Border Crossings - Georgia and Azerbaijan

Georgia (from Turkey, along the Black Sea)

Time Required:

Allow 1 hour.

Carnet:

Not required

Documents:

Passport, vehicle registration, drivers license. Plus copies of all to be on the safe side.

Fees:

$10 per bike, $3 for the passport stamp. Visa cost for a two week visa $40, delivered in 10 minutes in Trabzon, Turkey.

Procedure:

Passport stamp, vehicle registration, customs. Hard to say however what is what since there are hardly any English signs. No worries, the friendly army guys will show you around.

Visa/Entry Permit duration:

14 days.

Insurance Requirement:

Nobody asked for it, so we assume it’s not mandatory.

Exit Procedure:

Free. Only passport stamp.

Report:

Lots of cops on the prowl. We were told that the police was seriously corrupt and would try to extort money on real or invented charges. We were stopped repeatedly, but the police just asked the usual questions, where from, where to, what engine etc. One exception however: Shortly after Batumi, at a “registration stop", they asked for a road tax of $20, receipt and all. Try not to pay, it’s probably bogus.

Reliability:

Hard to say, we didn’t meet any other people traveling with their own vehicle, and the usual guidebooks don’t mention much on that subject.


Azerbaijan (from Georgia, on the Telavi-Sheki road)

Time Required:

Allow 1 hour.

Carnet:

Not required

Documents:

Passport, vehicle registration, drivers license. Plus copies of all to be on the safe side.

Fees:

Free. Hard to believe that it will stay that way. We think that they were so surprised to see us that they forgot to invent a fee.

Procedure:

None really. We sat in the office explaining our purpose to a couple of officials, one stamped the passports and we were on our way. They did take a quick look at the luggage, though, making us open the panniers and explain their content. Two bottles of wine did not seem to bother them.

Visa/Entry Permit duration:

5 days (transit)

Insurance Requirement:

Nobody asked for it, so we assume it’s not mandatory.

Exit Procedure:

Free. Only passport stamp. We left by ferry and had to pay a $6 port tax. Cost of ferry (to Turkmenistan): $50 per person, $79 per bike, after furious haggling (Initial quote $400 total !!). We refused to pay the shipping insurance. Insist on paying for a simple seat (no cabin) and upgrade to a cabin on the ship, the attendant will offer it to you. We paid $20 for a decent cabin with shower. The crossing was uneventful.

Report:

Lots of cops on the prowl. We were told that the police was seriously corrupt and would try to extort money on real or invented charges. We were stopped repeatedly, but the police just asked the usual questions, where from, where to, what engine etc. If they are pushy, pretend not to understand a word of Russian and say "Tourist" a lot.

Reliability:

Hard to say, we didn’t meet any other people traveling with their own vehicle, and the usual guidebooks don’t mention much on that subject. Locals say everybody is corrupt and that the ferry is a nightmare.



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