Things are coming together and details are getting more detailed.
The new date for leaving is somewhere between 10 and 15 February.
Before new year I got my first visa. It was the Azeri one, which was pretty easy to get. The people at the embassy were very nice and helpful, even when I forgot the damn note with the pickup number :P.
Now I’m working on the Russian LOI (Letter Of Invitation). After some deliberation I decided to arrange a one year version, to be able to travel in and out of Russia whenever I want for one year. Expensive stuff but I’m sure it’s worth it. I will receive the LOI in the beginning of february. Hopefully the actual visa can be arranged within 2 weeks.
I was too early for the Iran visa. I figured out that the 3 month validity of the visa includes the time you are allowed to spend in the country. So, basically from the moment you receive the visa, you have 3 months to enter and leave the country again. I am kind of counting on the possibility of an extension on the country.
The rest of all the visa I will try to arrange on route. This will mean getting the Uzbeki visa in Teheran (hang around Teheran for a week) and afterwards the Turkmeni visa, which I will tell them to send to Mashhad. This seems like a common thing to do as an overlander. I just hope I belong to the 50% that actually gets their visa granted. The advantage of a 1 year Russian visa will be that I can always do the trip the other way around.
Carnet de passage
My Carnet de passage also arrived, so now I can enter Iran without any problems.
Carnet to enter Iran
In the mean time my roof rack is getting its finishing touches. The solar panel got some extensions so it can be safely attached to the roofrack with a few elastics.
Also the CarPc had its GPS upgrade. It now logs gps coordinate every few seconds and tries to put it online. If it can’t it will try later when an internet connection is available. This way it is possible to follow me around based on my last known location where I had internet. Let just hope there is a lot of internet around :). A test version is available on the site.
Also the new sliding plates will be cut for me soon so we can install them just in time before leaving. Because the last sliding plates of the car weren’t up to the task, Jeroen and I decided to design new ones. These will be 8mm aluminum with a bunch of steel connector parts. The parts are ready but the plates still have to be cut out. The parts have been primed and painted.