1/13/24 to 1/20/24

After the endless border crossing, we enjoyed the luxury and amenities in Kuwait.

Crossing the country with difficulties

After the long, six-hour journey out of Iran, we entered Iraq near Basra, through which we had to drive a few kilometers to Kuwait. The line of trucks in front of the customs entrance was a few kilometers long! Gabi asked a truck driver nicely if we could join the column in front of him, and we were allowed. This equated to an estimated time saving of around two hours. After a few meters we – the non-commercial truck drivers – had to pull out and park. The guard, who gave us an unfriendly introduction, wanted to examine all the vehicles in detail, every cabinet. We had to fill out the visa form in an office about 500m away. A new official then accompanied us to a visa application office. It took the official about a quarter of an hour per application; we were ten Swiss! However, he first had to ask at his airport whether Switzerland was a privileged country whose citizens were allowed to apply for a visa upon entry. It says so on the authority’s website and we showed him the relevant page. He still waited until the positive decision arrived. The officer was very friendly and kept telling us that we had no problem, and everything was fine. After about three hours we received our visas and were allowed back into our vehicles, although we had to convince a few uniformed men that we were allowed to walk through the area on the wrong side! When we wanted to drive off, the vehicle guard explained us that we now had to have the carnet de passage stamped. No problem, we just had to do that on foot again. The corresponding office is located in a container in the container village with just over a hundred containers. Since there is nothing written on it, not even in Arabic characters, we only found the container because a person from Poland who had just gone through the procedure himself showed us the way. The container is located about a kilometer away from our vehicles. All carnets were entered into the computer and then copied in a different more remote container. A new official then compared the carnet copies with the vehicle documents and found a difference in the data for two. The date of manufacture was recorded in the carnet and the first registration was recorded in the vehicle documents. After lengthy explanations, the papers were rewritten, and new copies made. We were then able to take the originals and the copies and the copies of the copies and the copies of the computer printouts to a new office to have the carnet stamped. But the officer wasn’t there at the moment. When he finally came, he checked all the copies and originals again and stamped the carnet. We did it – we thought. Back to the vehicles. At this point, according to the pedometer, we had already walked over nine kilometers through the Iraqi customs area. When we arrived happy and completely exhausted, the guard insulted us because we didn’t come back for so long, saying he had to go home and was hungry. And hey what about us! We were finally allowed to drive our vehicles a few hundred meters and drive towards the exit gate, but we couldn’t get through there, we had to stand in a small container alley and wait again until the drug dogs came. We didn’t let the dog in the vehicle. The dog didn’t find any drugs and we received the exit slip. We passed the gate without handing in the slip and at 11:30 p.m. we thought we had entered Iraq after fourteen hours. We settled down in the parking lot for the night, ate a snack and fell unconscious into a restless sleep. The next morning, we discovered that there was another last gate, where another official demanded a copy that we should buy at a copy shop. I refused and shouted at the poor uniformed man so much that I could do without it. Leaving Iraq after about two hours of driving through Iraq was also very unorganized, but much quicker and entering Kuwait was boring, but organized and very civilized and calm.

Happy moment

After the long hardships in Iran, we went to the first shopping mall in Kuwait. Gabi was finally able to shop in the West again. When she came back, I had to worry that we would overload Globi with the shopping.


During the long wait at the border, we met three Swiss overlanders. Suddenly Vreni and Ernst showed up as well, so that ten of us were able to endure the suffering. We then traveled through Kuwait and Saudi Arabia with Vreni and Ernst.

Technology Pitfalls

We were never able to buy enough data to cover our internet usage on our travels. We usually only received small quantities and had to keep looking for a shop somewhere where we could buy more. Not so in Kuwait. According to the internet you can buy 1TB in Kuwait for 10 KWD, a dream. Unfortunately, that wasn’t quite the case anymore, we only received 500 GB for 9 KWD. Half a TB for a few days! We could really surf the net as we wished.

For a smile

A landmark of Kuwait are the water towers by the sea. Of course, we didn’t want to miss it since we already be here. I immediately found out that there is a restaurant in a water tower with a view over entire Kuwait. We booked and enjoyed dinner by the sea overseeing Kuwait. Of course, we stood in front of the towers in the parking lot and slept there after eating. It was relatively quiet, and we enjoyed the central sleeping area and the short walking distance from the restaurant. What we didn’t take into account is the fact that the parking lot is under construction and that workers tend to come to work in the early hours of the morning given the temperatures. At 5 a.m. the construction machinery started right outside our bedroom window. Clearly audible even without hearing aids! Getting up made easy, today a little earlier than usual.