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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by eustachius, Mar 31, 2013.
First day of the trip, 0,00 km.
This is going to be great
Last day of the trip. Many cups of tea between. And as you can see, I wasn't going really fast.
Looks great so far!
I was on the road from mid April to mid July 2011. Some pictures to give you an idea what it was like.
This was somewhere along the Croatian coast. Sunny and fairly warm after rain and snow in Austria.
Oh, I'm so in!
good food, good beer, great coastline, no complaint!
The occasional cigarette along the road
and unleaded fuel in Albania
Spring in Greece
It's a Transalp 600, year 1996. I didn't really add anything special to the bike and it performed extremely well throughout the trip. I decided to go with soft bags. I modified some bicycle throwover bags which I had at home. I also carried an empty oil can for extra fuel (4 liters) just in case.
I went to Istanbul to pick up my transit visa for Turkmenistan. I had all the other visas in my passport when I left: Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia. I had applied for the Turkmen visa in Vienna, but it took some time, I was ready to leave and didn't want to wait any longer. The employee at the embassy came up with the idea that I could pick up my visa along the way, either in Istanbul or Teheran. He promised to send me the processing number of my visa as soon as it was ready and he told me that with this number I would have my visa delivered without any delay. I had my doubts. But I knew of an Iranian in Mashad who could also help with the Turkmen visa, if things didn't work out the way I had hoped.
I was still in Greece when I got an e-mail with the number I had been waiting for. I went to the Turkmen embassy in Istanbul in the morning, paid 55$ and they told me to pick up my passport with the visa at 5pm. And so it was. I felt relieved. My visa was valid from 12th May to 16th May. Everything was perfect.
I spent 2 nights in Istanbul and then took the ferry to Yalova from where I continued to Bursa and Konya. Good roads all the way and friendly people. Whenever I stop for gas, people would offer me tea and cookies and cigarettes. It was windy and cold, but dry.
On the terrace of a truckstop with a group of truckers. Always friendly and the best source of information as to road conditions, weather, border crossings etc.
After two nights in a backpackers' in Istanbul, I felt like sleeping in my tent again. I had my private watchdog.
The trip that you have i hope to do it in the next 2-3 years!!!
Do it, Zandesiro. On the way to Istanbul I spent some days in your area. Nikiti and Stavros, beautiful part of Greece. I liked Sithonia a lot. Met great people there.
I met those two happy Italian bikers in Göreme. They had been further to the east.
This was my direction - Silk Road!
After Göreme it got colder and wet, so no more camping for some nights.
Next time ring me a bell....To have some beers together!!
So as I said above, it got very wet and ...
very cold and ...
but very scenic.
better protection against the wind and cold. It was meant to reduce the noise in the helmet and it served its purpose well.
My last night in Turkey, Dogubeyazyt. Even in the room it was cold so I slept in my sleeping-bag. And as you can see, I was getting prepared for Iran. I would cross the border at Bazargan. And I was revising my very basic Russian.
Great so far, in for more.
I AM IN
Thanks for taking us old guys along.
Safe trip my friend.
Looking forward to more of this.
It took me no more than 10 minutes to get out of Turkey. Border officials wished me good-bye, safe trip and good luck for Iran.
There were hundreds of trucks waiting at the Iranian border. I was prepared for the worst. I had to stop at an iron gate. A soldier wanted to see my visa for Iran. He unlocked the gate, opened it and let me in. He then closed the gate again and locked it. I put the bike on the side-stand and waited. After some time a young man in a leather jacket came up to me and asked to see my passport. He took it and disappeared in one of the buildings. What was going on? Other people told me not to worry. I was then called into the building. The man with my passport told me to wait at a certain counter. I got my passport stamped there after they had filled in some forms. The same man in the leather jacket then led me to another room where officials dealt with my carnet de passages. In the end I was through in about 2 hours and I had paid 10$ to the semi-official assistant, who had indeed been very helpful.
I was glad to be in the country, but I had no insurance for the bike and no card for fuel. I wanted to go to Maku and see if I could sort those things out there.
This is my Iranian insurance policy. I paid about 13$ for 2 weeks. I didn't have the slightest idea what it would have been worth in case of an accident. But the place looked official.
Nobody really knew about any card for fuel for tourists. I didn't want to bother and decided to continue without.
Flat tire, no worries!
I spent a quiet night somewhat off the road. In the morning I had some visitors.
I was impressed.
Rice was always delicious.
Harley model unknown in Europe. In general, men always showed great interest in my motorcycle. They were impressed when they found 2 cylinders, a radiator and an electric start on my Honda. A frequent question was how many litres in the tank and how many kilometres with one tank. Gas is no longer as cheap as it used to be. If I understood things correctly, the locals have kind of a credit card with which they can get a certain amount of gas per month at a much lower price than what I had to pay. When I stopped for fuel, they asked me for the card. I told them that I didn't have any and someone would get out of his car and insert his card in the pump. I would pay the price shown on the pump and then I saw some transactions going on between the pump attendant and the card holder. Just my conclusions. Maybe I'm completely wrong.
I camped north of Tehran in the Central Alborz mountains. It was a national holiday or the weekend and many people from Tehran were picknicking along the river. Terrible traffic jams. I didn't want to go into the capital, so headed up north to Now Shahr and then anlong the Caspian Sea eastwards. A friendly family invited me to have breakfast with them when I had packed up. One of many invitations. Much sincere hospitality in the country and interest in the traveller.
In restaurants you sit on chairs and the food is served on tables. In private homes it's like this. I am so stiff and find it difficult to sit on the floor for more than some minutes. And when I stand up after a meal, I feel like an old man. I can hardly walk.
This was their back yard. The northern part of the country, the only one I saw, looked rather green and fertile to me.
There was even rice.