Balakan to Birmai…
I was again on the road…it was my 4th day of cycling after Tbilisi.
there was no rain anymore, sounds great and I think it was my last rain till the next rain season which I am not sure where it would be. May be in china…? Who knows?
I was cycling in a road between mountains and the fields which was so green and after that heavy rain it was so fresh as well enjoying the sounds of birds.
Actually it was time to start discovering Azeri culture even though there is almost 3 million Azeri leaving in Iran. So I already have got to know their culture a bit but here was another experience to gain and more to learn. Every few km there were some people sitting on a table under shade having tea and roughly 90% of them were asking me to have tea with them but to be honest if I would accept them all then I couldn’t cycle even 20km each day, so I just refused many of those invitation and accepted once in an hour or two.
The road had no good asphalt, a very poor road which went in to a dusty road every 10-15km, it made cycling harder and slower. there was a car passing by, he invited me to have a tea in his factory but it ended with lunch and I loaded with 6 liters of mineral bubbled water. Ohh my GOD, I cant take it…. But no way. It was a part a Azeri hospitality and I shouldn’t say no.
since I started this leg of my journey I have learnt to take whatever I receive, I don’t say no to anything people would offer me. The story of that dog near waterfall and the food I was carrying for her that long distance fixed this idea in my mind more stronger which “ not always people are linked for you to get benefited, sometimes you are a piece of chain just for someone o get benefited and you should be happy to play that role” so since then I just accept whatever people offer to me. There might be a use for that. And it was right, there was some use for all those water bottles. A thirsty shepherd staying under the heat of sun, 2 playing kids who were sweating and 2 men who had a crashed car getting it fixed on the side road were the ones who benefited of cool, fresh bubbled mineral water and OI was the one who carried them up to the hill to hand the water over. I was actually blessed by that work and it made me enough happy to forget difficulties of pedaling up hill.
another night, another search for a place to sleep.
I was inside a small town called Shaki, so of course no place to camp inside the town. It was getting dark and I had to find a place before I lose the time, I just needed some water to make my evening and morning coffee and nothing more. I had something to eat. Some cheese left over from Georgia which I bought just before I leave the country. It was enough for that night. I am learning how to live more simple and easy. I eat quite good food during the day and dinner is not an important meal for me. But just coffee in my tent is something a bit important.
I passed a big and nice park, I asked the guard if I am allowed to pitch my tent or not which my answer was not!! Just after the park there was a very nice roof and light. I was putting my tent there which a man who was passing by stopped and told me he can offer me a room for free. It was great and kind of him.
I packed again and followed him to a beautiful garden and he gave me a room and the key.
ohhhh before everything I just made a coffee for myself standing outside in the garden and sipping my coffee breathing that fresh air and enjoying that peace. But that peace doesn’t last for so long…the guard, the same guy who already have told me I cant stay in the park showed up angrily. “ He did allow you stay here? He gave you this room? Did he asked you money?” they were questions he asked one after another and my answers were enough clear to understand.
but that rooms were belong to the park…no way!! I was already unpacked and he felt sorry for me, so he just changed the room and told me ok! Which was enough for me.
but the problem was he asked me to follow him and he locked the room after us. I followed him to the park where he meet up with another friend. Actually I didn’t understand why I have to follow them?
and after 30 min he gone to have dinner. I sat on the bench inside the park alone waiting for something to happen…2 hours passed. It was near 12 at night and the guard was walking around the park and talking with his friend and didn’t care about me…I was really tired and not happy experiencing that situation. I needed to rest but I was lock outside. It was around 12:30 that my patience reached to its end.
angrily I went and I found him…” I need my bike and bags!! I told him. Why? He replied. I want to leave here and go to find a place to sleep. You locked me out of the room and you are just walking around the park while I have to sleep to recover my body.!! “ he came and opened the room afterward and I just died at my bed.
I was feeling stinky after not having shower for 3 days and having also some rains. But still no way.
I turned to the right and I left that beautiful road. Still I could follow that road for another 80km but I preferred to take another road which took me down to the bottom of the country where I could touch Iran’s border. I was thinking my Iranian mobile might have antenna then, so I can call my friends. I knew it will makes me 2 more days of riding but I had enough courage to make it.
In compare of the northern road it was not so nice. But good enough for me to enjoy.
on the way down I had to cross the main highway in Azerbaijan. Here in Azerbaijan there is just 2 highways and the rest consider as the main road but to be honest I cant call them even the 3th road as all of them are in a very bad condition and not good at all to be presented as the main road.
when I crossed the main road I had to ask people for direction. I have a quite good map but it is a bit old and just in Russian. I stopped by a police car to ask. I showed him the map but the every first question he asked ( of course after he found out I am traveling for nearly 4 years) how do you manage your sexual needs? Ohhh my GOD ! please I am asking you just the address.
But this question is the most popular question people want to know here and the other question is from where do you get money for your journey. I can understand both questions and they are actually very simple and right questions but the fact is I have no answer for either of them. I just pretend to do not understand what they say to get rid of giving them answer. But I didn’t expect the police ask me the same question instead of giving me direction but he did. I laughed and told him don’t worry…he laughed as well and then I got my direction to go.
Again late afternoon and again looking for a place to sleep. This is the only important thing I should do in every afternoon.
After trying different places I found small cabin side the road. I asked the lady there if I am allowed to sleep there or not and it took me about 40 min waiting till I could assure her I am not like a stranger. Then I could have their trust, her son came over and with a tea.
I went inside the cabin but it was hot inside and no fresh air, also the ground was wet as the dogs seems used to pee there. So I put my tent hoping there won’t be any rain over night.
I had a cool night but just barking dogs almost half the night before my tent was bit bothering.
I had breakfast with the family in the morning with the family before I left.
20 May 2011