I decided to split my stories about my trip because it's kind of blurry and undetermined so far, so I'll go and check for specifics that I know we are making for sure, then ask for others separately.
We are 2 guys living in Shanghai and next April we will start a road trip hopefully to Cape Town (the original idea was to Europe but life is always full of changes). We are riding a couple of Yamaha YBR 125 that we used last year to ride to Thailand.
Our first stage will cover from Shanghai to Kashgar in Xingjiang province, then through the Khunerjab pass into Pakistan. And here we start with potential problems.
First of all, we live in a country which is not adhered to the CPD system and doesn't recognize it, so we can't get one for our Chinese-licensed bikes. In our last trip to Thailand we didn't need it as both Laos and Thailand are not Carnet countries, but now we are heading where all the countries are.
We need some advice on how to get our bikes into Pakistan, how the customs would work with us without CPD and see if anyone has experience on this.
Bureaucracy apart, we are departing from Shanghai on the 22nd of April so we expect to arrive at the Khunerjab pass in around 2 weeks, so around the 2nd week in May right after they open the pass (supposedly the 1st of May). We plan to ride the KKH all the way south to Islamabad.
We heard about the lake and the chance to cross it in small boats, and it all sounds super nice. But we are uncertain of how the area is so early in the year, temperature-wise and road-condition-wise. Of course there is always the tales about safety which I am tending to disbelieve, as I keep reading more and more people crossing this area with zero problems.
Then after crossing Islamabad our idea was to go to Iran following the typical (unique?) route: Quetta-Taftan. But again and more loudly this time we hear people crying about the safety and both our embassies (Spanish and Swiss) in Islamabad have tried to discourage us from following that route. Once again, any stories based on recent experience on this route is highly appreciated.
Our last problem is to exit to Iran. We can get a visa for Pakistan here in Shanghai, but we can't find a way to get one for Iran. Does anybody know if it is possible to get one in Islamabad?
Lastly, and of course following the section on the forum, we are always willing to meet people on the way to share some of the most amazing routes in the world and stories and all. Since we do live in China and ride chinese licensed bikes we don't need the tour guides in Xingjiang so we have no problems/needs to share costs there. But a good conversation when the sun is setting and the bikes are resting is always welcome.
I have read there is a Pakistan Bikers Club out there (omie?), we would love to meet and to share experiences with.
See you all on the road!