Blog and Visa/Carnet
Marcel - already loving your blog!! You're right, i think we would have made great riding buddies! I'm looking forward to reading the rest of it and am sure the Oz bits will be useful
Fraser - I think maybe I had a bum deal with how they handled it but from what I hear Pakistan is a bit of a highlight so maybe worth the effort.
The only issue is that they ask you for a sponsor in Pakistan or the name of a travel agent in Pakistan in order to get the visa. I had te explain the motorcycle part as why I didn't have either of these. I think you might be right to avoid using the word motorcycle at all and maybe get and agent to do the paperwork which might remove the need for a named sponsor - they can also throw together an itinerary for you.
Carnet was about £200.00 plus the bank guarantee, which for my route was 500% of the value of the bike. There's a lot of confusion with the banks about this but it can definitely be done if you have the money in your account, rather than having to pay the ridiculous 'insurance premium'. There's good info on the HUBB about the carnet bank guarantee but I spoke to 4 people in HSBC who flat out told me it couldn't be done, before I spoke to a manager and showed him the print out posts from this forum - then it took a week to sort and cost only £40.00 but the deposit money is frozen in your account.
I would also say that the carnet is valued on the cost of the bike when you bought it, a recent valuation (on stamped headed paper) from a reputable dealer or, the site the RAC use is Motorcycle Price Guide | New & Used | Price Any Bike
. Use this site to see what range of price you can use for your vehicle and see what is the lowest realistic valuation you can perhaps get away with
Good luck on your prep Fraser - as long as you start the process for Pakistan visa and carnet early then you'll be fine!