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  #1  
Old 20 Nov 2012
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HUBB UK > Mongolia and back...

Next year, 2013, I will attend the HUBB UK meeting (where I will give a photography workshop - so if you haven't subscribed yet to attend the HUBB UK do it NOW!).


So I will leave Belgium go to the UK and from thereon leave for a 4 months journey to Ukraine, Caucasus, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, all the stans inculding Afghanistan but except Pakistan, the Pamir of course and then Mongolia, coming back via Lake Baikal and since I also want to do the Trans Siberian train, I would like to put the bike on a train from Irkutst to Moscow and ride from Moscow back into the EU. This is the general idea, (small) changes are possible.

Timing: JUNE-JULY-AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2013, if necessary I can add another month to that so october is reserve. I figure out that the total distance would be something around 30.000km. I won't be going in a "straight as fast a possible" line.

Bike: DRZ400E... ;-) So if you are on anything <600cc would be fine I guess.

Looking for: Someone or more than one to share this journey or a part of it. Someone who doesn't overload his bike, since the plan is to do a lot of gravelroads and worse = more fun. Try to travel cheap without being a cheap ass bastard... Tent/Couchsurfing/Hostels are my kind of thing, if I really must a hotel now and then. Someone that is prepared but not over prepared, preference a bit of off road skills... geeez... this looks almost like a list or requirements; it isn't! Don't let it scare you! Just come along and we'll have fun for sure!

What I offer: Well... my priceless company...?!... Experience of previous travels, good quality pictures and vids... A helping hand (or two) if you drop your bike in a river Xing...

Requirements: Well only for Iran we'll need a CDP so everything else is pretty straightforward, except visas maybe depending on your nationality... For Russia you'll need a 3 entry visa = business/multi entry visa. Everything is doable and arrangeable before I leave or on the way...

So, if this sounds something like fun to you and you have the time or similar plans, please get in touch...

Seb
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Last edited by Oo-SEB-oO; 28 Nov 2012 at 15:06.
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  #2  
Old 20 Nov 2012
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Hi Seb
I'll see you at the UK HU meet and maybe on the road: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...r-2013-a-66486

Good luck with your trip. I have a vague recollection meeting you in 2007 in Merzouga/ Moroc. You were riding with a Brit bloke? I was on a DRZ. If that wasn't you, sorry
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  #3  
Old 20 Nov 2012
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Yeah, I saw your post and I was thinking it would definitely be possible to meet there... I think I should be end of august in UB area... that's the general idea in any case. I was going to try to contact you then if I am in the same timeperiod as you, but before would be better, sms will work faster and better than internet, if we can find any...

Unfortunately it wasn't me that you met, I'm sure that I am even nicer than the other guy you met... hahahaha...

Ok, would be great to see eachother at the meeting! Grey GSA with Belgian plates and a lot of stickers on the panniers, shouldn't be too much of them (I hope...) so that will make things a bit easier to find eachother!
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  #4  
Old 20 Nov 2012
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Hi Seb, I am planning to travel to Australia in 2013 on my Africa Twin. As originally i was planning to travel alone i was going to go through Russia, Mongolai, then to Japan and ship the bike to Oz from there as i thought this would be the safest trip. However if i can find someone to go with i would prefer something similar to the route you are doing. But isn't Iraq / Afghanistan a bit of a risky route? I was thinking Iran and then Pakistan. I've attached a link below to some info regarding my bike preparation. I am looking to go light and like the sound of your trip. Cheers, Adam

RD04- Adventure Spec Preparation - Page 6
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  #5  
Old 20 Nov 2012
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Hi Adam; one of the best quotes to answer your question:
‘Security is a product of one’s own imagination, it does not exist in nature as a rule, life is either a daring adventure or nothing.’
Statistically you'll have 10.000times more chances to get killed in a bike accident than to get shot or decapitated by some terrorist in Iraq or Afghanistan....

No seriously, I am not too worried, as the route I've chosen is ok, the northern part of Iraq is under control of the Kurdish police forces and I know it is ok to go there (from fellow bikers and from the foreign ministry here in Belgium). Same goes for Afghanistan, don't go to the south and southeast near Pakistan, those are the problem areas and I'm not going there, I'll go from west to Northeast.

I don't want to do Pakistan as of all the reports I am reading you always get these escorts which are more a pain in the ass than fun, and they want you to get as soon as possible from Iran into India... not my cup of tea.

One thing I've learnt when traveling with other motorcycles, it's not because you start together that you need to finish together. Maybe people have different interests, needs, traveling speed and so on. So we could perfectly start together or do a part together and see from there on. If you are not comfortable going to Iraq or Afgh. there are "safer" routes and we can join together again after a few days/weeks... that's my opinion in any case.

So depending on how fast you want to be in Oz, you'll have definitely more fun and better memories after that if you take it into the stans instead of 'quickly' from Iran through Paki into India and then shipping.... just my two cents...
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  #6  
Old 22 Nov 2012
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good plan

Hi Seb,

Sounds like a nice idea! I have this recurring itch and its getting stronger again and I know what the end result is! Quit the job and go travelling. I am not used to bike travelling though, bought my first AT earlier this year, drove it 7K km last season and did a couple of off road and enduro trainings. Am preparing the bike for the inevitable as well! Actually just thought about taking a couple of months off next year and just criss cross eur-asia when I read your thread. Mongolia sounds even better! I do have a lot of travelling experience but mainly 4x4. I will keep an eye on your thread and hook on if the feeling remains or gets stronger!
Cheers,
Noel
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  #7  
Old 22 Nov 2012
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Je bent meer dan welkom... ;-)

It is for 99% sure that I will do this, just need to fill in some papers to get the time off from work... the money is already secured and saved up for!

Although I enjoy traveling alone, sometimes it is nice to talk to someone in the evenings. And for the more challenging/difficult parts it's always better to be at least two...
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  #8  
Old 22 Nov 2012
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i've been thinking about taking a couple of months break from work and your plan looks really good.

have you thought about june / july in the middle-east ? June, i believe, is election time in Iran and July 14th onwards will be Ramadan for a months time, when you will not be able to find any open restaurants/cafeteria etc serving food during the day time. July-Sep being peak summer, it will be extremely hot with temperatures going upto 50+degC. Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and many of the Stan nations will be observing Ramadan religiously.

Some islamic countries even make it unlawful for people to consume water/food during day time in public during Ramadan.

Do have a thought about it.
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  #9  
Old 22 Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky250gt View Post
July 14th onwards will be Ramadan for a months time, when you will not be able to find any open restaurants/cafeteria etc serving food during the day time. July-Sep being peak summer, it will be extremely hot with temperatures going upto 50+degC. Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and many of the Stan nations will be observing Ramadan religiously.

Some islamic countries even make it unlawful for people to consume water/food during day time in public during Ramadan..
A good time to be in Mongolia or Russia perhaps?
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  #10  
Old 23 Nov 2012
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Originally Posted by mark manley View Post
A good time to be in Mongolia or Russia perhaps?
If the only time allowance you have is between June to Sep for this ride, and if you start from UK/BE in June, i would guess that you'll inevitably end up in the Middle-eastern Islamic nations by mid-end of July, bang in the middle of Ramadan.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Oo-SEB-oO
Timing: JUNE-JULY-AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2013, if necessary I can add another month to that so october is reserve. I figure out that the total distance would be something around 30.000km. I won't be going in a "straight as fast a possible" line.
Seb, is it possible to share your slightly detailed plan, lets say, monthly-location/region - wise ?

it would be great if you can also share some details on the kind of budget you have estimated for this.

thanks for any inputs.

cheers
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  #11  
Old 23 Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky250gt View Post
If the only time allowance you have is between June to Sep for this ride, and if you start from UK/BE in June, i would guess that you'll inevitably end up in the Middle-eastern Islamic nations by mid-end of July, bang in the middle of Ramadan.
I was thinking of starting in April and had already looked up ramadan but the dates had slipped my mind, for my planning at least this was a useful reminder.
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  #12  
Old 23 Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark manley View Post
I was thinking of starting in April and had already looked up ramadan but the dates had slipped my mind, for my planning at least this was a useful reminder.
I gather you are committed to this ride then ? are you riding Iran too ? If yes, hope you have looked into being there in June (elections - remember what happened during the last presidential elections ?)

I'm kind of mulling over committing to this but it all depends on the possibility of taking 4-5 months off from work.

cheers
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  #13  
Old 23 Nov 2012
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@ Vicky:

... damn ...

Ok, honestly, I didn't look up the Ramadan, as the last times it was always just before or after the places I went through... this changes a bit, but not too much for me as I don't consume any alcohol and I don't smoke. Eating and drinking can easily be done on the road between cities (as I almost always do) so no provocation whatsoever from this part. But thank you for sharing this info, indeed I did not thought of it!

About the °C; I know. Problem is I can't leave before end of may because of work and other commitments and starting later in the year = really bad weather at the end of the trip. I've been riding in the Sahara with 56°C so I know how it feels. As long as you have enough water with you and the bike doesn't let you down, it is perfectly possible (although being on the edge of danger, that is true).

I don't have other possibilities, I know most people leave end of april already for similar trips, but I can't and postponing for a year is also not an option as I can 'never' leave in May...

The Iran part is the only one I could skip, as initially I didn't include it in my plans, as I was being too lazy to do the whole CDP for just one country, but seeing a lot of interesting pictures, vids and blogs about Iran, changed my route. In the beginning the idea was to cross the Caspian Sea with the ferry and just go straight to the stans.

Timing, this is roughly of course:
- end of june: Iraq/Iran
- end of july: Tajikistan
- end of august: Mongolia
- end of sept: EU.
Please do keep in mind that this is just a rough idea based on km and roads. It will of course depend on a lot of factors and this is also why I have a "back-up month" if it all takes a lot longer than I planned.

About the costs; as I already got several pm's about this, this is my idea:

My budget is about 8000€ max. I have reserve if it is really necessary, but I am pretty sure this will be plenty enough! This is how I calculate this:

- Total distance driving will be approx 25.000km with the route that I want to take. This is including the Iran part. If the train from Irkutsk to Moscow is not possible add 5.000km to this so 30.000km worst case scenario. Let's just assume the very worst and that fuel consumption is 7l/100km, so this gives us 2100l of fuel on 4 months.
Let's assume for argument's sake that the price of the fuel is a bit more than one € per liter on average (the middle east and russia is cheap on fuel - I paid 0,75€/l in Russia this summer) so that would take us to 2500€ in total just for fuel.
Depending on riding conditions etc this can easely drop to 2000 or even 1500€, but I always do "worst case scenario" type of calculations.

- Sleeping: Couchsurfing and Hostels are my thing in cities or in EU in any case but I will take the tent with me, don't want to miss out sleeping on isolated places in deserts etc, but also here for aguments sake, let's budget 15€ a night = 450€ a month = 1800€ on the total. I will never ever sped this, but also here, worst case...

- Food: same here, you go to a fancy restaurant or just eat some bread... I manage to stay around 15€ a day with eating good and most of the time healthy food so again, 1800€ for 4 months.

This gives us a grand total of 6000€ for 4 months, so even on this I have a reserve of 2000€, but I'm pretty sure the fuel won't be that much (If I ride alone it will though... the GSA is rather thirsty when I play with her) and the sleeping the same, so if you are really tight on budget, I think it is doable for 4000€ for the whole trip.

But as said, I calculate in the negative way, so I don't have unpleasant surprises during the trip or at the end. I prefer to plan for a bit too much money than ending up in the middle of nowhere broke. I work my ass off the rest of the year here to save as many as I can, just in case... you never know!

Well, like to hear what you (and others) think about this. I had some messages from interested riders, but at this time there's only one "I think I will come along" so...
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Last edited by Oo-SEB-oO; 23 Nov 2012 at 16:26. Reason: typo...
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  #14  
Old 23 Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky250gt View Post
I gather you are committed to this ride then ? are you riding Iran too ? If yes, hope you have looked into being there in June (elections - remember what happened during the last presidential elections ?)

I'm kind of mulling over committing to this but it all depends on the possibility of taking 4-5 months off from work.

cheers
I have a fairly firm plan to go to Central Asia next year, I do hope to meet up with Tiffany sometime as she has been that way twice, and pick her brains about routes, distance and timing. The ramadan dates have pencilled in Mongolia for that month and I would hope to go through Iran, I travelled through there on the way to India before and have wanted to return.
It is what I do when I get there that is open and may remain that way until I get there, either come back via a different route or if possible team up with a group going through China, although the problem there is the Pakistan visa which has to be got in advance at home and only valid for 3 months.
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  #15  
Old 26 Nov 2012
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Hey Seb,

I'm heading the same direction next year (leaving from Belgium mid of may 2013)...first part to Albania, than Georgia and later Mongolia...and ofcourse back home :-)
So, if you're interested to hook up somewhere for a drink or to do a part together, just give me a sign hé :-)

greetz, Erik

ps: I included a small map with my general (still not completely fixed) idea :-)
pps: I'm travelling with my girlfriend (who speaks russian btw :-) and on a TDM850. I'm a low-budget traveller, my off-road skills are not so extreme...and I prefer vodka over any other alcohol :-)
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