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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars


Azerbaijan - 11 September, 2002



Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Aboard the ship Professor Gül on the Caspian Sea


~16 km/hour

-28 meters 300 km (by ferry)
Finish Baku (Hotel Absheron) N40º22.446' E049º51.344' -21 meters

2 km

Total Leg 3:

966 km

Total Leg 2:

2,153 km

Total Leg 1:

3,018 km

Grand Total:

6,137 km


Weather: Clear, sunny, very hot and breezy.



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We actually have a very good nights sleep on the boat.  It is cool and the seas are calm, providing the boat with s light, rocking motion.  We have a slow star to the day, lazing in bed until about 9:30 AM when we go to prepare breakfast.  But Lotta and Rick have gotten to it first and have pretty much gotten everything ready.  As with dinner, it is crowded and people are hanging out in the corridor eating.


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After breakfast, we just hang out on the boat.  There are virtually no other passengers - mainly crew -so we have the boat to ourselves.  It seems to be a fairly modern boat built in the West.  We wander the upper decks and look out at all the oil rigs on the horizon.   Then it is time to get lunch ready, which completes out cooking duties for a while.  Some of the group spent most of the time playing cards in the empty passenger area (they almost come to blows).


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Then it is only a couple of hours more until we arrive in Baku.  We wander up to the bridge and things are so relaxed that we can go and check out the equipment and other gear on the bridge.  It is a bit strange spending the anniversary of 9/11 out here on the water.  Nothing to remind us that it happened, except for our own thoughts and prayers.


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The ferry arrives pretty much on time at 4 PM at the Baku port - a real industrial city with smoke stacks and oil derricks all over the place.  Now it is time to carry all our gear back down to the truck - but it is a bit easier as we have eaten most of the food and drunk lots of the water.  We load it all up in the truck and then, even with the bow doors open, we just hang around and wait.  There is an older lady that is met by her family and she is screaming and crying.  It appears that some one in her family must have died.


We are finally called forward to the immigration post to complete the formalities.  The officers are very friendly and we can even share a joke or two.  One asks if my family name is Russian - I tell him it is Ukrainian.  It only takes us about an hour to complete all the formalities and then we are on our way to the hotel.  We are joined by our new local guide.


It is only a short drive to the hotel near the water front.  We unload and head into the hotel where we are given our rooms.  It is an old Intourist hotel and there are the usual floor ladies to take care of us.  Once we have gotten settled, we head out to check out the area around our hotel.


First things first - we need some local money.  There are lots of exchange bureaus scattered all over the place, so we find one with the better rates and change some money (here it is about 5,000 Manat to one dollar).  Then off to the internet cafe to check our emails.  It is slow, so we just take care of the important stuff.  After that we wander the streets.  But they are dark, pretty deserted and narrow, so after a while we decide to head back to the hotel after a quick snack.


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