April 2

Woke early and on the road quickly, keen to get to Sheki as soon as we could.  It was a chill morning and the clouds were in, but thankfully it wasn’t raining too hard.  It didn’t take us too long to arrive, two hours or so, and once we arrived we did the usual – go to the main square and find some WiFi.  In this case, a basement tea/beer shop, which I felt to be an odd combination.  With a little help from google translate, the guys in the shop were able to tell us where we could get a bus to Baku, how long it would take and how expensive it was.  As we need to be there tomorrow, bright and early, we’re bussing it to Baku. 

The bus station wasn’t hard to find, and buying tickets considerably easier.  The man spoke English, the only bus that we could put our bikes in was leaving in an hour and it was only 6 Manat.  Result!  Ryan decided to guard the stuff, among the rapidly growing crowd of people, and I hopped on mine, sans kit, to head off to the caravanserai.  Of course, it was the top of the bloody hill and cobblestones all the way, but it was beautiful, and suitably ancient.  I wandered around for a few minutes, then realised my bus was leaving in a half hour so high-tailed it back down the hill to the station.  We loaded up our bikes – literally wheeled them straight on – and embarked.  The trip was slow, incredibly hot and full of truly terrible azeri music and TV, but we got to Baku in six hours, so a punishment worth managing. 

We arrived in Baku at 8pm on the outskirts of the city, and after a suitably traumatic ride, involving the only route into Baku being a motorway, going the wrong way, some bloody mental driving and Ryan’s front light not working, we arrived outside The Brewery, a pub in the centre of town where we were meeting Umut, our host from couchsurfing.  We headed inside to find a crowd of expats and a large number of Scots, which was a pleasant surprise, and we whiled away the evening telling them of our adventure so far, before a stroll through Baku to Umut’s place where we passed out.

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