Hitchhiking in north Iraq?
Replies: 13 - Last Post: May 30, 2012 9:44 AM Last Post By: pq
May 21, 2012 1:14 PM
Hitchhiking in north Iraq?Hi! I will probably be traveling into Iraq in this summer from Turkey. Would it be possible to hitchike from Zakho towards Amadiya and further? Any dangers beside the usuall ones?
I've heard that there isn't alot of places to sleep thats cheap. Would it be nuts to pitch a tent? Is it hard to arrange homestays if you ask around, only speaking english?
Any places I should visit? I've got about 5-6 days and have to get back inte Turkey.
May 21, 2012 1:37 PM
May 21, 2012 9:35 PM
2The thing about Iraq (and many poor countries) is that due to high unemployment in the country side, driving is a profession, not a leisure activity. As such, hitchhiking is completely foreign. Anyone standing on the side of the road looking for a ride is going to PAY for the service. As such, you have 2 options:
1) Learn how to say "I'm an irresponsible traveller and does not wish to pay you for this service even though you have far less than me" in Kurdish
2) Offer to pay.
There is a very high likelihood that even if you offer to pay, the driver will refuse because you're foreign. This is sometimes a courtesy refusal. Ask again, If he still refuses than don't pay.
May 22, 2012 8:11 AM
May 22, 2012 10:00 AM
4Homestays are non-existant. But, there have been many stories of travellers being invited into people's homes (for "free") But it never happened to me.
Hmmmmm... per/10km... i'm not sure. As an example, the 120km distance between Erbil-Dohuk is 60,000 dinar for the whole taxi (15,000/seat). That makes 500 Dinar per km. But if you're just catching a ride along the way, it would be less than that. So let's say 300 dinar/km. So for 10km, about 3,000 Dinar ($2.50) might be fair (in the hitching in the "back woods") scenario. City taxis are obviously more expensive.
That said, you might get the 1 a**hole in the country who tries to scam you for $10 (unlikely though)
May 22, 2012 1:48 PM
May 22, 2012 2:02 PM
May 24, 2012 12:36 AM
7I have met and hosted many hitchhiker, however like fluffy stated, you need to be sure to explain properly that you don't wish to pay or don't have money, it's you and your luck and of course it depends on the traffic, if you are at a sub urban area then likelyhood is less as there are not many cars passing by, on the contrary being foreigner will ease your hitch hiking ( according to the stories that i have heard from my friends who hitch hiked from turkey to Erbil )....just be sure to tell that you are not willing to pay.
as for rate, it's very an organized, it depends whether u r sharing a taxi or bus or having a private taxi ride
tenting is not easy, since security is very tight, but you may camp next to any army base ( peshmarga ) if you go and introduce your self and ask them if you can camp there, surprisingly they will be nice to you and will let you do that..that is only in Kurdistan of Iraq
May 24, 2012 11:58 AM
8So if i Hitchhike I should try to ask how much they would want for the ride before, to avoid troubles. I imagine it might be hard if they dont speak any english at all but i guess I'll do my best!
So if I pitch a tent I will probobly be sent away by police or the army? How wide-spread are these peshmarga's and how can I find them?
May 24, 2012 12:06 PM
May 24, 2012 2:08 PM
May 27, 2012 8:47 AM
Would you agree with fluffy_bunny that it would be very irresponsible to try and hitchhike without payment. I don't really mind offering payment as long as it is in proportion to how far we've gone, and ofcourse cheaper then public transport.
What i don't like is to be expected to pay a hugh amount of money when leaving the car that picked me up, or that i look like a fool offering to little.
May 27, 2012 1:20 PM
12it depends, if you tell the guy that u don't have money and he said OK jump in then you don't have to pay just say " Zor Supas " means thanks a lot in Kurdish, but it is always better to have some cash with you in case needed or the driver would ask you for money, you can agree on that before jumping in the car...either with NO MONEY or agree on the price before riding the car...then you know if you have to pay at the drop off point or just offering thanks :)
May 30, 2012 9:44 AM
13I cycled that way around 12 months ago. Sometimes I camped, sometimes I stayed in hotels, sometimes I stayed with people I met - it was never a problem, the locals, especially off the beaten track are very friendly and hospitable.
Not sure how the camping thing would work if you were hitching - I'd just look out for likely places towards the end of the day, made sure no-one saw me leave the road and made sure my spot wasn't visible. You couldn't do it that way hitching - I expect that if you asked around for a camping place people would invite you in.
Being English seems to help with homestays - there's usually a village teacher who will be very excited to talk to you.
There's nothing particularly to see in the area. Amadiya is nicely situated but the town isn't up to much. Further north in the mountains (but not too close to Turkey) the scenery is nice and the people are great but that's it really.
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