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North Caucasus in a van. Visas, permits, cars and camping
Autor Zpráva
PříspěvekNapsal: čtvrtek 23. listopad 2017 7:52 
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Registrován: pátek 17. listopad 2017 14:12
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This post is broken down into a summary and followed by a series of questions I hope the forum will be able to answer.

Two of my friends and I want to travel to Russia in a van(1) via Abkhazia(2) in the South Caucasus on American passports. One of us is potentially traveling on an Armenian passport. We will primarily be wild camping out of the van(3). The route we would like to take would go through Crimea(4) before doubling back to drive through North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Chechnya and Dagestan(5) before heading North to Astrakhan. Since two of us will only have 30 days(6), I was thinking that we could cross into Azerbaijan via Derbent (leaving one of us who is of Armenian descent in Dagestan) where we could renew our visas(7). Incidentally, this idea doesn't strike me as a particularly good one. Both of my friends are female and leaving one of them in Derbent for a month while we wait for new visas makes me nervous(8). All three of us have a basic understanding of Russian, but it is limited throughout.

(1) Is it possible to drive in one's own car through this area? Has anyone tried?
(2) I read recently that in order to cross from Abkhazia to Russia you need a permit, but previously I read that you only needed a Double or Multi-Entry Russian Visa. Can anyone verify which one of these is correct?
(3) I mean, here's an obvious question: Is it safe to wild camp in the North Caucasus? Is it even possible without being harassed by the police? I know people have done this with relative ease in other parts of Russia, but given the heightened security context do you think it will be possible?
(4) I understand that is generally safe to travel to Crimea, but can I take a car? Do I need a permit?
(5) I'm aware that for each Autonomous Republic we will all require separate applications. How long does it take to process those applications? We were planning on applying for our Russian and Abkhaz visas while in Armenia, should we also get the permits there?
(6) I read that it is possible to get a 3 month tourist visa, but for which passport was unclear? Is this possible for Americans? Canadians?
(7) So my Armenian friend is a dual US citizen. I understand that Azerbaijan doesn't allow people of Armenian descent into the country, and my friend has an obviously Armenian last name. How strict is this policy? Would she be able to enter the country on a US passport?
(8) How safe is Dagestan currently? Safe enough to travel alone as a woman who is not Muslim?

I didn't find the right solution from the internet.
References:

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/ ... nd-camping


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