I arrived at the ferry port around lunchtime and after a few wrong turns and lots of people pointing me in different directions, I found my way to the right cabin to pick up my ferry ticket and was chuffed to hear the ferry was due to leave that evening. Also waiting for the ferry was two German brothers, Johannes and Tobi, who are cycling to Kyrgyzstan and also an Albanian motorcyclist who was waiting for a boat to Turkmenistan. At around 11pm we got onto the boat and I was asleep before the ferry left the shores of Azerbaijan. The ferry took about 24 hours to cross the Caspian Sea and the time flew by. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all included on the ticket and you were free to roam round the boat in between feeding and naps! Myself, Johannes and Tobi were the only tourists on the boat, along with a large number of truck drivers from across Central Asia. The common language is mostly Russian, although unfortunately I really don’t know much, although they were all interested in our trips and it became quite comical seeing the expressions on their faces when I explained I was cycling alone! We arrived in Kazakhstan at about 1am but it took quite a while to get through passport control and customs which tends to involve a large number of passport checks and packing your bike to then unpack and put all the bags through the X-ray machines. It was 2.30am when we got through to the ferry terminal, although once we realised there was free WiFi, all three of us were stationary for about an hour catching up and downloading some final things. At 3.30am we finally cut the WiFi link and cycled 10mins into the night to pitch our tents for a couple of hours until the sun rose. Myself, Johannes and Tobi were travelling in the same direction and decided to set off together and see how the next couple of days worked out.
I hope to have the next video out tomorrow about my week in Kazakhstan.
A bit delayed in getting this video uploaded – sorry.
I picked a pretty direct route to get to the capital of Azerbaijan from Georgia, which meant the majority of the 5 days I spent on the same road. Temperatures soared and I hadn’t realised it had got to around 36degC which is probably why I wasn’t feeling too great at points – lesson learnt for the future.
I can’t give the people of Azerbaijan enough praise. The constant waves and well wishers continued all the way into the capital, and peaked when a white catering van pulled up beside me and asked if I wanted some food. 10 seconds later I had a feast in my hand and the man was gone! I didn’t bond with the Georgians, so it has been a great change of scene.
I landed safely in London on Sunday evening and I dropped my passport and paperwork off at the Chinese visa centre today. If all goes well, I’ll collect it on Thursday. The waiting game…..
Warning…… a very long rambling video of mostly just my face! This trip obviously means more to me than anyone else, so when things don’t go to plan, and I make a long video explaining all about it, I don’t expect everyone to care as much as I do!!
Arrived into Georgia and the alphabet has changed along with a lot of other significant things. The time changed – I lost an hour. Religion – Incredibly interesting the difference as you cross the border and suddenly the mosques turn into churches and how instantly the people are different. Georgians are also urgent drivers, seemingly always in a rush and without much care for other road users. Elbows out.
Stayed in a guest house just across the border into Georgia and on arrival was tired and dirty but was introduced to the whole family. With significant assistance from Google Translate, we chatted while I was being plied with a lot of different Georgian food and drink and being closely watched for my opinion on each bit! Obviously, it was all great! Although, I was hungry so it actually was all great and not just out of politeness.
The next morning after a few repeats of the snooze button, I was woken up by a bird continuously throwing itself into my window. I did try and scare it away but it was so persistent – slightly odd.
Then off I peddled through Georgia.
This video shows my last couple of days in Turkey. Due to the terrain I was pretty much on the same road for the whole time. Pros and cons to this but you’ll see the road features a lot in the video!
Now I’m out of Western Europe, tap water is not really suitable for drinking and, although bottled water is cheap, the amount of water I am getting through would generate so much plastic waste I think Mr Attenborough would have something to say!
I have been using my Water-to-Go bottle to fill up at the numerous taps along my route. My other bottles are now just water carriers and when I want to drink water, I’ll fill up my Water-to-Go bottle using them.
Water-to-Go are kindly supporting me on this trip and have set up a discount code for friends and family to use – KEZIA15. If you are planning a trip in the U.K. or abroad and fancy one of these bottles go to their web site and put the code in at checkout. You will receive a 15% discount. Win.
As ever, thanks for all the support. I have another video nearly ready to go, I’ll publish it either tonight or tomorrow.