The border in Kalar is located just behind the city. At the first Kurdish border on Road 4, they told us that they would not allow us to cross, and they sent us over the bridge to another border checkpoint. They just controlled passports there (with our Federal Iraq visa) and warned us not to go to Iraq because it’s dangerous. After a few kilometers, we hit the Iraqi border, there it took us a bit more time to talk with them, but in the end, again, they just checked our passports and let us go. But then the headache started. There are another two checkpoints on the way to Khanaqin. It took us 3 hours to cross them (we were busy explaining to them what we plan to do in Iraq and were waiting for someone’s decision to allow us to go), so we arrived exhausted in the late afternoon in the sleepy town of Khanaqin. Luckily there, the police and army were friendly, and after controlling the passports, they let us park at the checkpoint. In the night, they drove us to the city for dinner, and the following day they sent SWAT to drive us out of the city to the highway.
On the way to Iraq, we smartly took a full tank of diesel in Kurdistan even though it’s much more expensive because getting fuel in Iraq is not easy. First, you have to find a fuel station that is 1) open, 2) has diesel, and 3) is ready to sell it to you. Most of the time, they kicked us out or were ready to sell us just 10 liters, sometimes 20, usually 40, and once we got 60 liters of diesel (400 IQD / liter). We can recommend this OPDC fuel station in Alhaidariya; they had no problem selling us a full tank of diesel 😊⛽ (135 liters, 400 IQD / liter).
Parking location – Khanaqin: 34.350947N 45.401626E