30 day self-drive hire car

Self-driving the Silk Road.
mskrotzki
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30 day self-drive hire car

Postby mskrotzki » Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:49 pm

My wife and I are 70 and 75 years old. We started planning a trip to Mongolia, and thinking of one of the overland truck trips by outfitters such as Dragoman or others since self-driving appears neigh impossible. We are fine with camping and sleeping outside; we're not wild about group cooking.

Then we came across the idea of adding the Silk Road. In addition to discovering it is nearly impossible to add Mongolia and the Silk Road together in less than 8 or 9 weeks (longer that we want to be gone at this time) we are not wild about being in fancy buses on a tight schedule with the same group of people for months. We are not tour group people.

While Mongolia is largely impossible outside of a tour of some kind, Central Asia seems very possible by private or rental car. Now we are looking into renting a car for the 5 “stans.” We’re thinking of about 30 days across May and June. It appears car rental is possible – with some cars documented for multiple countries. One way rental would be ideal but I suspect is impossible. More important we’re wondering if it is possible to find accommodations each evening (sleeping and eating). While the distances appear considerable, it might be possible with some careful planning along a route from Almaty to Ashgabat. That would have been possible 50 years ago in Iran, but I don’t know about Central Asia. When in Romania for the last total solar eclipse of the past millennia in 1999, we needed indoor locked parking at night. Is that necessary in Central Asia? Everywhere or only some places?

We are adventurous and flexible. I lived in Iran in 1970 - 1972 and have extensively journeyed that country. One of the trips I took in my VW bus in 1971 from Bushehr to Bandar Abbas merited an article in the Tehran Journal. We encountered smugglers, cops, soldiers, river fords, bad gas and carburetor rebuilds at the side of the road and all the rest. Even came across Siraf – jewel of the Persian Gulf -- that inspired the Sinbad the Sailor legends.

We would be grateful if someone with knowledge of Central Asia can offer some input. Thanks in advance.
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steven
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Re: 30 day self-drive hire car

Postby steven » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:57 am

Hi,

Kyrgyzstan is your best option for renting a car, companies there have good prices and you can drive to UZbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. Turkmenistan is more complicated. Best to go on a tour or get a transit visa into Iran to end your trip.

Most companies we work with do drop-off. You pay something extra because they have to send someone to pick up the car from where you left it, but it is entirely possible.

Hope that helps!

https://caravanistan.com/car-rental/
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mskrotzki
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Re: 30 day self-drive hire car

Postby mskrotzki » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:16 pm

Thank you so much for your reply. It is most helpful.

I've looked into Oibek in Osh Kyrgyzstan as suggested in the caravanistan car rental page and will contact them soon after I do more research on a potential route. Any insight you could provide on potential guest houses, hotels, gir camps, etc and possibilities of availability of places to eat would be highly appreciated. I don't need specific recommendations but simply an idea of it being plausible. If such would be impossible I could bring along camping gear, but would prefer to leave that in Colorado.

Thanks again for your help, and your web site.
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Re: 30 day self-drive hire car

Postby steven » Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:42 am

Depends where you want to go of course. You can find homestays and places to eat everywhere, or you could on the other hand decide to go into the wild and ignore them. But if you prefer to eat out and stay in a guesthouse or yurt camp, entirely possible every day. No need to bring the camping gear.
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