days. Friend;y people, Subway, KFC, what more could you want.

Just wish I'd got to see Iran. Next time.

But whatever you decide you'll find a way.

Message me if I can be any more help.

Nate.
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