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Old 04-02-2013, 02:18 PM   #16
KiloBravo
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Great so far, in for more.
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:26 PM   #17
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I AM IN
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:24 PM   #18
Mehaniotis
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Thanks for taking us old guys along.
Safe trip my friend.
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:52 AM   #19
MeinMotorrad
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Im in.

Looking forward to more of this.

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Old 04-03-2013, 11:48 AM   #20
eustachius OP
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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.

eustachius screwed with this post 04-03-2013 at 12:53 PM
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:24 PM   #21
drmracni
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:09 PM   #22
V-Twin-Maniac
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Unbedingt weiter machen mit dem Bericht!

Did you ride alone?

Looks like!
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:07 AM   #23
fluctuat_nec_mergitur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eustachius View Post
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 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.

Quote:
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.
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.

Quote:
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.
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.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:44 AM   #24
Abenteuerfahrer
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Gruesse aus USA. Aua.... was fuer ein guter Reise Bericht...mache weiter..folge Dir!

cheers...
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:22 AM   #25
eustachius OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluctuat_nec_mergitur View Post
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.

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.
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.











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





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







Hungry bricklayers.



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




























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.







One of many smiles I got in this country.



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.




eustachius screwed with this post 04-04-2013 at 12:36 PM
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:20 PM   #26
Radzz
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Enjoying every line and Photo....keep going Im loving it...and dreaming that maybe one day it could be me
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:04 PM   #27
YukonTracker
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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.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:18 PM   #28
GB
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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

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Old 04-04-2013, 06:35 PM   #29
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Very interesting places your traveled through.
Thanks for posting
Looking forward to the next update!
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:10 AM   #30
eustachius OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V-Twin-Maniac View Post
Unbedingt weiter machen mit dem Bericht!

Did you ride alone?

Looks like!
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.
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