Day 3 of immobility

Trip Start Mar 12, 2011
Trip End Dec 15, 2011

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Where I stayed
Private Apartment

Flag of Azerbaijan  ,
Monday, March 28, 2011

Went up to Kurt's office (I have corrected your name Kurt, I apologise. After all you have done for us, that was unforgivable!), His driver took us to Hertel's offices, and their driver too us out to their site west of Baku, and we discussed the problem with David Kavanagh. He then sent us off to Weir, who are based North East of baku. Left the parts with Brian, who will arrange the engineering solution. The problem (to my unengineering eye) is that they dont deal with steel that small, so he will have to cut down a piece (and here he held out his hands about a foot apart! They make things like the drill bits for gas exploration, not wheel studs)

Honestly, what we would have done had we not got in with this crowd doesnt bear thinking about!

Back to The Plaza to Hertel, to wait for a letter which we need for customs to explain why we cant get the car out in 3 days. The letter isnt ready, so we go to the British Embassy. We want to tell them we are here, discuss our plans, get them to contact their opposite numbers where we are going, discuss what we can expect. You know, all the things we expect from an Embassy of the Crown. And what do we get? Absolutely s*d all! After about 1/2 hours waiting, explaining to reception, Martin gets put on the phone to some 16 year old Vice Consul, who tells us to register on the web site. So its not only companies that have outsourced their services to a call desk which knows nothing, its the Government too. When we have recounted this tale locally, we get told of the Embassy's indifference to everything, the only thing they do is issue visas to locals who want to travel to UK. Nothing else makes money.

(Incidentally, when we were applying for our Russian visas, there was a big sign up, saying that if you think applying for a Russian visa is difficult, you should try to apply for a visa to visit UK from Russia! However, they could apply for benefits once they got to UK, whereas we wont get anything from the various govts where we are going, will we?)

Back to Hertel, to wait for the letter, but apparently it needs to be on a different company's letterhead. All to do with what Customs will be most impressed by. Would money ease things? Not here, though.

So its off to the pub for a beer or 3 with Dave, back to the offices, where the letter is waiting.

In the mean time Emin has checked the ferry prices, and they aren't that far from what we were told, maybe something does work here!!

Better get off to the local dinner spot where they have wifi, so we can eat a meal, and keep in touch.

Hope you are keeping up with all this.

Mileage about 150 km, none of which was in Stanley. Thand goodness for the oil companies!!!

Martin's Monday moment:
Bit of an awkward day.feeling even more remote from events and unusual for me not to be able to follow through an engineering need.Just have to trust our new found friends that outcome will be OK.main issue is that our contacts in the oil industry are on the heavyside, and are not precision engineers which is what we need.Pray that the finished product will be the business.part of the surreal aspect of this is that we are taken from place to place very graciously by private driver in large SUV's.Having climbed out of Stanley 3 days ago it is very unsettling.
So 3 days in and we are meeting a number of ex-patriates who are truly world people.They have worked everywhere and live wherever they are ,not where they have come from.Most  have local family partners and children.Suddenly I hear European voices everywhere.So are we here or are we all somewhere else? Had spare set of car keys cut today.Had 4 keys cut and negotiated price down from 16 Manet to 6.Felt very proud.None of the keys fit.
Need to get on the road and with Emin's help will sort Customs and ferry tomorrow (Tuesday).Bits due back Wednesday a.m.
Perhaps this is the part of the journey that becomes the adventure.The serendipidity that makes the seams of life.
Abdullah,Ivan?- patience dear reader.There's a long road ahead.  

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Mary R on

Sounds like a frustrating time sitting still but also highly necessary - I'm sure it'll all be worked out, wheel nuts carved from a steel girder or not. Photos are excellent - must feel like you're a very long way away. Though we did have a bit of your sunshine today I think. Be assured we are thinking of you and watching Michael Palin Pole to Pole on DVD - he seems to be having a much easier time than you are though, perhaps as he's relying mainly on public transport rather than his own vehicle. Get plenty of sleep while you're on dry land!! xx

Emily on

Hang in there, these things happen for a reason. I'm sure it will change in a blink of an eye, and you'll be back on the road again before you know it. I bet just as you're getting used to slowing down, it'll be time to move on!
Thinking of you all the time and hanging on your every word.
Looking forward to mum visiting me at the weekend.

sara on

and our debate of the evening is whether to go to mum and dad's street party for royal wedding or not, the sheer volume of royal wedding related paraphenalia on sale in john lewis yesterday was quite bizarre, not sure how i feel about it, unsettled i think, can't see the need for bed linen saying king and queen! or any shaped cushion you could think of in union jack fabric.
isaac was a little confused with the skype- think the fact that he could see himself on the screen but not you was a bit perplexing. may have to practise with granny!
off to bed, hopefully for a good night's sleep, dependent on woefully miserable bethan's emerging teeth. xxx

Sara on

oh, and amazing array of fountains!

Polly on

Transformers, that is what your American friends are going to make for you. It looks like a pen knife but actually turns into a land rover.

You are not that far away, we are all under the same sky.

Your trip is proving that a little bit of trust and people will do so much for you. Maybe we just don't trust enough.

Anyway. Keep up the great blogs. As I'm sure you are aware mum now has her mobile phone up and running thanks to a lovely young man at Vodafone and Josh.

Write soon

daniel on

Fingers crossed for the studs tomorrow

Jem on

Pam and I have achieved the impossible, we have acessed this in Classic Arabic, However we have not been able to read your blog, Hope all is well, we are having fun,


so glad you were given the photo job Roger ! Baku looks an interesting place with some very grand bildings. I`m sure you have probably seen every corner of it by now and made the use of the time to get the blood racing through those veins,Make the most of yhis very valuable stop it could be the last one you have. Very impressed with Jesmary contribution from Marocco, Best foot forward boys.

Jemma on

I can't believe you have an Accessorize, I don't!!!
Baku looks amazing, sumptuous (is that a word).
This times of contemplation help settle the soul.
At least the social side has been good. How is the beer?
Polly is right I don't think we trust enough!!
Any way have my rubber duckies ready for my weekend away.
Speak soon.

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