Today we will arrive at the Port of Alat on the Caspian Sea, which means we will have cycled the length of Azerbaijan! So thought we’d write this short blog early as not too sure when we will have internet again, but so far so good.
We will be sailing across the Caspian Sea on a Cargo Ship to Kazakhstan, the only problem is that the Port of Alat has got to be one of the most unorganised places in the world, the ship only sales once its full, and you don’t know it’s leaving until last minute, that’s why they don’t have a schedule, so we will be camping at the harbour and asking every other hour.. you can wait anything from 2 days to 2 weeks to board the ship, even if you have a ticket, it’s on a first come first served basis, not great when you’re on a short visa, that’s why we had to get here so quick, that way we still have plenty of days left on our visa, we might be needing it! The crossing can take up to 30 hours, unless the weather is bad, then they drop anchor and you can be sat in the middle of the Caspian Sea for days..
We’ve had a great few days in Azerbaijan, the people here have got to be the friendliest yet! Almost every vehicle that we see hoots their horn and greets you, some pull over and give us fruit and water, the main fruit here being Melons, we love the Queen Anne’s pocket melons as they are easy to carry on our bikes, but the giant 10kg water melons are not so easy, although they are great for keeping hydrated. At the side of the roads there are many shepherds shading their sheep and goats under the trees, they insist we stop cycling and join them to drink chai (tea) and eat their homemade sheep’s cheese, and of course, more water melon! There’s also many locals selling fruit, again they wave us to join them to eat…more water melons!
Cycling for me (Chris) hasn’t been the most pleasant due to having a kidney infection, but today I’m feeling much better, we had a couple of days off the bikes which has helped no end, well that and all the medications I’ve been taking, I just hope it stays that way as once we reach the deserts of the stans it won’t be as easy to get medical attention, in fact it doesn’t exist on the route we are heading!
Its 6am in the morning here and it’s already red hot, especially in the tent, so it’s time to pack up and hit the road, see you soon!