The Big Ride

Azerbaijan: A warm return to the unknown

Puncture Count
Tea, hospitality, our stay in Baku
Boring flat highway, missing the mountains (our fault!), Toilets
Things we are loving
Not yet opened highways, home cooked meals

Azerbaijan is the second country which was not originally part of the program. Having shifted our route north to circumvent Iran (which would not issue Claire a visa without an expensive organized tour which would cost the same about as a 1 year trip on our bikes), our route saw us travelling through Azerbaijan, a country which neither of us knew much about. It was an unexpected turn, but one we have had several months to come to terms with, and gradually came to the realization that our new route was a new adventure in itself, exposing us to different countries, experiences, cultures and would add some more adventure to our adventure.

After our false start from Georgia we managed to find a border open to all passport holders and crossed into Azerbaijan on the main highway from Tblisi and Rustavi. The border crossing felt a little different than those in the past, there was a larger area for inspections and the space seemed to be well used as nearly every vehicle passing through was being searched. However, the boarder guards were friendly and welcoming lots of smiles and interest in where we were from, and where we were headed. There was even a little inspection of our luggage, which was for show I guess, as after we opened 1 bag they seemed to have lost interest and didnt even seem to care about the white powder we had in a ziplock bag. Its saltClaire said nervously to the border guard, he said OKnonchalantly and instructed her to move along.

Once through customs and back on the road we saw three trucks transporting London style black cabs (painted purple), which was a strange, and quite funny sight as we havent seen any London taxies since leaving the city six months ago. The weather also changed on the other side of the border, sunny skies replaced the unwavering grey we had been riding in for the previous few days.


Kathy Murphy

I have enjoyed all your posts and following you on this trip. Especially Thanks for including a map as I didn’t know where Azerbaijan was. Hope you have a Great Time in
India with your family.

Keep the very informative posts coming.

Take Care


Hey Cathy! We are looking forward to seeing the family! So glad you are enjoying the articles, we hope to keep them coming!


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