Finding Freedom...World Wide Ride

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

  1. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    SmilinJoe and SavannahCapt like this.
  2. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    There are many signs warning of camels, but we did not see any until 30 km from our destination.

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

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

    [​IMG]Iran-24 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

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

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

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

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

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

    [​IMG]Tabas Iran-10 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
    SmilinJoe likes this.
  3. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    SmilinJoe and SavannahCapt like this.
  4. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Finally some camels!!

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

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

    Our hotel is small cabins that are very nice and most importantly has good air con. The rest of the place seems almost abandoned or have finished we can not tell, but someone had big plans. We were all so baked we got into the room showered and passed out for 4 hours.

    It had cooled off to 39 at 7 and we drove into town to find an open place to eat for of course kebab! Across the street is a huge shrine that takes up a city block. I must wear a chador and of course they are located at the exact opposite entrance to where we were. Long walk with Reza to get the green on. Massive and very beautiful shrine to one of the other brothers of the shrine in Shiraz.

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

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

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

    chussel Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    21
    What a marathon effort getting into Iran, long days, well done. Where are you now? We are heading to Almaty (Kazakhstan)today for a couple of days.
    Saralou likes this.
  6. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We are in Dushanbe until tomorrow. We will be on Pamir for the next week. Then to Osh by about ?15 th

    Sara
  7. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    The plan was to get going early after the heat of yesterday, but at least we only have 263 km to go to Gonabad.

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-06-22 at 23.11.35 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    We were served not a bad breakfast of the “hotel”. We fuelled up and then headed out. It was nice to spend the day on a 2 lane secondary road as most of the roads here are 4 lane highways straight thru the desert. We planned to make one stop only if we found shade half way. The desert goes on and on, but it is much cooler today and the worst was 36. It was as cool as 28 in the hills.

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

    [​IMG]Iran-38 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  8. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We stopped in Ferdos for a drink and an ice cream and were mobbed with people with all kinds of questions for us, requests for photos, and invitations to their homes for cold drinks. We did press on, but had been told there was a nice oasis about 20 km before Gonabad in Kakhk.

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

    We turned off the main road and asked directions to the “waterfalls”. We were again stopped by the police who wanted to the the documents that Reza has to make us official.

    We arrived to the park and it was packed as today is a holiday and Ramadan is over. We pulled thru the gates and parked in the first shaded area. We were completely mobbed with people.

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

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

    Mehdi who is actually in charge of the park speaks some English came over to talk with us and to invite us to come up “to a nicer place and to have lunch”. This involved getting the gate unlocked so we could ride up past the falls. Medhi's wife Fatime.

    [​IMG]Iran-41 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  9. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Initially we parked at a spot we thought was the top and again were were totally mobbed with people wanting photos. Now this can be nice, but it can also be very stressful. I'd hate to be famous after this taste of attention!

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

    [​IMG]Iran-43 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-44 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-45 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-46 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-47 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-48 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
    SmilinJoe and SavannahCapt like this.
  10. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Mehdi caught up to us and said we needed to drive further up to the top as it would be quieter.

    [​IMG]Iran-49 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

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

    They moved the carpet for us to park in the shade and sent someone to town for kebabs for us!

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

    [​IMG]Iran-61 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

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

    [​IMG]Gonabad Iran-24 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  11. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We has such fun with the kids taking photos and taking with Reza’s help. The number of people who wanted a photo of me (woman riding a bike) and a usually then crying baby was incredible.

    [​IMG]Iran-50 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-51 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-52 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-53 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-54 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-55 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-56 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-57 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-58 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-59 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-60 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-62 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  12. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We stopped at the gate to look at the old water mill and Reza had to stay with the bikes to make sure they did not get knocked over in the excitement.

    [​IMG]Iran-63 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-64 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    Then Mehdi invited us to his home for a cold drink. Such a lovely family. They insisted we stay for dinner, offered us showers, the use of the washing machine and even to sleep there. It was 4 pm so we agreed to go to the hotel clean up and rest and then return for dinner and a birthday party.

    [​IMG]Iran-65 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-66 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    Some wine from Shiraz!!

    [​IMG]Iran-67 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-68 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-69 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  13. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    The hotel is the only one in town and is quite sketchy. The “air con was turned on at check in and was basically a fan blowing hot air still when we left 3 hours later. To be fair it was cooler at 1 am when we arrived back and actually quite cool all night and we slept well. There was a cake shop near by and we got 2 kg of cake to take to the party.

    [​IMG]Iran-70 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    The whole family was invited and as dinner was not ready at 8 we went into the village to tour around. The meal was really amazing and everyone pitched in to help. Then there was cake, sparklers and dancing to end this amazing night.

    [​IMG]Iran-71 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-72 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    We saw their sheep farm, pottery shop, and plant shop!

    [​IMG]Iran-73 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-74 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-75 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-77 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-81 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  14. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Now it was birthday party time for Pouria who was turning 11!! Both he and Amir Ali (13) speak English very well. These two boys are very intelligent and well educated. I would love to see what they will do with their lives. Amir Ali wants to be a neurosurgeon!

    [​IMG]Iran-82 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-83 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-84 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-85 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-86 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-88 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-91 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-92 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-96 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Iran-97 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
    This is a gift that Fatime made and gave to me!

    [​IMG]Iran-98 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  15. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Today is the last real day in Iran we have 289 km to Mashhad.

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-06-22 at 23.11.54 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    This is a city of 3 million and a site for millions of pilgrim’s. The ride was thru the desert and semi desert, but much cooler with the lowest at 26 and the highest at 31. The last part was a curvy canyon road and over the mountains.

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

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

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

    Arriving to the city the traffic was very fast and erratic, but once we were on the city streets it was actually not bad. We have taken to leading in the city since following the guide who will not use his GPS, but keeps stopping for directions is very challenging. Iranian drivers in general are best described as oblivious. They will not drive between the lines (truck drivers excepted who in general are very courteous) Drivers go in which ever direction they like and don’t seem to care who else is around them. One driver today was straddling the line while passing us and was close enough Dan’s boot made contact with the passenger door. Except the trucks the drivers NEVER use a turn signal.

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

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

    The hotel here is near to the centre of the city and to the “holy Shrine”. We arrived about 1 and Trevor went out to get oil to service his bike. He hit the jackpot on the moto shop since they had the old he wanted, a rear tube, and a cooling bike seat cover. We took a cab the 2 km to the shrine and arrived at prayer time. It was packed with pilgrims. The shrine is massive and takes up about 2 city blocks. Think of this with thousands of people here for prayer. It was quite a sight.

    We walked back to the hotel and planned an early exit in the morning. The guide at 10 pm says to us b the way the border you said you wanted to cross at you can not as your LOI specifies a different one. This is much farther east and would mean a 300 km backtrack to our planned destination of Ashgabat. They also did not inform us that the transit visas they arranged also specified the exit border, which is due north of the entry. This makes the trip to Ashgabat and then the Door to hell at Darvasa impossible, Oh well plans change and you have to be flexible.


    The Swede has a video review of Iran!

  16. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    So it will be 372 km to Mary. Leaving the city there was some traffic and crazy drivers, but turning north the road was empty for a while. The secondary road to the border is only 2 lane and there are a lot of trucks. There is one section thru the mountain pass that is quite nice. We booked it the 186 km and just stopped for gas in Sarakh.

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

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

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-07-01 at 16.59.19 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    Luckily we had way pointed the actual crossing since there are no signs to the border. This is clearly the truck crossing. We arrived to the check point and parked outside at 1045. There was a shop to get some snacks and water and guys changing Iranian currency to Turkmenistan money.

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

    We then were asked to pull the bikes inside the gate. They asked me to remove my helmet camera (first border in 67 countries). Here at the first office they want your Carnet and passport. They seem to be registering the carnet and passport for exit. They give you a paper on which you will collect all your stamps from each step before you can exit. You then exit the office and the agent walk over 10 m to a window where they again want your passport and now registration. I was asked to put my jacket back on as today i was back to my short sleeved riding shirt.

    From here you ride 400 m and are directed to park. An agent then directs you to the customs office where they again want to see the passports and carnet, but still no exit stamp. They did write in a bunch of details on the forms.

    Then you walk 200 m to the passport control building. We of course arrived here at what seemed a lunch break. After about 20 minutes of waiting we were asked into the back and seated in an air conditioned office. The big cheese was here and registered the carnets in the ledger and gave us the all important exit stamp. He then came out to inspect the bikes and random items of luggage. He did not even look in the pannier he asked me to open. He even asked to see the photos on Dan’s pocket camera as well. He told us that if we have any medication with codeine we need to get rid of it before we go to Turkmenistan as they are very serious about their ban of this there. Now we needed to go back to the passport control to get an exit stamp this took at least 20 minutes.

    From here you are supposed to ride back around the building the way you came and then get the carnet checked for exit, but some truck drivers laid out a gate over the ditch from where we were parked so we could by pass the trucks and get to the front of the line. This meant we had a short walk back to the office to have the final checks done. Now we could go to the police booth to get the ok to leave Iran after 2 1/2 hours. The Iranian side of the border was very third world. We were a bit concerned about the next step after all we had read on line…It will take at least 4 hours, Turkmen people are very unfriendly, you must watch you stuff closely when they check the luggage as items go missing. Now this was mostly reports from the large border nearer to Ashgabat.
    SavannahCapt likes this.
  17. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We then rode 300 m to the Turkmenistan check point. Here they wanted to see the passports and were very friendly. You must ride over the bridge to the check point on the other side and again they want your passport. Here they insisted Orvar remove the Go Pro.

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

    From here it is 1.5 km to the border control. This is a huge white building with many trucks in the numerous bays being gone over with a fine tooth comb. We were directed to park at the dorms and then go inside.

    Step 1 - “sanitary check”- 2 at a time we were ushered into the health room. A man in a white lab coat asked for the passports and said ok? check? I guess we look healthy enough to pass. Funny note everywhere there are photos of the president prominently displayed, but in each room he is dressed in the garb of the area. Here he is dressed up as a doctor with a lab coat.

    Step 2- You go thru to the customs hall. This is a huge room with several x ray machines and the left side is a long line of guys at desks. There is a line up of locals at the door, but the officers directed us past them to the first desk. Here they confirmed we had transit visas for 5 days. They wanted to know where we planned to go and what hotel we were booked to stay in (we said Mary, but we did not have a hotel booked, which they though was strange). They wanted the bike details make, model, cc, and VIN. They take your fingerprints and facial scan.

    He directed us to the next window (kasse) to the bank to pay the 20$ fee. The bank guy was very nice and after checking the passports stamped out paper paid without asking for the money! Back to the first desk to have the stamp checked. We now have 2 new papers.

    Step 3- There is a row of 5 men at the next area who were all smiles and very nice. You give your bike registration to the second guy. Now we have 3 new papers. You then move to the third guy who does something else with the paperwork and more stamps. Then you go down to the last guy. He makes up a paper that documents your EXACT route across the country. He adds all the fees to this, and he prints off a TVIP for you to sign. Then you go back to the first guy to have all the papers checked. Now we have 5 slips of paper. Then you go 20 m farther down to the military check the wall is so high here only Dan can see over it. All papers checked again. He directs you back to the kasse to pay ouch 73!!! USD for the entry fees and insurance. This also includes an fee for bike decontamination which they did not do. (So far to cross Turkmenistan we have pain 150$ for LOI, 55$ for Visa, 73$ for entry). At each step they also checked the passports.

    Step 4- Back out to the bikes and we are directed to the “declaration office”, which is 150 m across the lot to a small white building. Here the officer asks for your passport and registration. The form also includes how much money you are carrying and you must sign this. (There are reports on line that if they check you at exit and you have more cash than this they will take it).

    Step 5- There is a bit of confusion on where we are to go next. The declaration officer told us to go 2 by 2 in the first open rows with the trucks, but the guys outside directed us to park to the far left. Of course once we got there we had to go back to where we were told in the first place. Dan and I pulled into the first row. Here young men in the army and combing the vehicles for contraband. They look like secret service sweeping for a presidential visit. The first young guy was insistent that I stay in row 1 , but Dan must go over to the empty row 4! Check is 1 vehicle at a time. They were very insistent, but a senior official came over and calmed them down. He was super friendly and spoke a little English. They want to search the luggage. They were very professional, asked for 1 item at a time to be opened, did not touch anything unless they asked to see it. I was asked to open a few bags in side the panniers, but it was cursory. When it was taking some time to undo the dry bag with the tent they asked what it was and when i said tent they said don't bother. For the medical kit they wanted to see inside it, but barely looked at it. Orvar said they made sure he was watching the whole time they searched. We were very surprised they did not even look at Dan’s tank bag. We had been a bit worried as the bigger camera is in there. They did not seem concerned with the tripod either.

    Step 6 - ride to the exit check point with all your papers and stamps. Bottom line very modern border, very friendly efficient staff, but slightly paranoid.

    [​IMG]Turkmenistan-37 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
    powderzone and SavannahCapt like this.
  18. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    It is now 430 local time (30 min ahead of Iran) and we have 230 km to go to Mary. We now had only had some water and 1/4 of a seed bar each all day. It is only 36, but very hot and humid.

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

    We had only gone 10 km when we hit the next check point. It was at least 15 minutes stopped in the sun for the passport check. We finally got off to hide under the shade. Dan said I’m getting so hungry and a few minutes later one of the local ladies that had been ahead of us in line came back form here car with a huge loaf of fresh bread for us.

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

    The women here have the most fantastic outfits and most are very slim. They wear long form fitting caftan like dresses and elaborate head scarf that look like they are from the Caribbean.

    [​IMG]Turkmenistan-22 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
    powderzone and SavannahCapt like this.
  19. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    The road is paved, but very soft and rutted badly in spots by the trucks. There are no signs of any kind (direction, distance, warning). We saw a single sign in 250 km for Ashgabat or Mary go left or right.

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

    The GPS wants to route on the old road, but we continued on the M37. This is a divided road, but both directions are on the one side. There are no lines and so it is basically a wide asphalt strip with vehicles going both ways. The drivers are very fast, but they pass safely and signal. Most of the road was pretty good. They have grated a few sections and they are covered with some gravel.

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

    There are a few gas stations and some small shops between the border and the turn north (109 KM), but absolutely nothing between there and the 139 km to Mary.

    [​IMG]Mary Turkmenistan-6 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
    SavannahCapt likes this.
  20. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.