So this week has been boring but necessary. We arrived in Baku on Sunday, and spent the week at a lovely hostel doing admin.

We applied for our Uzbekistan visas on Monday. On Tuesday we filled out the visa application for China. On Wednesday we found out we needed an appointment at the Chinese embassy and to fill out a different form. Thursday we filled out the new forms. Friday we picked up our Uzbekistan visa and had our Chinese visa appointment where we found we were not allowed to apply.

This was all incredibly stressful and boring. However we did managed to do some lovely sightseeing round Baku, I got a few runs in, and we sampled some of Baku’s finest kebabs.

In-between all this, we also visited every bike shop in Baku, in search of cassettes, tyres, bar tape and break pads. Unfortunately we only found bar tape and break pads. Fortunately I have the best dad who has agreed to post us some cassettes and tyres to Tajikistan. Hopefully that works out.

We did enjoy a week of resting, watching netflix, playing cards, reading and shopping. And I fuelled my baklava addiction at the local bakery’s and sweet shops. And we spent alot of time at an internet café.

Keen to avoid more stress with Chinese visas we have decided to cycle onwards as planned to Almaty in Kazakhstan, and then fly to Vietnam instead of continuing into China. We will (hopefully) cycle through Vietnam before flying to Hong Kong and then on to New Zealand. We are sad we won’t be visiting China but keen to keep cycling and continue with our trip.

Yesterday we left Baku, and headed south to the port of Alat, keen to continue with our adventure and happy to be back on the bikes. We arrived at the port to find a few shipping containers which were a shop, a bank and the office, and a collection of bored cyclists from around Europe waiting for the ferry.

We tried to buy tickets, and were told ‘no boat, maybe tomorrow, no tickets, maybe tomorrow.’ We were told the same thing today. So we wait.

Hopefully by the next update we will be in Kazakhstan!


Jim’s words – Visa, Annoying, Waiting, Denied, Donner, Port and Watermelon.