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Old 06-10-2014, 10:44 AM   #1
AliveExpedition OP
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Wink NOW OR NEVER - be a trailblazing rider in the Arabian Galapagos, and much, much more





Hey guys and gals,

Me and my girlfriend have been long-time lurkers on here, and the time has come to pay it forward.


So we organized this very special exploratory trip to Socotra, a paradise island, UNESCO World Heritage Site, dubbed “the Arabian Galapagos” by TIMES magazine, that appears is most “TOP10 places to see before you die” type of lists. It is by all accounts, the most alien place on earth, because of biodiversity and oddity alone. Then there’s the culture, the food, the people, the customs. But more about those on our website, alive.is



If you’d like to join us, now’s the time, because we won’t do it for long. We have plans to do it a few times to cover our expenses, give something back to the community, and then we’re outta there, to other unridden trails.

We’re world travellers ourselves, so we have first-hand experience of what makes a great trip. Because of that, and because we want to show the world the true face of this gorgeous corner of the Earth, we included EVERYTHING with this trip: diving, snorkeling, sandboarding, and the first ever hot-air-balloon flight.
It’s gonna be spectacular! Did I mention it’s one of the top places for wreck-diving and wildlife spotting?

Anyway, we also managed to keep it at a very reasonable price. I have graphs from our market analysis but I won’t bore you with those, but I’ll just say that you won’t find ANYTHING cheaper or better on the market, comparatively.

So if you have any questions or you’d like to sign up, feel free to ask here or contact us on our website. Oh, and there’s a discount for inmates who’ve been here for more than one year. Contact us about it.

Click here for instant drool material on our website (scroll down for more info once you get there :)

Love,
Cosmin & Ana

AliveExpedition screwed with this post 06-10-2014 at 10:52 AM
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:52 PM   #2
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You will never want to get out of this freshwater lagoon. But that's ok, neither did we. Just wear some anti-crispy-bacon lotion.
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:38 PM   #3
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that looks amazing. too bad i'm poor and don't have the time.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:55 AM   #4
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Thanks for the kind words.
The time issue I'm afraid is yours alone to solve, but the money problem can be made less painful :) Have a look at our discounts, maybe you fit in somewhere.
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:04 AM   #5
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Did we mention the huge unexplored caves? Try not to get lost in here!

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Old 07-15-2014, 08:53 AM   #6
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I don't know about you, but I can't wait to get on that track and driiiiiift all the way through

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Old 07-16-2014, 07:59 AM   #7
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That place looks like fantastic fun! It looks like every biker's dream!
I have a few questions though.

Why were there never bikes on the island? Is the terrain that difficult?

I see the trip is 10 days long. Are there options for shorter/cheaper trips?

Thanks, I really hope I can make it. Good luck guys!

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Old 07-17-2014, 12:20 AM   #8
MrSandman818
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I would love to go but Uncle Sam says I'm not aloud to visit your gorgeous country. Such a buzz kill.

BTW your pictures are jaw dropping and that website is very well sorted. If your trip is half as nice as the photos then it would be on the top of my to-ride list. Keep up the great work!
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Old 07-18-2014, 03:09 AM   #9
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Really, not allowed? That would be a bummer. I was able to find warnings and "urges" not to travel to Yemen due to terrorist attacks on the mainland. Personally, we ignored them in the past and never had problems.

There is another recommended option though, and that is not to fly at all through Yemen mainland, and go directly from Saudi Arabia / UAE to Socotra, both of which had zero issues with terrorism. Even terrorists like Socotra I guess, heh.

Let me see if I can find some flights details.
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:08 AM   #10
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Visas & Flights

All right, back with updates!


The Yemeni visa and flight booking process are pretty archaic. We're hoping that will soon change, although these restraints keep the place "hidden", which we like. A lot

The short story is this: on your own, it's a bit time-consuming to sort out tickets and visas, but we're here to make the process painless. All you have to do is send in a scan of your passport and in a few days you'll get an email with a copy of your visa. You'll receive the original once you land in Yemen. As for tickets, we'll sort that out as well. So if you're interested and would like us to take care of everything, you don't even have to read further. But if you're curious, more details below.



VISAS & TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS
At the moment, there are NO restrictions for US or other citizens for travelling to Yemen, with only two exception: you are an Israeli citizen or you have an Israeli stamp in your passport. If neither of these two apply, you're good to go!
You can look for the closest Yemen embassy to you (which can be in a neighbouring country) and write/call them requesting a visa. This is the cheaper option.
The easier method would be through us or other Yemeni travel agents. The tax + travel agent's commission for the visa is around 100$.


FLIGHTS
As I said, the online booking of flights from the mainland to Socotra is a bit antiquated, with flight schedules not being updated on the carrier's websites, decent online payment options not available, and so on. It can be done, it's nothing really special, but a bit time consuming. The good news is we can sort out all the pesky details so you don't have to worry about it all. We have good connections in Yemen, and people of all nationalities visit Socotra all the time. The bottleneck is the Mainland-Socotra flight; getting to Yemen's capital, Saana, is easy, with a number of international carriers offering flights almost daily.

For getting to Socotra, there are 2 options:
The easy and cheaper one is to fly to Saana with your chosen company, and from there to Socotra with either Yemenia Airways or Felix Airways. There are a number of flights every week, and you can probably book this route on your own. But we can help with that too, just let us know.

The other option is if you wish to avoid Yemen mainland completely. For that, you can fly through Sharjah or Dubai, United Arab Emirates, an extremely safe and stable country, as long as you don't go crazy on shopping sprees. And from there, Yemenia Airways & Felix Airways offer direct flights to Socotra. And that's how you get to Socotra without touching Yemen.


Here are two example routes to Socotra that avoid Yemen: through Sharjah, or through Dubai. And this one is through Saana.

You'll notice they are for August. That's because they don't update their flights for more than a few months in advance. Pretty much that's how it's always been. Not ideal, but it works, and it's totally worth it.

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Old 07-22-2014, 03:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrispyBacon View Post
That place looks like fantastic fun! I have a few questions though.

Why were there never bikes on the island? Is the terrain that difficult?

I see the trip is 10 days long. Are there options for shorter/cheaper trips?

Thanks, I really hope I can make it.

Hey there, yummy Crispy Bacon!

Well, there never were bikes on the island because of a combination of political, economical, and technical reasons. In 2008 the mayor of Socotra didn't want to allow motorbikes on the island for probably personal reasons, citing "safety". Granted, on the mainland people rarely used helmets, not to mention proper gear, and on the rocky offroad terrain of the island that would be dangerous.

The economical side was probably the main deterrent. Most of the people with 4x4s on Socotra used the cars for tourism or other local transportation needs, and in this scenario motorbikes had no place.

Then there's the terrain. The chinese street-motorbikes they used on the mainland were useless on Socotra, and still expensive by local standards, so they were ignored.. To get a clearer picture, at present time, you can count Socotra's non-4x4 cars on the fingers of one hand, and on a normal visit you'll probably see none.


Lately, cheap old offroad motorbikes have been known to be used by locals for personal transportation, still very few though. They are considered a luxury because of low "return of investment".


The terrain is not that arduous, but you do need an off-road vehicle. Like with 4x4s, you don't necessarily need the best off road beast if commuting is what you need, but we're into exploring hidden corners of the island, so KTMs are a safe bet. Difficulty-wise, we rate the trip as an Intermediate, because there are a lot of gravel roads that pose no real problems and can take you to most places you'll want to see.

Hope that answers your question, and sorry for the delay in answering. We got your email too but thought of answering here in case somebody else wants to know the answers to your questions.

AliveExpedition screwed with this post 07-22-2014 at 03:21 AM
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:54 PM   #12
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Just noticed I missed one of Crispy's questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrispyBacon View Post
I see the trip is 10 days long. Are there options for shorter/cheaper trips?
Yup, there are. A number of people have asked the same question due to time constraints. We're working on organising a shorter trip officially, but for now you can contact us and we'll find a spot for you on a shorter & cheaper trip.
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Old 08-05-2014, 07:46 AM   #13
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Lots and lots of birds to see on the included balloon ride. Eagles are prevalent and you'll probably get to even ride with them.



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Old 08-12-2014, 07:56 AM   #14
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Solid easy roads, nice shade, great views.


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Old 08-19-2014, 08:58 AM   #15
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Did we mention that there are friggin' DOLPHINS and mantareys just walking distance from the shore? DOLPHINS!

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