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Middle East Topics specific to the Middle East countries, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Oman and the Emirates
Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA



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  #1  
Old 20 Jan 2020
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Turkey-Lebanon-Syria-Jordan-Egypt

Hi all
I'm planning an RTW trip and I was wondering if anyone had some experience with riding this part. I'm especially worried about border crossings and if it's possible at all
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  #2  
Old 20 Jan 2020
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Didnt seem practicable to me end of last year so (going South to North) I motorcycled Sudan to Saudi to Jordan to Israel and then put moto on ferry Haifa to Greece


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  #3  
Old 20 Jan 2020
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Note the ferry from E. Turkey to Duba (Saudi) seemed not to be running then (or at least would not give me any timetable details)


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  #4  
Old 21 Jan 2020
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It should be technically possible to take the ferry from Tasucu (Turkey) to Tripoli in Lebanon, then enter Syria and go to Jordan (from where it is easy), but nobody has entered Syria with a vehicle recently as far as I know. You need to be guided through Syria by a travel agency in order to get a visa. If you ask the agencies about turning up with a vehicle, they will say it is not possible. My gut feeling is that you would get in if you turn up at the border with the vehicle, meet your tour guide and deal with it on the spot. But there is of course the possiblity that you will have to turn around and find another way in.

Also, note that conditions in Syria are pretty bad at the moment, the currency is collapsing thanks to the collapse of the Lebanese banking system, power and fuel supplies are erratic and according to my Syrian friend (who has family still living there), there has been a spike in crime (usually unheard of in Syria).

Alternatives are shipping to Israel from Italy directly (then you will have Israeli stamps, or stamps from Israel's borders with neighbouring countries)

Or going through Iran, take the ferry to UAE and on into Saudi. This will require an organised tour through Iran if you're British or Canadian. Not sure it would be possible at all if you're American.

EO
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  #5  
Old 24 Jan 2020
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Hi
As far a I know , while entering Israel you can ask that your passport would not be stamped and get the stamp on a seperate document .
I'm not sure and you can check it with the Israeli embassy
Regarding Syria - check carefuly the situation regarding the clashes there !!
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Old 24 Jan 2020
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Israel doesn't stamp passports, but adjacent countries do. That means you get a stamp entering or leaving Jordan or Egypt, perhaps someday Lebanon or Syria. That Jordanian or Egyptian stamp lists a specific border station at which the only possibility is that you entered or departed Israel. Anyone studying your passport will know what happened. They don't need to see an Israeli stamp.

I've never been completely clear as to whether having entered Israel will actually keep you out of, say, Sudan, which is the country southbound travelers worry about most. There are certainly problematic sequences of countries elsewhere in the world; for example, I've got a loose visa plus entry and exit stamps for Artsakh (a.k.a. Nagorno Karabakh), which if they were entered permanently in my passport would keep me out of Azerbaijan. But with the only evidence I entered Artsakh kept separate from my passport, it looks like I merely stayed in Armenia.
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  #7  
Old 24 Jan 2020
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I have also raised the south Syria transit question and propose it as a future possibility in AMH8.

I gave a talk on the weekend mentioning this and was told by a guy just back from there (NGO?) that yes, it's safe enough in the south but you can't get in - or even a visa? without an invitation from the right source.

Get that, pay enough and, as EO says, they may well do it. Its only 200km - doable in a day, even bundled in the back of a pickup.

The Mersin? Duba ferry sounds like the alternative dodge, especially now that Saudi is inching in from the cold.

Afaik, Sudan has never been a problem with Israeli evidence-of-visit.
Iran definitely will be - and even more closed to Americans than the other 2, also afaik.
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Old 24 Jan 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jobr View Post
Hi
As far a I know , while entering Israel you can ask that your passport would not be stamped and get the stamp on a seperate document .
I'm not sure and you can check it with the Israeli embassy
Regarding Syria - check carefuly the situation regarding the clashes there !!
They won't stamp your passport, but they may stamp your carnet.
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Old 24 Jan 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
I have also raised the south Syria transit question and propose it as a future possibility in AMH8.

I gave a talk on the weekend mentioning this and was told by a guy just back from there (NGO?) that yes, it's safe enough in the south but you can't get in - or even a visa? without an invitation from the right source.

Get that, pay enough and, as EO says, they may well do it. Its only 200km - doable in a day, even bundled in the back of a pickup.

The Mersin? Duba ferry sounds like the alternative dodge, especially now that Saudi is inching in from the cold.

Afaik, Sudan has never been a problem with Israeli evidence-of-visit.
Iran definitely will be - and even more closed to Americans than the other 2, also afaik.
There are a few agencies with the correct connections who will get you a visa for about $350, which you pick up when you are met at a border. Getting a visa from an embassy would require some luck and a Syrian contact who is willing to be screened by the Ministry of Interior. If you go the guide route, that's going to cost around $100-150 per day. The remaining conflict spots are far from the Masnaa - Damascus - Daraa axis but the law and order situation may be deteriorating.

The Turkey - Saudi ferry sufferred a fire and is reportedly out of service indefinitely.

EO
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  #10  
Old 25 Jan 2020
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Lavrio Cyprus Haifa 'ferry'

I convinced myself the Lavrio Cyprus Haifa 'ferry' was a regular RoRo like Nuweiba but was no more.
But I'm mistaken.

It still runs and is here right now, but is a 'vehicle freight ferry' like the similarly handy KL to Borneo one.
A freighter where, as well as containers, they can Ro your vehicle on and Ro it off.
You fly.
Theft concerns I suppose.

Once a week ~60 hours

So, the Europe > Israel then overland to Africa via Nuweiba link still stands, making the burned-out Duba ferry and dashes across Syria redundant.

Shipping and Transport Services - Ro/Ro Service
http://www.salamisshipping.com/image.../ALEXO_JAN.pdf


HUBB user Goo tells me:


[in 2018] It cost €310 and I paid about $100 in Haifa for customs clearance.
Yes, just left it parked by the boat, Alexo, in Lavrio and they pushed it on.
Nothing was stolen - I left my helmet and jacket and panniers all locked on the bike.
Paperwork was fairly simple as I recall. A couple of forms to fill in in advance, plus copies of documents to send. They wanted to see proof of Israeli insurance but in the end that was impossible to get in advance and they let it go.


Price and details confirmed promptly by Salamis today.

Last edited by Chris Scott; 27 Jan 2020 at 09:59.
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  #11  
Old 25 Jan 2020
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I used Haifa to Lavrio ferry for my GS last November and just rode the bike onto the ship and left it. Impeccable service and I was able to collect it on the Sunday afternoon with little formalities (EU registered bike).

Flew Ryanair from Tel Aviv to Athens and a 35 € taxi ride to Lavrio


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  #12  
Old 26 Jan 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
I convinced myself the Lavrio Cyprus Haifa 'ferry' was a regular RoRo like Nuweiba but was no more.
But I'm mistaken.

It still runs and is here right now, but is a 'vehicle freight ferry' like the similarly handy KL to Borneo one.
A freighter where, as well as containers, they can Ro your vehicle on and Ro it off.
You fly.
Theft concerns I suppose.

Once a week ~60 hours

So, the Europe > Israel then overland to Africa via Nuweiba link still stands, making the burned-out Duba ferry and dashes across Syria redundant.

Shipping and Transport Services - Ro/Ro Service
http://www.salamisshipping.com/image.../ALEXO_JAN.pdf


HUBB user Goo tells me:


[in 2018] It cost €310 and I paid about $100 in Haifa for customs clearance.
Yes, just left it parked by the boat, Alexo, in Lavrio and they pushed it on.
Nothing was stolen - I left my helmet and jacket and panniers all locked on the bike.
Paperwork was fairly simple as I recall. A couple of forms to fill in in advance, plus copies of documents to send. They wanted to see proof of Israeli insurance but in the end that was impossible to get in advance and they let it go.
I'm sure I read a report of someone accompanying their vehicle on the Lavrio - Haifa run. But it will still leave you with evidence of sorts that you have visited Israel. I suspect however you are correct in saying that it is not an issue for Sudan..
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Old 27 Jan 2020
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Originally Posted by eurasiaoverland View Post

The Turkey - Saudi ferry sufferred a fire and is reportedly out of service indefinitely.

EO
I was banking on using the ferry to ride out of Saudi when my contract finishes. Do you have a source for that? I've made a couple of attempts to contact Hattay RoRo in Iskendrun but not heard anything in reply.
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Old 27 Jan 2020
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Redsnapper: I spent weeks trying to contact them in October and November by email, WhatsApp or phone but they wouldn’t reply.

So I ended up using Haifa to Lavrio


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  #15  
Old 27 Jan 2020
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Originally Posted by redsnapper View Post
I was banking on using the ferry to ride out of Saudi when my contract finishes. Do you have a source for that? I've made a couple of attempts to contact Hattay RoRo in Iskendrun but not heard anything in reply.
My information comes from the 'Overland Middle East' page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OverlandMiddleEast/

Join the page and you can search for more information.

EO
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