Trip through Turkey, Iran, Stans, Russia, Mongolia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by eustachius, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. drmracni

    drmracni Montenegro

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    :lurk:lurk:lurk
    #21
  2. V-Twin-Maniac

    V-Twin-Maniac Been here awhile

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    Unbedingt weiter machen mit dem Bericht!

    Did you ride alone?

    Looks like!
    #22
  3. fluctuat_nec_mergitur

    fluctuat_nec_mergitur Adventurer

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    I did a similar trip a month after you, without the detour to Mongolia, and have been preparing a RR but now that you've done yours I don't need to publish mine: you have better pics and a more precise writing. :*sip*

    Are you sure you weren't covered by your incurance? Did you check your Green Card? If my memory serves me right Iran _is_ included. -On the other hand, at that price it doesn't really make a difference. However, the 'stans and Russia East of Urals are not covered. Looking forward to learn how you got insurance for those places.

    Had the same experience so probably you are right. The only complication was the peculiar Iranian way of paying in 'tumens' (tumen is 10 rials). Some room for confusion for an inexperienced rider.
    #23
  4. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

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    Gruesse aus USA. Aua.... was fuer ein guter Reise Bericht...mache weiter..folge Dir! :clap

    cheers...
    #24
  5. eustachius

    eustachius Adventurer

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    This is my first ride report and I am not much of a photographer or writer. But thanks anyway for your kind reaction.

    I inquired about insurance for Iran and Turkey, they are both crossed out on my Green Card. My Austrian insurance told me to buy local insurance at the borders. They were not sure if Iran would accept the Austrian policy and Turkish insurance was cheaper at the border than it would have cost at home.

    Will try not to forget to write about insurance issues in the other countries and would love to read about your experiences and see your pictures.


    So I went along the Caspian Sea. I had expected more. My direction was Gorgan, Bojnurd, Quchan. Temperatures were nice and once I had left the Caspian Sea behind, there was much less traffic and I really enjoyed riding. Traffic in Iran is something you have to get used to. Roads can be busy at times and Iranian drivers like to get very close to a tourist on a motorcycle. I had some frightening moments. And countless speedbreakers before every town or roundabout.
    There were some police checks, but never any fines. It was more out of curiosity, I think. The bike, the tires, the luggage, some small talk etc.



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    I had OSM on my Garmin and I found it extremely helpful all along.

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    I stayed with this family for 2 days. The women were in the house preparing dinner while we were walking around their farm.

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    Hungry bricklayers.

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    There was something wrong. You see a lot of old trucks on the roads.

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    This was the backyard of a cheap hotel. When I stay in a hotel I always make sure that I have a safe place for the bike. This might sometimes be the reception, a garage, a neighbour's shed. Very often I would leave my luggage on the bike and only take my daybag, tankbag and sleeping-bag. My Garmin comes up with me, of course. I hate dragging up all my stuff those steep staircases.

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    One of many smiles I got in this country.

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    Those last pictures were taken in Quchan. I had spent 10 days in Iran and I found travelling there easier than I had expected. The main roads are in excellent condition. There was fuel whenever I needed some. Food in roadside eateries was cheap, but maybe not as tasty as in Turkey. And I also liked Turkish tea better, it's much stronger.
    I had heard about Iranian hospitality, but when I experienced it myself, it was incredible. So many invitations to have tea, dinner or to stay overnight at their homes. Sometimes people found it difficult to understand why I wanted to stay in a hotel.
    On May 12th, I went up north towards Turkmenistan. I felt nervous and excited and forgot to take some fuel. This was the only time that I ran out of fuel on the entire trip. I made it to the border, but then the engine died. Luckily I had two litres in my extra-can.

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    #25
  6. Radzz

    Radzz Adventurer

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    Enjoying every line and Photo....keep going I´m loving it...and dreaming that maybe one day it could be me:lurk
    #26
  7. YukonTracker

    YukonTracker Ride your Way

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    Thanks. This is excellent! I've been to Turkey(without bike) and both Turkey and Iran are on my to-bike-wish-list. Traffic may be a bit "kamikaze", but the people are in general warm.
    #27
  8. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Fantastic! Thanks for the overview of riding through Iran.. Enjoyed your narrative and pics! Nice to see the goodness in people is almost universal :thumb

    :lurk
    #28
  9. SS in Vzla.

    SS in Vzla. Totally Normal? I'm not!

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    Very interesting places your traveled through.
    Thanks for posting :clap
    Looking forward to the next update!
    #29
  10. eustachius

    eustachius Adventurer

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    I rode alone for the first two and a half months, as far as Barnaul, which is south of Novosibirsk. I met two friends there (Austrian and Dutch) and together we went on to Mongolia. As everyone knows, riding alone has its advantages and disadvantages.
    So if you follow me to Siberia, you will get to know my travel companions and friends.
    #30
  11. BIF

    BIF Adventurer

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    Hello Eustachius!

    First off all thank you that sharing these RR with us. Hardly wait for continuing.:clap

    I'm extremely interesting for your report, because i plan exactly the same route for next year. Only difference is, that me and my friend attend to do these on ATV. Same feeling on four wheels...two more possibilities of tire puncture...hehehe.:dog

    Since I'm from Slovenia my trip will be almost the same long as your. What i will like to ask you (if it is not a secret)...how much money did you spend on your trip (gasoline costs, hotels, food, insurances etc....) All cost which you have from start till your come back home.

    And of course if i could contact you for any other useful information?

    Thank you.
    #31
  12. eustachius

    eustachius Adventurer

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    I rode up to the border post of Bajgiran/Gaudan. It was a beautiful ride through the mountains. There were again a lot of trucks waiting. It took me about 30 minutes to get out of Iran. They stamped my passport and my carnet (important!). Nobody searched my luggage. I bought some Manat with the Iranian money that I had left. There are people who will ask you if you are interested in this transaction.
    I drove on to the Turkmen post. It was lunchtime, so the customs officials had their 2-3 hour break. I was waiting in the company of some Turkish engineers, 2 Japanese tourists and local people. Waiting seemed to be a routine to them.
    When there was some movement in the crowd, I queued in front of a counter hoping that this would lead to something. Unfortunately it didn't. The customs formalities were pretty confusing. I was sent here and there, officials were filling in forms for me, stamped them, I had to pay insurance for the bike, road tax, importation tax and so on. Everything was written by hand. They marked my route through Turkmenistan on a small map which I had to show in case of police checks and which I had to hand in at the border to Uzbekistan. It took me about 3 hours to get out of customs. I was very hungry and thirsty. Important for border crossings in this area: Never arrive on an empty stomach and a full bladder.

    And on I went to Ashgabat.

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    This town is incredible. Large parts of it are new, it's clean, it's marble and glass and gold, but where are the crowds you would expect?

    I was looking for a cheap guesthouse I had read about, but it was no more. There is much construction going on everywhere and entire blocks are pulled down.

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    This gentleman helped me to find a hotel in the centre of town. We agreed to meet later in the evening to have a beer together. BEER!!!

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    The driver who took us to the beer-garden. It's quite normal to wave down a private car in the street. You agree on the fare and it's your taxi.

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    Cold beer and spare ribs!

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    A lot of construction is going on in the whole city and a lot of Toyota Camry's. This is not a very common car in Europe.

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    This was in the Russian bazaar.

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    My bike was parked in front of the Hotel Ashgabat. I paid 50$ a night. It was worth it, with air-conditioning, private shower and bathroom, balcony and centrally located.
    It was 40°C during the day and very warm till late at night. I knew I had to get up early in the morning to cover some kilometres before the sun was too high up.
    Ashgabat is unique. The question remains, to what extent do all these empty palaces serve the common people? What about schools? hospitals? roads?

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    View from my balcony.
    #32
  13. eustachius

    eustachius Adventurer

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    I roughly spent about 1000 Euros/month. You can do it on less or on much more. I met cyclists who spent an average of 10$/day and they needed a lot of calories.
    Average fuel consumption of my Transalp when I take it easy, and I usually do when I am on longer trips, is about 4 litres/100 kilometres.

    I will be glad, if I can be of any help.
    #33
  14. zakou

    zakou Been here awhile

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    Thank you for posting ! This is really great !! something many of us in here have as a plan to do !! Very "simple aproach" in your photography.
    #34
  15. AlpineGuerrilla

    AlpineGuerrilla Been here awhile

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    :clap

    Amazing trip and report!! I really start to dream when I see your pictures. Iran has to be fascinating.
    #35
  16. Dr LC8

    Dr LC8 ...soon or later

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    I am loving it!

    Nic
    #36
  17. davesupreme

    davesupreme grand poobah

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    oh, yeah!......
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  18. BIF

    BIF Adventurer

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    Hello Eustachius!

    Thx for your response. According to your answer I think my calculates are pretty OK. My plan is traveling for three months (approx.) And my calculation is about 6.000 EUR for the trip. Of course my fuel consumption will be between 8-10L/100km.

    My calculates basic on average distance 250km/day. Is that realistic?...Some day more, some day less...depending of the terrain, weather, etc. On the paved roads my average speed will be around 80km/h...and I have some advantages on unpaved roads (4x4) and some sandy or mud conditions. So I think that my approximate speed will be around 50km/h...I think its pretty close to realistic.

    However...i will contact you on PM...maybe we can arrange some meeting before Ill went on trip. Your information will be huge help for me.

    Best regards.:wave
    #38
  19. Blue Icebreaker

    Blue Icebreaker Been here awhile

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    It says "car wash" - the line written in red. But english transcribed in Farsi, phonetically! "Kar uaš" :roflhahaha great!!!
    #39
  20. bend27

    bend27 by hook or by crook

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    :lurk
    #40