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Old 04-05-2013, 11:09 AM   #31
BIF
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Hello Eustachius!

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

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.

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.
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:44 PM   #32
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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.




















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.



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!!!



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.



Cold beer and spare ribs!



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.











This was in the Russian bazaar.



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 40C 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?



View from my balcony.

eustachius screwed with this post 04-16-2013 at 12:46 PM
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:02 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIF View Post
Hello Eustachius!

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

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.

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.
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.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:09 PM   #34
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Hello from Greece

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.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:51 PM   #35
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Amazing trip and report!! I really start to dream when I see your pictures. Iran has to be fascinating.
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:19 PM   #36
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:53 PM   #37
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oh, yeah!......
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:59 AM   #38
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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.
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:05 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by eustachius View Post

It says "car wash" - the line written in red. But english transcribed in Farsi, phonetically! "Kar ua" hahaha great!!!
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:49 AM   #40
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:52 AM   #41
eustachius OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIF View Post
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.
Road conditions vary. In some countries it's like Europe. In other parts progress is much slower. 250 km/day - as an average, no problem at all, unless you have much rain in Mongolia or mud-slides somewhere in the mountains of Tadjikistan or Kyrgyztan. Of course, you never know about borders. My average distance was about 200 km/day or a bit more and I never had the impression that I had to hurry.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:58 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Blue Icebreaker View Post
It says "car wash" - the line written in red. But english transcribed in Farsi, phonetically! "Kar ua" hahaha great!!!

Thank you for this information. All along Iran I had admired the beauty of these inscriptions without having the slightest idea of their meaning.
Unfortunately I didn't and still don't speak a single word of Farsi, but people were always eager to help.
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:25 AM   #43
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I set my alarm to be up early - is this a vacation?
I couldn't have breakfast in the hotel so I stopped at a caf around the corner. There were buses loaded with people going to work, it seemed. I felt very privileged.
I went south-east and for the first 30 or 40 kilometres the road was perfect. But then it got really bad. Broken asphalt, dust, detours, potholes and it was getting very hot again. My helmet seemed to be 2 sizes smaller. I had a headache, even with sunglasses it was too bright for my eyes. I stopped to take an Aspirin, it was the first on this trip.






























From Ashgabat I went to Mary where I stayed in a hotel/motel for 30$. I had planned to camp out, but after 350 or 400 kilometres in the blazing sun and the dust I felt like a shower, air condition and - you guess it - cold beer. I got it all. I spent the evening with a German couple who had a local guide. They had visited the ruins of Merv during the day and were still recovering from the heat. I knew I didn't want to stumble over ruins in my black motorcycle gear.
I left early the next morning and was heading towards Turkmenabat. Another day on bad roads, semi-desert, heat, tea at truckstops, trains in the distance. This is not a place where you want to have a flat tire or other mechanical problems. It was Sunday and it was market day in Turkmenabat. Lots of people, lots of traffic. Where did they all come from?

My impressions of the country: There is Ashgabat and there is the rest of the country. Fuel is extremely cheap (but you have to pay a road tax at the border) and so is food at the truckstops. People are friendly, but it's not like Iran or Turkey. It takes some time. At first contact, there seems to be a certain distrust of the foreigner. At times I felt as if I was being watched. Maybe just my paranoia!

There is gas and oil and tourism doesn't seem to be on the agenda.

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Old 04-07-2013, 11:41 AM   #44
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I left Turkmenistan at the border post of Farab. It was hot when I got there. I had to take off all my luggage and put it on a conveyor belt. It was x-rayed. I pushed the bike to the other side of the building to load up all my gear. Then another official told me that they wanted to search my luggage again. I had to take it off and it was inspected in a seperate room. I was pissed.
The Uzbek border took about 3 hours. Unfortunately there was a group of German tourists in front of me. They were with a Russian tourguide who was very helpful. I would meet her again in Bukhara.
I don't remember if I bought insurance for the bike, but I had to declare in detail how much money(which currencies) I had on me. And customs officials also tried to explain to me that I couldn't leave the country at the border post I had planned (Pendzhikent). At the time, it didn't make sense to me and I didn't worry.
When I arrived in Bukhara it was dark. Normally I try to avoid this, but after the border I felt too tired to continue and I took a longer nap under a tree, along a canal.
I found myself a nice place to stay in Bukhara, the bike was parked in the courtyard, the room was on the ground floor, it was 20$ with breakfast, air condition, private bathroom and shower. And there were other tourists, which I like especially when I am travelling alone.

I will upload pictures as soon as photobucket works again on my computer.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:33 AM   #45
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Pics from Bukhara and on to the Tadjik border.

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I had planned to go to Samarkand from Bukhara, and on to Dushanbe, but the border post at Pendzhikent was closed for reasons unknown to me and people I asked. There were rumours that the border between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan could be closed altogether. So after three relaxing days in Bukhara, I go south-east and get into Tajikistan at Tursunzade. The border crossing takes me about 4 hours. I see that the truck drivers hand over small gifts to the customs officials to speed up things.

I am excited. I am in Tajikistan and looking forward to the mountains and the Pamir Highway.

eustachius screwed with this post 04-08-2013 at 11:21 AM
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