Iran - Alti Ustu Macera
It's been a tradition for me to take at least one long bike journey every year. This year it wasn't looking good because i have spent nearly the whole year bikeless and was waiting for a thing to get my new KTM 990 ADV. There wasn't much time for the schedules to fit. So if i miss the season there would be no tour for 2008.
As always everything started with a "what if...". Next thing i know, i was looking up stuff about Iran. Gathering maps and guides. This was 5 months before the trip. There's something moving about this trip. For example, there' s nothing adventurous in a trip to Europe. Last year i did the Dolomites tour in Italy. It was fantastic but you know what's going to happen before you leave home.
About the line up. Mete said "I'm with you the next time, whereever you go." Couple of guys also wanted to come. After few months it was obvious and it was Mete and me who is going.
The preparations sped up but there was a major question mark. I still haven't got a bike.
Meanwhile, people start to hear about the tour and everyone was anxious about safety and so on. The classic reaction was "Are you nuts?" It was tiring at this stage to explain everybody that there isn't a single concern and it was as safe as to travel in Turkey. We leave that to our return.
As time past by, in the mid August i bought my brand new 990 ADV and quickly started gathering equipment like alu side cases, Wings exhaust,....30 September was our d-day so, we only had september to be prepared. Mete was also adding some farkles to his Transalp. Fortunately, our Dalyan and Kiyikoy tours came in a great timing for my physical condition to grow.
There was a little time left and the pre was on its way. We had a lot of things to do on my garage every day like changing tires, oils. Mete also wanted a 990 but in his head he has pushed it to 2009. But just one week left to departure we found a superb 2006 990 for sale. The price was right and it has akro tubes and alu cases on it. There were a lot of pros and cons about changing the bike in the last week and going with the same bike. On the same day we sold the Transalp and bought the 990. A black and an orange looks fantastic together.
The reality struck quick and things were in a deadlock. Because we are in Izmir and we bought the bike from Istanbul, there was no time for Mete to get a new licence plate and registration. Your name has to be on the registration to get a Carnet. We got a powering document from the ex-owner to get a Carnet and Mete will be travelling with his bike officially. Of course he paid the bikes money.
There was a thing that was bothering us for some time. If we enter Iran and they stamp our passport, will it be a problem later to obtain a US or Shengen Visa ? Thanks to the Security Department they have a bylaw that lets us give our original passport to depozit and get a new, fresh one. After return we are going to give the new one back and get our original.
We went to the Touring Club for the bike's documents. You have to get an international Licesce and a Carnet. Carnet costs about 100 USD and we depozited another 200 USD to the bank. When we return we give the Carnet back and take the 200 bucks back.