Across Continents

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Good news, bad news

The armchair adventure continues….

Good news. Definitely a ship to Kazakhstan. It had sailed the previous night. Bad news? I’m still in Baku. Seems that since my unfruitful visit to the shipping company the previous morning, they’d decided to sail it after all. Aysel, the very helpful lady in the Tourism Information Centre, doubled checked. Yes. It had gone. Extremely frustrating, especially as I’ve never missed a ship, train or plane as far back as I can remember.

I needed a plan. Simply couldn’t afford, in more sense than one, to miss the next sailing, whenever that might be. An hour later I had a second hand mobile telephone, all for about twenty pounds. Whilst there was no timetable, a pattern was emerging. The ship usually arrived in the morning, sailing again in the evening, normally around six. Aysel would check at ten in the morning, and again at three, calling me the moment there was any news. And, I was assured, if anything different happened, she’d get a call from the company and would then ring me right away. I trusted her.

[Author’s note: If you are ever mad enough to contemplate doing this for real, remember two things – a mobile telephone with a local SIM card (25 Manat or about £20 – various places around 28 May Street) – and a visit to the Baku Tourism Information Center, 36, U. Gadjibekov str. Baku Az1000, Azerbaijan, (+994 12) 498 12 44 tic_baku@tourism.az. Ferry ticket is about US$60 per person, plus about the same for a bicycle]

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