More fog this morning. It was a bit of shame really, we were on the road along the foothills and didn’t get to see any if the mountains. Our morning ride took us uphill most of the way on a muddy and potholed road. Everyone we passed along the way was surprised to see us. The pattern seemed to be whoever was riding out front surprised them and then as the whoever was behind cycled past they got over the shock and let out a big smile and a wave.
A bit before lunch we got into Qakh, a small town at the foot the mountains. We stopped at a small market to get some snacks and while eating outside a guy came up to us and started communicating as best he could. He then got his phone out and handed it over to us. It was his daughter, who spoke very good English and explained that this was her dad and he wanted to invite us back for tea.
It was almost lunch so yes of course. He led us back to his house, and welcomed by his friendly wife. They had a really fancy place, a wide spiral stair and marble floors. They served us up so,e tea and coffee and then some delicious lunch, sweet pumpkin pancakes, yoghurt and fresh bread. Mustafa (the guy who invited us in) called up his daughter and Skype and we chatted through her.
It was a real slap up feed and a great chat too, Mustafa had a a lot to share with us about Azerbaijan and the local area. He saved us time and effort too when he let us know about a new road, freshly laid and in much better nick than the road we were on before stopping. He led us in his car to the start of he new road and we said goodbye.
Some good flat riding followed along the new road. I think if the fog wasn’t there we would have had a great view of the mountains to our left, but alas all we could see out there was grey.
Crossing a bridge over a wide floodplain filed with stones we turned up into the foothills for a while, climbing up into the fog for an hour. At the top of the climb we came to Sheki, a big town in the hills that we didn’t spend too much time looking around, it was the end of the day and that long climb had tuckered us out. We got something to eat then continued on on the road to Baku.
Camping spots were a bit hard to find at first as the sprawl around the town took up most of the land. We passed a lot of small houses with huge plots of land marked off around them by walls, fence etc. Darkness was setting in and we eventually found a flat, empty field shielded from the road, opposite a cheese factory on the other side of the road. The fog still hung, it was a dark, damp night.