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Entering Iraq

Dihok, Iraq

Bivar calls me at 10am and says the car is outside my hotel and we have to leave immediately. I sit in front and Bivar goes in the back with some luggage and a wife. We make several stops along the way to eat, drink tea, take photos and visit historical places. As we arrive in Silopi close to the Iraqi border we have to stop to empty all the gasoline from the car since we risk being charged with smuggling if we enter Iraq with too much gas. After Silopi there are several kilometers of trucks lined up waiting to cross the border. Bivar tells me they can wait here for weeks. A few hundred meters before the border we run out of gas. Bivar swears at the driver as he gets out to push the car towards the border while Bivar leans forward to take the wheel.

The border basically consists of two parts: leaving Turkey and entering Iraq/Kurdistan. When leaving Turkey I am called into a small office and questioned about my motives. Bivar comes with me and has prepared a story about how we know each other from Norway and how I come to visit this area for socio-anthropological reasons. After 5 minutes we're done, and after 20 more minutes our driver comes running with a PET bottle of gasoline and we continue to Iraqi immigration. Bivar knows one of the border guards there (the one with me in the picture) and we're treated tea while we're waiting for immigration to process our passports. Everything is very smooth and we're on our way within minutes.

We continue to Dohuk where I am at the moment. Tomorrow I will do some sightseeing here and then continue to Erbil. Non-Iraqi SIM cards do not work here so I've bought an Iraqi one and my number is +9647709142398.

permalink written by  bennedich on December 11, 2008 from Dihok, Iraq
from the travel blog: Ukraine, Iraq, Iran, etc
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Great blog post....I was nervous as I read about the border crossing :) Keep us posted, please!

permalink written by  Rune on December 13, 2008

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My name is Max. I like to travel.

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