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March 2010: Switzerland - Turkey - Iran - Pakistan - India - Thailand
I'm working on an unpaid leave for next year. Most probably I will get Feb. - July 2010 off.
So my idea is to start in middle of March 2010 from Switzerland over Italy, ferry to greece and then go on to Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and India.
I'm thinking to buy a Yamaha XT660Z. BMW F800GS and KTM LC8 adventure are also in my mind. But I think for a solo ride an XT would be the most easy and reliable.
Anybody in same direction at that time?
Any comments/experience about the weather in March, April in Turkey and Iran?
Any experience how long it takes to get a VISA in Switzerland for Iran, Pakistan, India?
I can recommend the XT, i did 12k miles with no problems mainly during a Black Sea tour last year. Engine crash bars and centre stand are must have extras (wheel removal / installing is quite difficult without stand).
i recommend ferry to Albania from Italy, Macedonia, Bulgaria and then Turkey.
We're doing a similar trip (London-Oz) leaving end of April and will be doing a similar route. Can't speak of your visa question (i'm not swiss!) but having begun the planning process, i hear turkey can be bloody cold depending on your route.
I wanted to add one more thing (which wasn't in your list of questions but..), assuming you haven't looked into the carnet situation yet I'd choose your bike with your carnet in mind. I currently ride a KTM 990 Adv but will be selling it before the trip for several reasons. You're going through some expensive countries for carnets - India, Pakistan & Iran - i think they're abut 500% of the value of your bike. As you can imagine a big KTM becomes an expensive proposition. Also, it's a big and complicated bike and if something goes wrong with the bike or you drop it the nearest dealer is a long way away! Plus it's pretty thirsty!....
Can't speak for the BMW but would recommend the XT - light, simple, easier to find spare parts and cheaper! I would like to add a bike to your list though, we've settled on taking Yamaha XT660R's - which are pretty much the same as the XT660Z, other than a ever so slightly lower seat height and smaller tank. But when you can solve the tank problem by carrying a v cheap fuel can you have to ask whether it's worth the extra £2000.
I do agree with your thoughts about the bike. I'm looking forward to buy a XT660Z - for the reason of easiness and also availability of spare parts.
Regarding Turkey I try to take the "warmest" route, which means most south. I'm aware that in middle of april in the east up to the Iranian boarder there could be some snow - but I don't have a big choice about the leaving date. So better have a few cold kilometers than loosing 1 months of traveling time.
I was crossing Turkey to Syria, Jordan and Lebanon in April 2009 after Easter and it was still very cold in the mid of the country, but the coast was ok. (9100 km in 14 days).
In 2010, I want to visit Iran in about the same time like you but I prefer to travel (due weather) via Syria, Jordan, SAE, UAE and take ferry to cross Persian Gulf and back around Ararat.
Anyway even your plan is not bad...
I drive Honda Deauville and you can find some of my trips at http://picasaweb.google.com/peter.p.moto
Hope we can discuss a bit about common trip... m but I can not take more than 4 weeks vacation
will be heading that way 1st week in aprill next year.
hia everyone...was leaving on same journey early thiss year but buyers pulled out of sale of hse so plans went awol...but its gone now and need to get things rollin....using old 450 honda 75 quids worth bikes sorted with luggage etc...as for carnets they wont be to harsh...if bike calls it a day ill get my thumb out.....anyone fancy droping me a line ide be gratefull..John..
I’m very interested in joining your trip, since I have the same plan, starting in March/ April.
I would recommend a XT, I ride a XT600z and it is a very reliable bike and it runs great.
I still have to find out about the VISA and Carnet de Passage, that might be expensive. A friend of mine did that trip in the past and than the Carnets were available at the ADAC.
as a turkish rider and living in istanbul, i say that the weather will be cold in march.between 3' to 10' and some place in route from istanbul to board iran (bolu-ankara-sivas-dogubeyazit) probably -10' or 15' and fully snow or ice.South of turkey is warmer but in march nd april heavy rain. i recommend may is the best time for passing in turkey.
I'm interested in this, I'm leaving from London roughly the same time and looking to head towards Thailand so this would suit me fine. I'm taking an Aprilia Pegaso 660, the same engine as the XT. I chose it for reliability and it's actually cheaper than the XT and in my opinion, better made. My brother and Uncle had an XT, my brother also has the new Tenere and the finish did seem better on the Peg. I had a BMW GS and would strongly recommend against anything they make. Since 1999 they've had significant reliability issues, mine helped prove to me that it was not the bike for me even though it rode like a dream and I can't imagine any bike doing it so well but in the end reliability has to win out.
hello, the trip sounds good! hope planning is going smoothly. we just came thru that way a few months ago, very good fun. we started in april, so by the time we got to turkey it was may, then iran for june. it was VERY hot in iran. still quite hot in turkey too i seem to remember.
For Iranian visas: go to key2persia.com for iranian visa code numbers, not iranianvisa.com as they are incompetent, or were with us. you have to get a code number first (from the ministry of foreign affairs in tehran), then you take that to get the visa. you use the website companies to get the code number. you can get the actual iranian visa on the way in Ankara, turkey. but it is harder to get it in Erzerum i have heard, so don't leave it until then. there's loads of information on the blog if you want it. obviously we are from UK and so not from switzerland, but i would think this will make your life easier with the Iranians, rather than harder...
Pakistan visas: you will not be able to get this in Turkey. They laughed at us and told us to go back to England for it. This means you will also not be able to get the Indian visa in Turkey either, because they will not issue it to you until they see the Pakistan visa. It is very easy in Tehran though to get the Pakistan visa, and the officers are very friendly- ours automatically extended our visa request to a 30day tourist even though we only wanted a transit, so we 'could see the beautiful country of Pakistan'. We then got our Indian visa in Islamabad in Pakistan, which was a bit annoying as a process but very achievable. Pakistan was fantastic. I want to go back.
Go up the Karakoram Highway. Then in India if you haven't already been, go up the Manali-Leh highway, so then you'll have seen the mountain range from both sides. Those were easily the best bits ever.
Also, the Pakistan police escorts are annoying. But its not worth trying to shake them off. And if you do the trip from Islamabad or Pindi down to Lahore, you CANNOT go on the motorway. the police will chase you for miles to get you off, and then try to confiscate your license. It doesn't matter that the rule is really just for daft little Pakistani 250cc bikes, and shouldn't be for 1000cc bikes etc- this argument works well on the Iranian motorways, should they bother to pull you over, but does nothing with the Pakistan police.
Annoyingly this means you will have to go on a bone-breaking old Grand Trunk road that takes hours longer and is utterly congested miles from Lahore, and invisible in the smog.
Wish I was doing this whole bit again, we are now stuck in malaysia, trying to get an onion boat to Indonesia. That bit was more fun!
You probably know all this rubbish anyway from reading Horizons stories, its just me reliving it.
using old 450 honda 75 quids worth bikes sorted with luggage etc...as for carnets they wont be to harsh...if bike calls it a day ill get my thumb out.....anyone fancy droping me a line ide be gratefull..John..
I'm looking to do the same sort of thing John - similar trip on an older cheap bike. Keep the costs down and if it stops I'll find a donkey. I havn't been able to figure out if you can still get the carnet deposit back if the bike breaks and is not worth fixing. Any insight?
hello mate usedto live on a boat on the river lee near you in the 80.s..????...as i said better leaving with the inetent that you have nothing to lose...but bundles to gain...??? keep in touch dude John..X
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