Monday, August 07, 2006

Camp Baku (Day 5)

5 DAYS.... 5 DAYS!!

We couldn't have gotten stuck in Istanbul. No we HAD to break down in Azerbaijan. I didn't even know how to spell Azerbaijan before I came here and now I feel like I'm living here.

Top 10 things to do while in Beku.
  1. Bug the customs guys in the vague hope that they get annoyed enough with you to make the ferry company ship you off.
  2. Apply for new VISA since your original ones actually expired.
  3. Drive around behind giant dump trucks carrying (presumably) asbestos filled building debree while the wind blows tons of dust out of it into your face.
  4. Get your car raised up a couple inches for $40.
  5. Marvel at the Caspian Sea (From at least 30 feet away)
  6. Get disgusted by the Caspian Sea (From less than 30 feet away)
  7. Ask a Customs agent where the trash is only to have him lead you to the side of the railroad tracks and instruct you to just throw it on the ground.
  8. Drink Georgian home brewed Vodka that the Brits picked up on the way. (YEEOUCH that burned)
  9. Wake up to the smell of burning plastic and realize that it's almost certainly the plastic bottle you "Threw away" the previous day.
  10. Make friends with a bunch of Brits who have clearly made equally bad choices.

All in all the stop has been fun as we've had a heck of a time at "Camp Baku" which is actually the customs parking lot that we have commandeered. It's inside the "Secure" customs area since our car's VISA's have all expired.

Here's some pictures.

This was the sleeping arrangedments on the first night. We all just laid out on this tarp thing that team Blazing Camels brought along. It was actually reasonable comfortable and the sun woke us in the morning. Then the guards asked us to move because they wanted to load another ferry. We've played a lot of cards and drank our share of beer and Vodka with the guards. Alex has been in charge of making sure the customs folks like us. We tossed a rugby ball around with them last night and one of them really got into it. He was about 60 and we later found out he used to be on the Azerbaijanian national rugby team.

Blazing Camels in driving a 2CV which might be the most ridiculous car on the rally. It's got something like a 600cc engine and is air cooled but it's got loads of style. Since we are about to hit 120/45 degree weather in the desert we are all a bit curios how it'll work out there.

The funniest moment we had today happened shortly after Theo, Alex and I went to the Caspian. We backed off 30 feet to a bench so we could enjoy it and Theo said (with some sarcasm in his voice) "Ahh Beku, how beautiful you would be if your citizens didn't pollute the crap out of you." and right as he said pollute the woman walking by in front of us casually tossed her empty 1 litre bottle of sprite directly into the Caspian. It was sad but we laughed our assess off for about five minutes. Then we tried to get ourselves killed while crossing a road.

Hey Theo, just got caught up reading your blog. That sucks that you're stuck in Beku. Hope you get out of it soon and back on your way.
$40 to raise your car a few inches?

How much was a full hydraulics job.

And the "most pimpin'" award goes to...
Full hydraulics go for $50 and a bottle of Captain Morgans. Actually one of the other team got a new shock and leaf spring installed for a bottle of aptain Morgans. Didn't cost them a penny.
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