Hurry up and wait, not just an army phrase

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

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Where I stayed
Most of the day in Cafe City - tonight? Anyone's guess

Flag of Azerbaijan  ,
Friday, April 1, 2011

What a day!
Had breakfast (tea/chocolate, with a muffin) in a cafe as we have not much at the apartment. Its all moved with the car to the Customs area.
Spent the whole day waiting for a call to say that we are on the ferry. If it comes, it might be that we aare on, or it might be that the oil arrived, and so we  arent. But no call either way. Day spent in total nothingness. Went and got a new screw put in Martins glasses, the girl who did it used a pair of pliers and a screwdriver and untold other equipment to insert the screw. At one stage I thought she had arranged for a new screw to me manufactured out of high tensile steel just for us. But eventually she handed over the glasses with a request for 2 Manat, about 1.50. Some things gere are cheaop, some are expensive.
We did some grocery shopping this morning so we have food on the ferry - no idea whether its available or not. Bought a small lump of cheese - 10 manat, about 8.

So here we are, 5.30, sitting in a coffee shop. Uploaded yesterdays blog earlier, now we are just filling time until we feel obliged to buy another coffee, to justify using their free wifi.

My feeling is that the ferry wont go until 10, so they'll wait until 6 for the oil, and if its not here by then, we;'ll get a phone call to go. So the later the call comes the better chance we have of getting on. But no-ne knows anything, and its amazing just how little anyone knows. You cant buy Turkmen money here, in a neighbouring country. We havent found anyone who has actually been to TM, apart from a very few (oil people) who flew to Ashgabat, so no-one knows what the roads are like. It could be the other end of the world. Maybe it is

Martin's moribund moment.
I'm suffering from sleeping sickness.Cannot summon up the energy to do anything.Not much sleep last night - I'm worried about the poor running of the car which seems to have descended on it since parked  up.Even with what I thought was poor fuel it got us to Baku and nothing has been done on it to have affected it badly,so what is going on?.So as Rog says,the car is in the port and we're part of the cafe society Totally in the dark about when ferry likely to go.I don't share Roger's expectation about timing of departure - I think its a plot to keep us renting apartment.Meanwhile our "agent" in Turkmenistan has appparently sent our escort to meet us at their port.Will we ever meet?
So in the downtime clouds of doubt come down.Will we get out?,how far will we get on the other side? What escape routes are there?
My own feeling is that the next country will be critical.If car stands up to Turkmen we need to make hard decision about our confidence to take on next part of journey where remoteness and quality of roads will be different again.
Apart from Baku it is difficult to convey solitude of recent countries and intrigue caused in local populations which causes inquisitiveness to spill over into intrusiveness.Mainly with Polis.Can be very upsetting.
So There may now be an interlude whilst we travel across the sea or alternatively we may be trapped here for ever.
We've had two weeks on the road and one week parked up and bang on schedule if it all happens in the next two hours.
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Charlotte on

"the other end of the world" real adventure awaits!

Sarah Terzeon on

Following your adventures with much respect chaps! Hoping your luck's in & you get smoothly to the other side tonight & swiftly onwards. Prebend St Volunteer group talked about your adventures at meeting this week & send very best wishes. Sarah (Prebend St Day Centre, Bedford)

sarah on

Just re-read & realised it's rather more than an overnight crossing! Lots of luck, again! Sarah

mike b on

you know - i've been working/thinking on it
Morris sounds like Mars if you're Ian Paisley

Jem on

I have managed to find your blog but cant afford to read it all, still cant acess email, Hope you got/get on the ferry soon and have a good crossing, It was over 30 degrees today,Keep going

Chris on

Just read a piece about crossing the Caspian Sea. It said it's an idea to take food with you as the chef may not have enough on board for passengers. Plus you may find it takes 12-24 hours to disembark! Hope that this does not apply to you. and you are lucky. The sunsets are amazing so enjoy!

Here's the next verse from my contribution: I wonder how you feel this relates to your journey.

Then pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many,
that you will enter ports seen for the first time
with such pleasure, with such joy!
Stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and corals, amber and ebony,
and pleasurable perfumes of all kinds,
buy as many pleasurable perfumes as you can;
visit hosts of Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from those who have knowledge.

More to come.

Alison and Emily on

We are booking a nice holiday in England for your return, for when Jemma visits...Digital TV hasn't quite reached Biddenham yet. It's probably the birds nest perched on top of the aerial in the loft, and the steam propelled tv we have!
Hoping you are on the high seas now, and the escort on the other side is a happy chappy. You're doing really well.

Polly on

May the luck of the Irish be with you.

Walked from Chesterton in N Camb to Grantchester today. 19 degrees. It's sprouting broccolli from the garden tomorrow for Mothers day. You both blend in well in the ex pats bar. You will be experts on local lager soon. Take care

Jemma on

Have permission to come home in August for a holiday. Need to discuss dates with you and then see if I can swing more than 2 weeks.
Need to borrow some of that lucky Irish charm?
Fingers crossed for the ferry.
Do you need to take toilet paper with you????If they run out of food then.........
Tip from a friend who has just been through the Turkmeinistan border do not lie about how much money you have on you. They ask to see it and if you differs from the amount you have claimed you seem to get questioned for 3 hours and accused for being a journalist!!!!But on the other hand they try and get you to give them your money as a a bribe, apparently if you do not give in and claim going to the President with a case of mis-treatment they let you through. I'm sure this will not happen to you as you have two very trustworthy faces.
Mum loved the pictures of back home, the garden looks great. When did the path go in? Happy Mothering Sunday.

SJS at Sutton on

I am so amazed by your bravery and tenacity. Just reading your accounts terrifies me. What a wuss I am.The challenges which you are facing really make my concerns about lawn mowing, decorating, birds in the roof, unreliable boiler and dodgy drains etc. seem so trivial.
Hope all goes well.

Mary R on

Good work, boys! Sounds like you must be on the high seas by now, due to radio silence. May Prince Caspian be with you and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader go smoothly! Glad to hear the Kavanaghs of Bedford are keeping you company far afield! Josh is sharpening his quill to oversee commenting on the Asian leg of your tour. I had a great success with my first ever attempt at Yorkshire puddings today - I will give you a demonstration when you're back. Don't forget to go out on deck if you start feeling queasy! xxx

alison on

Martin- I need the whereabouts of the info of our day away at the dog and duck in aug, need to change date as it coincides with when Jemma is due over.Have ransacked all the likely places.Hope to here from yu soon

Barbara Goss on

No news is good news! Now you really are in adventureland... good luck!

Chris and Elaine on

We are off to Cyprus tomorrow so will feel a little closer to you. Wishing you all the best in the next stage over the water.

Will try to catch up on news in a cafe or something.

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