So… to get an Iran visa we need a lettor of invitation (LOI), which we’re currently waiting for in Dushanbe. Hopefully it will arrive in the next two days. We also need a new photo for Sally…
Then, it would make sense for us to travel through Turkmenistan to Iran, but to get the Turkmenistan visa, we need the Iran visa first, and then it takes another week… which would mean two weeks here waiting.
Instead, we’ve decided to lodge a visa application for Russia (5 days turnaround) in our EU passports while we simultaneously get the Iranian visas in the AU passports. Then we’ll ride from here to Uzbekistan (we already have that visa), and then across the Kakakhstan desert (no visa needed), into Russia, then Georgia (no visa needed), Armenia (no visa needed), and finally Iran.
It’s quite a long way around (~4000km), but means less waiting in Dushanbe, and we get to see a few more countries and avoid Turkmenistan which is nothing special anyway. Plus they kept us waiting inline at the embassy for an hour while important men were ushered inside ahead of us… so f*(k them.
Following this waiting at the Turkmen embassy, we went to the Russian embassy, where we found a crowd of maybe 50 people waiting outside, undeterred, Sally pushed to the front and pressed on the intercom, shouting
“VISA, TRANSIT VISA INFORMATION PLEASE”
“come back at 3” was the reply from the scratchy speaker at the gate, (it was 11:45am)
“VISA, TRANSIT VISA INFORMATION PLEASE, WE NEED TRANSIT VISA”
and we pushed through the door and into the security area, where a bemused looking Russian man took our details, confiscated my phone and let us in.
Once inside we met a lovely yound woman who explained all the requirements and costs to us.
“See, Sometimes it’s good to be pushy and demanding”