September 5: Baku, Azerbaijan
There was a time when I would make sure that I did something semi-interesting every Saturday. Now, after 95 days on a Dragoman truck, I rarely know what day of the week it is. Not having to plan my accomodation or onward transportation means that I can get through a week without looking at a calendar or planning anything more complex than what time I have to have my tent packed up and back on the truck. I’ll revert to the old format of posting about my Saturday adventures once I have landed in Istanbul (September 23) and resumed the life of a single, independent backpacker. For now you’ll get one more very boring post about one more boring Saturday.
9:15. I have breakfast with trip mates James and Richard. We’ll all go our separate ways just after breakfast. I plan to see and do quite a lot today as it’s my last full day in the charming city of Baku.
10:45. Helen writes to say that one of the other guys on the truck has decided to stay in Baku for an extra day and night. This is possible as the rest of the group will leave Baku tomorrow morning, see some petroglyphs, camp in a field, then return to Baku the following day. She asks if I’d like to “hop off” for 24 hours as well.
10:47. I wait 90 seconds before replying. You never want to seem too eager to leave the group, even if it is just for 24 hours. I tell Helen that I’ll gladly spend another day in Baku, or as I like to call it “Paris without the Parisians.”
11:00. No longer is there an urgent need to see and do everything this afternoon.
12:00. I walk to an authorised Apple service centre and have them check out the keyboard on my MacBook. One letter doesn’t work and you’d be surprised how hard it is to write anything without the use of the ‘e’. They quickly determine that I need a new “top board” which will cost about $650 in Azerbaijan. Alternatively I can wait until I’m at a real Apple Store in Istanbul and they’ll fix it within a week. My 3 year warranty doesn’t run out until the end of October so here’s hoping that I get this done for free. I may then sell the laptop and buy an iPad which will be a lot easier to drag across Spain when I walk the Camino next Spring.
14:00. I’ve had it with Nike Airs. My current pair are only a few months old and already they have lost their “floating on a cloud” feeling. I’m switching to Adidas.
16:00. About two hours ago I bought a very expensive pair of Adidas Springblades. They felt great in the store but now I’m worried they may be too narrow. Hopefully they’ll stretch.
18:00. I’ve left out most of the details about my full day of wandering and will just post a few pics instead. Tomorrow I’ll try to get a better cross section of life in Baku.