Already halfway across this interesting country, only now do I have the energy and focus to write.
Getting back into any semblance of fitness is not easy. The other way around is though. Less than two months ago I was in the operating theatre having my gall bladder removed. I think I rested for just enough time since then. Apart from some turbo trainer work and three short rides, I was thoroughly unprepared for this tour.
Thankfully Niamh was happy enough to support me, particularly this week as she has been driving ahead with my bags to find places to eat and places today. This process has enabled me to build up my confidence and strength, during this seriously up hill and windy section of the world tour. A new bike- the expedition setup- it is a lot heavier though tougher than anything I have toured on before. Getting used to the way it feels and ready for the extra 25kilos I'm about to add.
Azerbaijan has been full of surprises. Green and pleasant though very different feeling to anywhere else I've been. It's halfway between Tashkent and Istanbul and it feels exactly like half of each.
There is a lot of investment here and domestic and gas wealth, evident everywhere. It's appreciated the currency called the Manat so that we are finding it pretty expensive based on our Uzbekistan and dollar mindset.
We now find ourselves in Oguz, 40km east of Seki which it supposed to be a bit special. A half day for me today after- 90km, 80km, 100km days so far. Then one more day of cycling before Niamh leaves for a few days. That means a fully loaded bike to contend with. That is going to be a true test.