Yesterday we decided to treat ourselves by buying eggs for breakfast today and what a treat it was. I don’t mind porridge, but a plate of scrambled eggs is way more inviting. This kingly breakfast set us up well for the rest of the ride today which was going to be quite hilly.
It started out flat enough, and we found ourselves riding for some distance through very pleasant deciduous forest, most of the leaves had fallen and the ground was carpeted with them. I imagine during the summer the place is packed with people, restaurants were very common, all similar with a number of gazebos around the central cookhouse. It was winter now and no one was out eating and they were almost all closed.
This was all before the town is Ismailli. At Ismailli we stopped for lunch. On the other side of Ismailli the terrain gradually got hillier. The scenery was still quite green though, grass and trees and hedgerows. There weren’t many ploughed field, it was mostly allotments for grazing.
Anyway, we climbed and descended most of the rest of the day. There was one long climb that brought us up to almost 1000m toward the end of our ride. We thought that would be it, and from then on it would be mostly downhill. We still had to cycle a bit over 15km to set us up to make it to Baku tomorrow. Turning a corner on the descent we saw that the road went right down to a river then back up 500m the other side. We really didn’t want to have to climb it.
An empty truck drove past us, I half jokingly suggested we we ask them to drive us over the climb. “That’s a great idea” said Finn and pedalled up to the driver door. He got the message across and they were more than enthusiastic, even excited I’d say, to help. Next thing we knew we had the bikes in the back and we were up front in the little cockpit with two Azeri guys with big smiles on
They drove us right over the hill in ten minutes what would take us an hour to climb, and then all the way on to Shamakhi. Here they invited us for some tea and after a quick cuppa we took the bikes off the truck and said goodbye. They actually wanted to drive us all the way to Baku, but we still had a say of riding we wanted to get done.
We rode a short way outside Shamakhi to find somewhere to camp and ended up in a small stand of trees right next to the road and what looked like an abandoned factory of some sort.