09/06/14 – 19/06/14: Tbilisi, Georgia to Baku, Azerbaijan
Surveying the Tbilisi skyline. Just handed in our Azerbaijan visa applications and been told we’re going to have to wait 5 days! Contemplating what to do next…
A little panoramic of Tbilisi, Georgia.
With our 5 day visa wait we decided to climb into the Caucuses up towards the Russian border along the Georgian military highway. A lovely quiet road into the mountains.
We made it to Gudauri, a ski resort up in the mountains. We had to wrestle through hundreds of people having a big festival and then climb through a lightening storm. Lightening struck a power transformer 20m from me. I have never been as scared in my whole life. Unfortunately it was so cloudy we couldn’t see the snowy peaks… Gudauri, Georgia.
The only redeeming feature of a big mountain climb is that you get to freewheel down again. Pretty cold though.
The cows, sheep and goats love crowding the roads. The cows in particular move for no one.
The remnants of the festival the previous day. It turns out the hundreds of people had gathered to each sacrifice their best sheep. The heads and guts left lying all around. Smelly!
Back camping on the river bank on the lower slopes of the mountain. Near Meneso, Georgia.
PANIC! Cow attack. Again. Meneso, Georgia.
Stunning reservoir up in the mountains.
With our Azerbaijan visas in hand we cycled out of Tbilisi and found what would be our last campsite. Suddenly the landscape has changed dramatically. Stunning. Unfortunately people in many of the countries we’ve travelled through don’t have a great attitude towards rubbish. It gets left everywhere. Georgia is no exception.
If you like old cars, come to this part of the world. They’re all driving them. I thought this one was cool.
Some kids approached us as we were having our afternoon nap under a tree. So inquisitive.
The sign says it all… Lagodekhi, Georgia.
Another dramatic change in landscape. It’s definitely getting drier.
Speeding along the flats.
Another man and his family who invited us in for tea, bread, tomatoes, cucumber and cheese. Such great people. We think he said he was the boss of the whole valley… Near Sheki, Azerbaijan.
Cycling along a massively wide valley with the Caucuses alongside to the north.
Once again all the kids in the village have come to see what these strange beings are that have wandered into their village. Near Sheki, Azerbaijan.
What an awesome campsite. Near Sheki, Azerbaijan.
Water buffalo (we think) trekking through camp in the early morning sun.
12% average gradient for 5 km in 35C heat. I cannot tell you how much agony I’m going through. Possibly the hardest climb I’ve ever done on a bike. Near Qobustan, Azerbaijan.
We’ve now hit the desert.
Trying to find somewhere to camp in the desert is quite difficult if you don’t want to be seen. Not much to hide behind.
Our first desert camping. Near Shikhzahirli, Azerbaijan.
The ants found us even in the middle of the desert. They completely took over the tent.
Drinks with some of the BP crowd, our amazing hosts Anne (centre) and Drew, our new cycle touring friend Tom (far left), Colin (the fixer), Harveen (far right, our “courier”) at the local pub (Harbour) in Baku.
A massive thanks to Ulhan, for ferrying us around Baku to get visas, bike bits etc. It made the hectic schedule of admin in Baku just about possible.
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Great picture storybook! Lovely visiting these places – (on a screen!)