Thursday, June 13, 2019

On the way to Zanjan

Woke up at 5 am today and started putting things on the bike by 5:30 am . We didn’t leave until it was around 6:30 heading north to Zanjan. The weather improved to a degree that I had to wear my jacket , and it got down to 12 Deg. C. it was a big contrast to the 45 deg. C we had yesterday. 

We know we had a long ride and it started in the mountains with great vistas and nice curvy roads but we had to stop so that the guys can get their liners on since it was still cold.

Two hours in we stopped at a Felafel restaurant for breakfast and continued until we had to fill with fuel and a stop that was intended to be a coffee break and turned out to be an Ice cream break. But we were attracting a crowd and had to leave so as not to create a traffic jam.

We reached the hotel in the afternoon while the temperatures remained mild and cool. Tomorrow we head to Tabriz . 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Here we go again

We knew the temperatures were going to be high especially during the first 4 to 5 hours until we reached the mountains and higher altitudes. So we left just after sunrise at 6:40 am and fill our camelbacks with cold water. it was 32 deg C. when we started to ride and slowly started to rise by the time it was 11 am it was a nice 45 deg. C and we started to get exhausted. With the mountains in sight we took a break at a small store where we got more water , juice and a block of Ice to put in our water. The block of Ice was big and there was some left over so I decided to fill my pockets with Ice to get me through the heat at least to reach the mountains. Luckily about 20 minutes later the mountains started and the temperatures started to reduce at places it was a nice 33 deg. C. 

We stopped at a rest stop had a cup of coffee and tea , filled up with fuel and continued to Khuromabad getting there around 2 pm . We rested had lunch and prepared for our next days trip to Zanjan which was expected to be at least 7 hours riding.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Day two of the Paperwork

Since tomorrow is a holiday here we needed to get the bike out today else be delayed for another 3 days with the weekend coming up . Furthermore it was a half day of work and by noon the port control would be closed, so we headed early to the shipping company to get the papers finalized. We then started to get really busy and once we got the paperwork sorted and picked up the bikes, and rode in the heat stoping at each station to finish a piece of the paperwork puzzle. 

At the last gate two documents didn’t have the chassis number printed so the fixer rushed to one of the offices to get it stamped , and once done the officer quested how the bikes were allowed to enter the country being more than 250 cc . The fixer explained that he had no idea and that it was too late now they are out. We rode back to the hotel waited for late afternoon when the it was a bit cooler to prepare our bikes for tomorrow’s trip north.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Day one of the Paperwork

We started our day at the shipping company to get the papers to start the process. They first complained that they still didn’t receive the manifest from Kuwait , then it was to be translated , then our names were not being accepted in their system, then the power went out and they could do nothing. We brought our helmets with us and put it in the fixers car trunk . 

We got access to enter the port to move the bikes and finalize out documents. We were allowed to remove our bikes from the ferry where they were inspected once again by a customs officer and ride them to a holding hanger. We then went to a building and waited for several hours. At the end we still didn’t finish the process and our fixer was held and the port gate with our helmets, so we had to go and explain that they were ours and that our fixer wasn’t smuggling them in.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Ferry to Iran

We all arrived around 8:30 am at the port terminal and started to wait inline for the entry and passport control. It took quite a while for us to get on the bus to the ferry , and once we got there I realized that Ali had reserved the business class portion which was less crowded. The ferry trip took about 5 and a half hours, it left around 11 am and reached Iran 7 pm Iran Time. 

There was a lot of waiting first we completed passport control and then we had our bikes inspected by a customs officer. We then waited for for our bags to arrive on a conveyor belt which took about an hour. 

We were greeted by our fixer Abu Aqeel , who explained that the bikes will remain on the ferry for tonight and we will be allowed to move them tomorrow and start the process of getting them into the country.

We got to the hotel and cleaned up, it was not much cooler here in Khuromshaher it was 43 Deg C in the late afternoon. We waited for the sun to set and headed to get ourselves a meal at a local restaurant and a short stroll around the hotel. We were hoping to finish the bikes entry by tomorrow.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Packing for the new adventure

Well the only way we know to go to Iran is though a ferry that travels only twice a week. 

After preparing our bags to go on the ferry Husain took them to the terminal for check in in the morning , a day ahead of our departure. We were leaving Kuwait on a ferry to Khorumshaher Iran. and were waiting for the call to take our bikes to be loaded. 

It was a very hot day reaching 50 deg C when we started on the road from our homes to the port. With minimum safety clothing we were allowed to enter the port to finalize the carnet and reached the ferry only to see a crane waiting for us. Previous bikers had prepared a pallet for the bike mounting so that the crane can lift the bikes from the dock onto the ferry .

 The reason was that Kuwait did not have a ramp for the bikes to be rides in. once the bikes were in the ferry we spent some time tying them down and by the time we were done we were exhausted from the heat. 

We all went to our respective home to prepare for the next day travel to Iran.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Plan

Well it's been 10 years since we started our RTW trip and we didn't at that moment ever dream that it would lead us hear. For the past two years we have been toying with the idea of going to Norway's Nord Cap through Russia.  Finally this year we decided to do it , but how since we cannot go north through Syria or Iraq the option was to either ship to an EU country or go through Iran.

Today Ali and Hussain, Came by and we went through our planned route to North Cape , or Nord Cap. Whichever you prefer. It entails taking the ferry to Iran, then Armenia, Georgia, Russia, then Latvia Estonia, and Finland before reaching Nord Cap in Norway. We then Ride back into europe via Sweden , Denmark , Germany , and the Netherlands. We intend to end things in Germany and then fly back to Kuwait.

Looking at a map is much more easier and fun than looking at a screen especially when planning. although we alway have a laptop handy to get info on distances etc.

We are all excited about the trip and understand that there is a chance that Iran may not let the bikes in since they are more than 250cc and they now enforcing this rule on tourists. It is one of those we will go and see what happens.