Finding Freedom...World Wide Ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BcDano, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    3,932
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    4 hours of sleep is not enough after such a long ride. We had also not set the phone ahead and did not long onto wifi and so we were already 30 min late getting up. We scarfed down some breakfast and rushed down to the parking to find the guys packed up of course.
    As an aside this whole women must have their hair covered thing is quite daunting. You can not leave your room without ankles, elbows, and head and neck covered. I am more careful of this when in regular clothes, but when out riding i just pull my buff over my hair and call it a day.

    We headed out of Tabriz for our first view of Iran in day light. The plan is was originally to ride 10 hours and 664 km to the coast of the Caspian at Chalus, but after yesterday and 4 hours of sleep we shortened this to 5 hours and 310 km to Astara.

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 16.11.10 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    This meant the travel agent changing the hotel for us…We went east on the toll road and then off on the secondary roads. The traffic was a bit of mayhem in the towns. There are no rules, there are always more lanes of cars then lanes, and they turn right from the left lane and left from the right lane infront of you. When in the one “left turn lane” there may be 3-4 rows deep and any of them could actually be making a U turn into you as well.

    [​IMG]Astana by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
    marior97 and MaNDan like this.
  2. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Any time we stopped on the side of the road this gathered a crowd of people many of whom did U turns to come back to talk to us. Iranians are incredibly friendly and so excited to see and talk to foreigners. 80% of cars honk and wave madly! Lots take photos of us.

    [​IMG]Astana-17 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Astana-20 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-4 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-5 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-7 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    One of Sara’s SUPER FANS!!!

    [​IMG]Iran-8 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-9 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr


    We could not figure out the whole Panda thing??

    [​IMG]Iran-6 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  3. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    3,932
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We stopped at a butcher to pick up some meat for a BBQ dinner we had been invited to. While parked we were mobbed with people welcoming us and wanting photos with us.

    The invitation was from (old) Hussein. The story is that old Hussein is the original man who has been booking tours and arranging Carnet free riding here. He is in the Lonely Planet apparently. His identity has been “stolen” by (young) Hussein who has tried to pass himself off as the Hussein. The younger even has called his company almost the same name as the older he just switched the word order. We had actually booked with the younger and he did arrange for our LOI for Turkmenistan and for our actuation numbers and we did eventually get into both of those countries. Friends had used the older and did not. That said the younger is just a fixer and not a registered guide or travel agent, which he says he is. He charges a lot of money for work others actually do. We would recommend you book with a registered guide if you need one and they will contract the hotel booking to a travel agent.

    [​IMG]Astana-6 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Astana-2 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Astana-22 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
    [​IMG]Iran-10 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Astana-23 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-11 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  4. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We crossed the plains here and it is dry and mostly flat as far as you can see. Many of the cars that pass us are waving and honking. Sara attracts a lot of attention as they never see a woman riding a moto. She had one super fan who followed (too close) for over 10 km.

    [​IMG]Astana-3 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Astana-4 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Astana-5 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    We resorted to putting stickers and a yellow dry bag in the guides car so we could spot him from a distance.

    [​IMG]Astana-12 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Astana-7 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  5. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
  6. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Heading up over the mountains we were in the clouds. There is only 1 road and it is a single line of cars and trucks. People are passing at high speed. There are hundreds of local picnicking at the side of the road, under the clouds, and surrounded by trash. Not very appealing to us.

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 16.11.32 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Astana-14 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Astana-16 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    12 km before the hotel we were invited to the home of a friend of the guide better known and Old Hussein a famous guide here. We had a kebab meal on the lawn.

    [​IMG]Iran-12 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-13 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-14 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-15 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  7. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    The “hotel” was a bit sketchy. The lobby was a construction site and they have a car repair shop in the parkade. There is no wifi of course. The rooms looked like they were once apartments. The bedroom was sparse, but clean. The living room dusty and mildewed. The bathroom a squat loo and the “shower in the room” type we particularly hate. Who thinks a shower directly into the bathroom is a good idea? Well at least there was hot water and air con.

    This evening it is drizzling, but we walked out for some tea and a tour of the local Bazaar. The guys stopped for shaves and hair cuts. Here i bought a Manteau, which is basically a longish garment that you can wear over your clothes to adhere to the dress code. The guys were hungry so we got some falafel.

    [​IMG]Iran-18 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-19 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-20 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-16 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-17 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-21 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  8. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
  9. TOTim

    TOTim Been here awhile

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    Toronto On
    Fantastic report
  10. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Hey TOTim! Thanks so much!!!!! We don't get too many comments so its nice to know you like it!!! Sara
  11. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    We woke to the pouring rain. The initial plan today was “the long way” to Tehran, but at the time we needed to decide on the route it was still pouring after 4 hours and so we elected for the “ shorter route”.

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 16.14.12 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Tehran by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Tehran-21 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Tehran-2 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Tehran-3 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Tehran-4 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  12. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Almost immediately after we headed south the sun was shining and the topography desert. We were still 260 km from the Capital. We did stop here for a traditional lunch. There was quite a gathering around the bikes when we came out. It is an issue to find food in the day time, but there are some places open for travellers.

    [​IMG]Tehran-5 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Tehran-6 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-25 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Tehran-8 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-26 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Tehran-9 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Tehran-10 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Tehran-11 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Tehran-12 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Tehran-13 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Tehran-15 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Tehran-16 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  13. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    The closer we got to the city the worse the traffic and the driving. We were very overheated and stopped for some shade, rest, and lemonade. We had lots of people coming up to talk to us and get photos. One guy came up to me and said hi and when i said hi he said “ wow you are a woman!!”

    "Big" bikes are illegal here so that means no tolls!!

    [​IMG]34855422744_c7e6a1753f_o by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Tehran-22 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    40 km from Tehran it was game on and you had to concentrate very well. Many drivers hug the line on your side or straddle the line. There are often no white lines and thus more “lanes” of cars than lanes. They exit and enter the highway from the left and the right at high speed and merge between the bikes. We were then stopped just after a toll by the police and luckily the guide had all the necessary paperwork for us. This extra security is related to the recent ISIS attacks. All he wanted was to see our passports.

    In the city itself it is a free for all. They mostly stop for red lights except pedestrians and scooters. The rounds about are a free formal as there is no centre core and bikes, people, and scooters are going every way at once. The cars from the right try to block the box and you have to push into the intersection all the while trying not to get hit and avoiding the people who run out in front of you or the scooter that cuts you off.

    [​IMG]34855405274_65a2631f4a_o by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Tehran-17 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
    marior97, SmilinJoe and MaNDan like this.
  14. everready

    everready Stuck in Ohio....Ugh!!!

    Joined:
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    Macedonia, Ohio
    Thirty years ago I did a little riding around Adana Turkey. I don't think I could do it now though. I'd have to have a few stiff belts afterwards.
    Following along.....
  15. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Wow that was a real adventure then i am sure! The heat is the killer really. Beer of course helps a lot! Iran may be more of a challenge then!!!

    Sara
  16. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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  17. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    marior97, SmilinJoe and MaNDan like this.
  18. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We have had an ongoing issue with the “guide” service (young) Hussein…(not Old Hussein or Kurdish Hussein) He is we find out just a middle man. He is not a licensed guide and he is not a travel agent. His communication is slow, because he has to contact others to get answers. Who ever he used to get the Turkmenistan LOI did a good job and as well the timing of the application for the accusation number after the election. We got visas whereas others did not. The problem now is we revised the tour with him from 16 days to 12 and this was before the visas went thru. He then said he would then book a guide and the hotels. He had yet to adjust the cost however. The poor guide Reza is caught in the middle, but he agrees with us. In future I would advise USA, Canadian, and UK riders contact an authorized guide directly. They work directly with a travel agent. (Young) Hussein has charged a lot of extra money for doing essentially nothing.

    Tonight we went out after 8 when it was cooler and had some traditional Ramada fast noodle soup and and then of course kebab. Me in “the garb”.

    [​IMG]Iran-30 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-33 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-31 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-32 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-34 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Tehran-3 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  19. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    It is very hot today here in Tehran. We took the metro down to the city centre for .50$ each. It is very modern and air conditioned.

    [​IMG]Iran-35 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-36 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-37 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    The core is closed to cars after the ISIS attacks last week.
    [​IMG]Iran-38 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-39 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-40 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-42 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  20. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.