India-UK 2021

Planning a trip in the UK or overseas? Whether you are planning on touring in Europe or the UK use this section to ask about places to visit, stay and general advice.
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OverseasBiker54
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India-UK 2021

#1 Post by OverseasBiker54 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:58 pm

Hi everyone.
I’m 16, and looking potentially for a partner(s) to ride classic Royal Enfields from India to UK. I’m currently unsure what route to take, whether it’s possible to ride through China or whether going through war zones is risky (stupid thing to say). Also, if anyone is perhaps interested in going on this epic tour with me,
let me know!

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Re: India-UK 2021

#2 Post by goat » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:10 pm

Have a look on horizons unlimited and advrider. China is difficult as I believe you need to be accompanied by a guide which is very expensive. Look into things like carnet du passage and relevant documentation, visas etc. if you can do it go for it would be great.

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Re: India-UK 2021

#3 Post by Bender » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:33 pm

Yea in China your going nowhere on your own.
Bite my shiny, metal ass!

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Re: India-UK 2021

#4 Post by OverseasBiker54 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:48 pm

goat wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:10 pm
Have a look on horizons unlimited and advrider. China is difficult as I believe you need to be accompanied by a guide which is very expensive. Look into things like carnet du passage and relevant documentation, visas etc. if you can do it go for it would be great.
I’ve read about the carnet de passage, and how precise documentation must be. Do you know which route would be better to take? I’m thinking China would be perhaps safer, however maybe to just save the hassle I’d go through Pakistan and Iran?

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Re: India-UK 2021

#5 Post by bonio » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:45 pm

Iran is safe. I've known several people visit who've visited, and most have been overwhelmed with how friendly the people are. It is really helpful to understand the local customs before you go - you need to do some reading - to avoid offending people without realising it. But that applies to most of the countries you'll be visiting. The only difficulty you may have is getting an entry visa to travel. IIRC, UK and US nationals are only granted visas to visit Iran on official tours; not for independent travel. But perhaps the situation has changed recently? Once you've visited Iran, you may find that it's harder to get a visa to visit the US*.

My own view is that Pakistan isn't very safe. It's not a truly dangerous country, but it's both lawless and corrupt - not a good mixture. You will meet plenty of people who will want to turn their chance encounter with you into an opportunity to gain some advantage for themselves - just as you will in India. It might the be policeman directing traffic, the person who runs the hotel or just someone who stops you to ask for help. 99 times out of 100, the people you meet like this will be kind, well-intentioned people. But from time to time they won't. My impression though - and I have no evidence to back this up :oops: - is that Pakistan has something else going on - I am not sure exactly what - that tips it over into the "not very safe" category - especially once you wander out of the larger population centres and into more remote areas. In India, if you were unlucky you might wake up one morning with a bad headache and your wallet stolen. In Pakistan, it might be your kidney that's missing. Personally, I wouldn't go there without reading up a lot about people's experiences and talking to people who've done a similar trek.

I guess that's the gist of what I'm saying: you really need to read, read and read some more, or else talk to few people who've done a similar journey. Just one example: although there are plenty of roads that cross from India to Pakistan, foreigners are only allowed to cross the border on the Amritsar-Lahore road, using the border point at Wagah. If you know this kind of thing in advance, it will make the journey go a lot more smoothly!

All the best with it! It sounds like an awesome trip, one I'd love to do myself.

Geoff

*This question appears on the US visa-waiver program application form: "Have you traveled to, or been present in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011?". My guess is that if you answer yes, you have to apply for a full visa, and may possibly be refused.
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Re: India-UK 2021

#6 Post by Gerontious » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:04 am

I'm not sure it's such a good idea to try riding across Pakistan on a bike with Indian number plates... I would probably head due north and consider having the bikes air freighted over the tribal areas and those in dispute and then turn west and through the 'Stans... To the Caspian Sea and take a ferry across.. Azerbaijan and then into Turkey from which point it gets a lot simpler. No to China. No to Russia.

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Re: India-UK 2021

#7 Post by OverseasBiker54 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:15 am

Gerontious,

That does seem very sensible..and I’ll definitely look into that. When originally thinking about this plan, it seemed to me to ride into China via Nepal, but I hadn’t really looked into this and it could be a tricky ideal. I read about one man who got his bike shipped from Mumbai to Dubai, and then rode up through the UAE, Saudi Arabia, through into Kuwait and Iran and then into Turkey...not too sure how difficult this was, but he made it alive..! The Caspain sea way would be a good option, however I haven’t a clue where to begin with air freighting the vehicle(s) and then getting the ferry. All to look into.

Cheers for getting back to me!

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Re: India-UK 2021

#8 Post by OverseasBiker54 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:19 am

Geoff, or bonio.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to reply! It’s greatly appreaciated, and is thoughtful. I’d heard that Iran was particularly dangerous, but perhaps not. Pakistan on the other hand seems to be dangerous..probably the most dangerous country to go through if I went on this route. I’ve heard about ‘slipping the men at customs a few rupees’, however this does seem ridiculous and unbelievable! I think it will be an epic journey, one that I’ve dreamed of doing since I was a little boy, and one to tell the grandchildren! Who knows...maybe you could join me! :thumb:

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Re: India-UK 2021

#9 Post by goat » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:27 am

If you want to know about shipping chat to motofreight. Tim there has been helping me with shipping a bike to the US and has been an absolute legend with info and advice.

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Re: India-UK 2021

#10 Post by bonio » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:13 pm

OverseasBiker54 wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:19 am
Geoff, or bonio.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to reply! It’s greatly appreaciated, and is thoughtful. I’d heard that Iran was particularly dangerous, but perhaps not. Pakistan on the other hand seems to be dangerous..probably the most dangerous country to go through if I went on this route. I’ve heard about ‘slipping the men at customs a few rupees’, however this does seem ridiculous and unbelievable! I think it will be an epic journey, one that I’ve dreamed of doing since I was a little boy, and one to tell the grandchildren! Who knows...maybe you could join me! :thumb:
Hahaha. Please don't tempt me! But seriously, you don't need an ancient monument like me to travel with.

The story about getting across the border with a quiet bribe sounds 100% believable. When you hear "it can't be done" or "that's not possible" in India or Pakistan, it may be that the person is asking for a bribe, especially if they are in some official capacity. I learned this about 30 years ago, when I was on a trip to India. For various reasons, my friend and I were spending the days as a guest at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi - the Indian equivalent of Buckingham Palace. We were trying to get flights to go to Allahabad, but there was a nationwide curfew in place, travel was difficult, and when we asked at the Air India office about tickets, we learned that all the flights were completely full. It was understandable, given the circumstances. They said we could leave our contact details in case someone cancelled and, this being India, we were duly given a form to fill in, on which we put our address down as "Rashtrapati Bhawan" - just like putting "Buckingham Palace" down. Five minutes later, not only had we learned that there were seats available on the flight we wanted, but we were already leaving the office with the tickets in our hands. Why did they say the flights were full?? For the bribe. Even if I'd realised what they after, I wouldn't have done it. I've never really wanted to go down that route (well, there was one unfortunate occasion, but it was completely by accident) partly because I don't think bribery is an honourable practice, but also because it would be bound to go wrong, backfire somehow and end me up in even more trouble. :wink:

As for Iran, take a look at this: https://inews.co.uk/inews-lifestyle/gir ... ycle-iran/. It's quite inspiring. In a recent article, I read that the restrictions on UK nationals travelling independently in Iran have been lifted. Despite this though, I reckon that Gerontious's route has a lot of merit to it. Worth considering.
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Re: India-UK 2021

#11 Post by OverseasBiker54 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:35 pm

That’s brilliant! I guess slipping the men at customs a few rupees would work...could I bring myself to do it though?! I’ve had the idea of going to India since I was a boy, and touring around and seeing all of the sites. New Delhi is definitely a destination...I’m sure it’s changed so much in 30 years, however I’m imagining that the Indian equivalent of Buckingham palace would still be there!! What a trip. And definitely somewhere I’d visit - I’ll take some pics for you!

I loved the article too as well...but I’ve got a few thoughts. Taking no respect away from her feats, I’ll be at an age of ‘fighting’ being an eighteen year old! obviously there would be no intent to, however any young, hormonal Iranian could put up a fight?! I’m sure this could happen anywhere though. The places she visited sounded amazing..I’d have to go there too. It did say that as of 2014 you have to have a guide who would go through the country with you..perhaps for the better in terms of keeping you safe, but also not great as I wouldn’t be able to see the country’s true beauties perhaps? This could also prove costly...I’m not too sure I’d have that sort of money available. But this is all part of the journey - I don’t know if you’ve done any long range biking but planning definitely seems to be most important!

Thanks again for finding the time to reply - just for note I’m 16 and haven’t really discovered the internet’s greatest parts...TMBF is definitely one of them! Cheers x

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Re: India-UK 2021

#12 Post by bonio » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:01 pm

Bad luck buddy: This page says that you have to be on an official tour to get a visa to Iran. It looks to be correct, given that this page on the Iranian Embassy site implies that you need a relative, or business contact, or travel agent in Iran to get a visa.
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Re: India-UK 2021

#13 Post by OverseasBiker54 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:16 pm

bonio wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:01 pm
Bad luck buddy: This page says that you have to be on an official tour to get a visa to Iran. It looks to be correct, given that this page on the Iranian Embassy site implies that you need a relative, or business contact, or travel agent in Iran to get a visa.
What a shame :( might have to take gerontious’ route

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