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.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Final Day in New Zealand

Admiring the view when we woke up, we had breakfast with Christine and Drew, and since we had such a wonderful time at the La Casa Lodge we decided take a shared photo right before we left.

The ride to Auckland was pleasant until about 10 km from Auckland center when it started to rain heavily and traffic kicked in. it took a good 30 minutes before we got out of traffic and back on route to the bike rental company.

About 1 km from the bike drop off place we filled the bikes up with fuel and stopped for the final coffee break especially since we were about 30 minutes early.

Once we delivered the bikes we packed our bags and waited for the our transport to the airport who was late and upon calling we found out that they had the times mixed.

So we were delayed 30 minutes, luckily we booked early and arrived well in time for our check in at the airport. Now all we have to do is endure the 24 hour travel to Kuwait.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Coromandel Salty roads

We left Rotorua and as usual under cloud cover since it rains here a lot we took mostly highways and some farm roads. the winds today were gusty and with a strong side wind we moved a bit slower than usual, we entered route 25 on the Coromandel Peninsula and it must have been high tide since the waves from the sea at places were splashing on the road.

The view was amazing from the hotel on the hill top and the owners Christine and Drew were very friendly they made us coffee on the veranda. in the afternoon we left for Thames which is about 10 km away to look for Manuka honey and bought a bunch. Then we continues on route 25 until we reached Coromandel town. The road was coastal and curvy but the enjoyment short lived since there was gravel from unfinished repairs in many places.

While the road passed through the hills we could see the mussel farm and witnessed a tractor pulling in a load. We walked around town for a while then went to a very nice restaurant and had salmon for dinner. We rode back early along the same road and caught the sunset from the hotel.

Later we started preparing our bags for tomorrow's trip, we will ride to Auckland deliver the bikes and then go straight to the airport.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Steamy to Rotorua

It looks like it rained last night although I didn’t hear a thing, our laundry was in the laundry room since it closes at 8 pm and Ali forgot the get our stuff out of the drier. So right after breakfast we got our laundry, packed our pages and headed towards Rotorua. 

Initially we thought the weather would be nice but it soon changed and got cold. with mountains roads we rode for a couple of hours until we could see steam rising from the grounds in the fields around us. It was a geothermal location and since we were here we headed to Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland which is located in the Taupo Volcanic Zone.

We parked our bikes in front of the main building, bought our tickets and headed down the footpath to see different holes and ponds that were steaming over with different colours . There were many tourist and a newly wed couple taking wedding pictures. We were instructed to stay on the path since it was dangerous to got off.

After our walk we went back to the main building for our usual hot drinks and snack , Rotorua was only 32 km from here so weren’t in any hurry. We took a leisurely ride into town and got the motel around 2:30 pm. After sorting our things and resting a bit we walked into town window shopping and had dinner at the end of our journey at another indian restaurant. 

Initially we were planning to go tomorrow to Coromandel but decided to go to Te Puru which is about 45 minutes before to make our journey to Auckland easier. That said we will still visit Coromandel just not stay there. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Traffic on the road to Napier

Our destination today was Napier an Art Deco town on the eastern side of the northern island overlooking the pacific ocean. So we decided to leave early since the GPS mentioned more than four hours of riding. We managed to leave around 8:45 am and left Wellington with roads full of traffic and road work that lasted about an hour and a half.

This made us uneasy and yearn for the southern island where it was much less congested. but once we were on country roads again we felt much better. We arrived at the motel and for once had an uncomfortable experience , I guess it was bound to happen you cant have all nice people and service.

We had reserved three rooms and requested that they all be on the ground floor. What we got was one ground floor room. When we asked we were told that the motel was fully booked even though we had arrived early where switching of rooms was possible. For whatever reason they just didn't want to do it. Giving us excuses and attitude wasn't the way to go , luckily we are only staying one night.

We took a nice walk into town and met other grouchy people before we started to meet the nice ones. We stumbled upon an indian restaurant that had the best service ever. They made us soup that was not on the menu and what we ordered was so good and plentiful we couldn't finish our meal. With stuffed bellies we walked back to the motel to finish up some chores like laundry and grocery shopping for tomorrow's breakfast.