Tuesday, August 11, 2009

In Azerbaijan

Astara, Azerbaijan, Tuesday August 11th

I am finally out of Iran and into a new country. Azerbaijan so far is much emptier and quieter than Iran, but I have to say I don't like the vibe in this border town. Maybe it was the disconcerting thoroughness that the passport official displayed towards my passport, scrutinizing every page as though he thought it was counterfeit. It took over half an hour, while the lineup behind me grew to ridiculous proportions. But I'm in!

The last two days of cycling have been thoroughly crappy. Yesterday might well have been the wettest day of the entire trip, with torrential tropical downpours all day and huge rollers coming in off the Caspian. It rained for all but 10 of the 120 kilometres to Talesh (aka Hashtpar) and I splurged on indoor accommodation. This morning, I awoke to more rain, but it stopped after a couple of hours and I got to the border in dry weather. I had a long chat with another Swiss cyclist named David (although with a more reasonable amount of luggage than the last one!) The border crossing was the muddiest and most shambolic I've been across in a while, and I got very muddy putting my luggage through the X-ray machine. At least I got in.....I was a bit worried for a while!! I had a beer to celebrate!

I should be in Baku by Friday, ready for a few days off. I hope to be able to upload pictures more easily on the faster internet connections here.

Peace and Tailwinds

Graydon


Riding Day No.

Date

Distance

From Bushehr

Daily

Distance


Final Elevation

Vertical

Metres

Cycling

Time


Average

Speed

Maximum

Speed

Daily Destination

21

8/10
2214.3
123.8

6

342
7:50

15.8

34.6

Talesh (Hashtpar)

22

8/11
2292.8
78.5
-38
268

4:21
18.1

40.2

Astara, Azerbaijan

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