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West and South Asia From Turkey to Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Ladakh and Bangladesh
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Old 12 Oct 2006
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Nepal / India - Fly out ride home !!!

Hi guys,

Can I sound an idea out to you ?

An overland trip is on the cards, looking into a 3 month sabbatical +/- a week or two..... have the bike a '92 RD04 Africa Twin .... and the wife wants to join me... so far so good.

Planning Spring 2008 ... the old Hippie silk route has always been a dream (I'm a 60's child !) and as we want to enjoy good weather, thinking flying the bike out to Delhi and riding home.

The route would be something like Delhi upto Kathmandu, Kathmandu back through India Jodphur, then the classic Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Greece, ferry Italy ride back up to Belgium... I appreciate Iran is a hot spot at the moment and it could change at short notice.....

However we want to do the trip at a comfortable speed, having enough time to stop in various places etc..... say ride 4 out of 7 days ....

My question is:

How many KM's are we looking at !!! we'll save a few buy dropping Kathmandu OK maybe I'm better off flying the bike in else where, Don't mind missing out Delhi ( was there last year without the bike)... but would love to see Nepal !!! then if we have only 100 days and its say 24,000 kms we're looking at 240 per day ... crazy ....

I know its a tried and tested route,

Any advise very welcome

Cheers Matt
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Old 13 Oct 2006
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I know its a tried and tested route,

Cheers Matt[/QUOTE]

maybe, but it will be all interesting and new to you...

Just out of interest, is there any advantage in going that way as opposed to riding to india, and flying home ???
I have a dream to do that trip one day, but think going both ways too much. Also have a brother in OZ, so half thought to go on to their .. but no idea what to do then
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Old 13 Oct 2006
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You can find how many kilometres it is on an atlas, using string, but this doesn't give you the answer you really need. Best to calculate in days rather than distance. Two hundred k in India can be a long day sometimes. It all depends.

For the trip you suggest, at the pace you suggest, I would be looking at a two months minimum. Yours is a comfortable timescale (the best sort). You have time for Katmandu - and maybe a little trek on the side, if that's your thing. The east-west road on the southern Nepalese plain is a joy. Most of the roads between major towns in northern India are relatively fast, although very dangerous of course. Ditto for populated northern Pakistan.

You can sit at 100km per hour plus all the way through Iran and Turkey. Not the autobahn, but quick enough. Like a British B road.

For the return journey, a month from the India-Pakistan border to UK, is enough, riding five days a week. You have fuel issues south of Quetta, but aside from that the trip is straightforwards.

The '92 RD04 Africa Twin is an excellent choice may I say.

From what I have read on this site, the airport in Dehli is okay for shipping. You can check that yourself - why not write to the community there? I know from experience that the airport in Nepal is fine. I'd choose the latter over the former any day. Katmandu is a great place place to hang out while waiting, the airport is small and easily accessed, the shipping agents are pleasant and keen for your business - they'll give you individual attention. Very different to India.

Hope this help, but I get the impression that you have a pretty good grasp of the essentials already. Good luck,

Simon Kennedy
Around the world 2000-2004, on a 1993 Honda Transalp

Last edited by Simon Kennedy; 13 Oct 2006 at 08:10.
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Old 13 Oct 2006
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Mumbai (Bombay)

If you can get a transit visa for Iran, you've pretty much cracked it, beyond that red tape wise it's plain sailing.

People sometimes ship to Mumbai (Bombay) by boat, which I know can be much more reasonable than flying planes.

I have been to Nepal three times and I thinks it's one of the best countries in the World, great people, so friendly and warm, the mountains, the stepped rice fields, the wild life and although basic, I even liked the food, but above all the whole culture is what has to make this country everything I dreamed. Get off the beaten track here and you will not be disappointed. Sadly the last I arrived I had a broken foot, so spent most the time confined to Kathmandu and Pokara, but even so I still had a great time.

If you can add time to your trip I'd also recommend dipping your toes into the middle east.

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Old 13 Oct 2006
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Nepal - Belgium

I'm sold on the idea of Nepal, I'll look to pay the extra and fly it in to there. The reason for riding back is weather, if we leave Belgium early spring there's a higher chance of bad weather down to say Iran, if we do it the other way round I hope to always ride into the good weather. Secondly isn't it rather deflating, if your on a time schedule getting to your destination and then shortly having to leave to go home..... where as the other way round once your home you've made it, I guess you'll feel like you've never been away after a week......

Simon, any advise / costs for flying into Nepal ? you also mention possible fuel range problems.... any idea of the sort of distances... I have a range of 220 kms (+/-) and are planning on taking an extra 10 ltr tank... however I'm yet to try the bike fully loaded and its notorisly uneconomical....

thanks Matt
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Old 13 Oct 2006
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Hmm, can't remember the distance from Quetta to the border. There are plenty of trip reports/blogs with all the info on though. I assume you're reading them. It's more than 300k though (double??). There are places to get fuel along the way. You just need to plan carefully.

Personally I would use gerrycans, rather than go to the expense of extra fuel tanks, which you will only need once. Buy them in Pakistan, leave them in Iran. This too is the sort of thing you will find talked of in the boards of this site. (Jesus, that was an ugly sentence)

I am not sure that flying to Katmandu will be any more expensive than Delhi. Why should it be? It's easy enough to find out. Open the yellow pages and call some air freight agents.

Iain: do people really ship to Mumbai? Whew. I have come accross a few people who have shipped into India and, when asked about it, they always begin by taking a step backwards and breathing deeply, like the thought is too much to handle. On a short trip like Matt's (relatively speaking) spending six weeks waiting on paperwork in an Indian port would be less than wise.

Matt, you know about carnets yeah? And the whole Iran visa thing? Just checking.

Simon Kennedy
Around the world 2000-2004, on a 1993 Honda Transalp
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Old 16 Oct 2006
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Kathmandu to Belgium

Thanks guys for your imput, I'm on the case regarding shipping / carnet .... now looking into the fun parts route, planning, bike preperation and the COST !!!

Any advise or comments always very welcome ..

Salut Matt
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Old 19 Oct 2006
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It's 612km from Quetta to the border. We did it, in reverse, in one day. Leaving after midday! There's lots of fuel available roadside. Don't bother with jerrycans.

Anyway, about 14,500km from SE England to Kathmandu on my computer. Did it in 2 months which included a week stop in Germany and 10 days in Islamabad so could have gone quicker.

If I were you I'd ride out and ship back. You can airfreight from KTM to London for about US$4 per kilo so figure US$1000 for your Africa Twin & kit.

The worst part of the trip is Utter Pradesh so I would avoid flying to Delhi THEN riding to Kathmandu THEN back to Delhi again.

In Iran you can sit flat out on the highways for hours. Tukey has fast roads too. Only India/Pakistan gets you down to 50kmh or less.

If you wanna save time on the European end go to Brindisi and get the ferry to Greece. Cross Greece in a day and you're in Turkey - or vice versa.
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Old 19 Oct 2006
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I did 36,000 km from Chennai to London, however 10,000 km was in India alone and i took an extensive detour through Central Asia. I would say 20,000 to 25,000 km is a safe bet for a direct route.
If you go in June/July consider Ladakh as an alternative to Nepal, awesome high altitude landscape if the roads are open.
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