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Messages - Thomas Willington

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I'm Tom from Canada, young man currently been traveling and working in Europe for 8 months (not on a bicycle), so my current home is the road. I am currently bicycle touring over the next few months (3-5 months) through the Middle East -  all depending on current political developments. I don't really have too many ideas or limits, I just want to see where things take me and experience as much as possible.

I would say my travel style is pretty chilled out. I've been doing all camping so far when not with friends, mostly my own meals, travel light. I'm all for some solid days on the bike, but so far I haven't been pushing myself too much other than a few days in the mountains, so spending lots of time meeting people and taking in the culture. I'm up for just about anything, not necessarily looking for a partner but I'd be happy to have a coffee with fellow bicycle travelers in the area, or perhaps do a little riding together. I should be in Syria by March 7th starting Damascus area, and then Jordan a month after that. That's about as detailed plans as I can give, but I'm happy to mold my plans to meet up with someone.

So if anyone's around give me a hollar. I usually get a phone chip for the country I'm in, so we could be in touch via email or phone at some point. Looking forward to finding out if anyone else is around, as so far haven't met any other cyclists on the road in Lebanon...

Cheers, Tom

Bikes on an Airplane / Re: Pegasus Airlines Bicycle Policy
« on: February 01, 2011, 01:47:10 AM »
Thanks hugly helpful, thanks! I would like to avoid buying an extra luggage space (ie just my carry on and all other gear on the bike) if possible, so it may be in my advantage to box it myself before hand and bring that in. In that case, there's no problem with other stuff being in the box? For example, one side bag stuffed in there, small tent, sleeping roll? I suppose they won't check it, and there's lots of extra space in a bicycle box for it, but just thought I'd ask. Thanks!

Middle-East / Re: Proving Exit before Entry - Lebanon - One Way Ticket
« on: January 31, 2011, 02:42:39 AM »
Have now checked with the Lebanese embassy in London (& Syrian), who both confirm that I don't need the exit ticket for the visa, that it's easy to get, etc. This is coming from a slightly different perspective, and of course things things do always change, but I think it's pretty solid now. If anything it is an airline company that wants to 'protect you' and of course have you buy an extra ticket, so perhaps it will be the airline who tries to get you to buy the extra ticket... If so, good luck to them. Thanks again, tom

Bikes on an Airplane / Pegasus Airlines Bicycle Policy
« on: January 31, 2011, 02:34:10 AM »
Hi there,

Will be flying London Stanstead to Beirut in a week (the 7th Feb) with a stopover in Istanbul, all on Pegasus airlines, a Turkish budget company. I've had a look at their website of course, so no need to do at any research there. Also called customer service, but the man was that helpful saying 'oh yes yes just bring the bike to the airport, no need to book, no box needed'... Somehow I feel this will probably land me with some serious extra fees, so I am trying to figure out what their bicycle box weight & dimensions are etc.

This is probably a bit of a shot in the dark as this is an airline I have never heard of before, but anyone with experience with them please feel free to let me know, or with possibly relevant info. Cheers, Tom

Camping Equipment / No Stove Options - Other Eating Options
« on: January 14, 2011, 08:26:50 AM »

Will be in the middle east region starting soon for possible upwards of 3 months depending on how things go. I've recently done a big motorcycle tour of Europe and found my small cooking pot and stove to be valuable companions, but for this trip I was thinking of leaving them behind. Well actually, they are in Switzerland and I'd rather not buy new ones, but seriously, I'm always packing as light as possible, especially on this trip, and I am wondering what other options there are.

I'm not particularly picky when it comes to food, so although it can be nice to have hot meals, I am willing to for go the ability to make my own in favour of less weight and space, not having to figure out where to get little fuel canisters, and generally being easy. Of course the occasional meal can be bought at any one of a number of places on the road, and I've also read many instances of being invited for meals, but in the most general sense, lets discuss uncooked meals on the road.

I'm thinking most things having a bass in bread, and eating lots of raw veggies, power foods like nuts and fruits, and pretty much getting my meat when I'm in a position to buy it from a stand/restaurant.

Any other thoughts on this? Am I being stupid and it is in fact too valuable something to leave behind? I don't really drink hot drinks in the morning or can easily forgo this... Thanks for your thoughts, Tom

Middle-East / Re: Proving Exit before Entry - Lebanon - One Way Ticket
« on: January 06, 2011, 11:53:04 AM »
Ok, thanks everyone for the info. I've checked out the definitive Lebanon website but it is again not that clear. I will try to simply prove it if they give me any hard time. Unfortunatly a return is twice as much, and I can't find bus tickets online, but worse case I should be able to pick one up at the airport. If I have the bicycle with me it should be clear, and also I will take some kind of printed itineary which may or may not do anything.

Thanks all for the info, see you around as the trip progresses.

Middle-East / Re: Proving Exit before Entry - Lebanon - One Way Ticket
« on: January 04, 2011, 11:43:49 AM »
Sweet. Yes I had done research already and not come across anything like that but the question was only raised in my mind after I read a direct experience. One problem may be that I buy the bicycle there instead of taking it on the place, I still haven't fully figured that one out yet. But this may be better insentive to buy one ahead of time and take her on. The report I read was of a guy flying from London to Beruit, the excat route as me, and with the bicycle. Nonetheless I think it should work its self out also...

Middle-East / Proving Exit before Entry - Lebanon - One Way Ticket
« on: January 03, 2011, 07:49:46 AM »
Hello everyone,

New member here, Tom from Canada, 20 years old and have been on the road through europe in one way or another for the last 7 months. Will be flying into Lebanon in a month to do some sort of bicycle tour of the region. (Hopefully into Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, then exit through Israel, but just a rough idea).

I read something about being held back at the airport flying out of england because the guy had a one way ticket into Lebanon and would not be granted the tourist visa on arrivial because he couldn't prove his exit of Lebanon.

I am a little worried about this as I will be flying on a one way ticket, and then ultimatly exiting the region by another means, possibly biking all the way back to Europe, but it is not planned at this point and still open.

I've done some looking around but haven't come up with anything yet. What countries in the middle east require proof of exit before they let you in? Is there any other way to prove exit? So far from my research I believe all my visa's can be bought at the border. Syria requires that I have one before, but I have not been in Canada for some time and am not able to apply for that visa, and I have read that it can be bought at the border despite what the website says.

Thanks for any info. Best, Tom

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