Azerbaijan – Ganja, 10 August 2018

Tbilisi, Georgia to Ganja, Azerbaijan, rain predicted so dressed in my full riding suit, left at 0920, Garmin playing up, marked a POI close to the border and got it going in the right direction. Garmin does not have maps for these countries so I am using OSM (Open Street Maps) converted to a Garmin routable  format. These maps do not like crossing borders and I had forgotten to mark a POI just inside the border, convoluted road layout just out of Tibilisi had to stop and figure it out and do a go around. No traffic, rolling green hills, arrived at the border at 1015, Georgia side took 5 min then rode on to the Azerbaijan side, got waved to the front each time. The Azerbaijan side had a big wrought iron gate hahaha which they open and close, had to ride through and turn around so the camera could see my number plate and then they gave me a red card and on to the next booth which was, immigration. They took my red card and checked my eVisa which I had printed and stamped my passport and sent me to customs. Where they asked about Green card insurance and I went and got it out, stupid because I know it does not cover Azerbaijan should have just told them that. They recorded everything and gave me a paper with my bike details and said go to the cashier in another building and pay the insurance fee 10 manat which I did. Gave the guy 10 euro and he gave me 4 euro change in coins, stamped the paper, back to customs and they attached another paper and a receipt and gave me a green card. I was asked if I had been to Armenia by another guy who looked in my panniers did not rummage, back on the bike and rode to the exit gate. They checked I had all the right papers and stamps, took the green card off me and I was free, 35 min all up, everyone was very kind and helpful.

Just outside there are taxi’s and money changers, I should have changed a few Euro here because later when I filled up petrol their card reader rejected my cards so I paid them in Euro. Fuel is cheap only 0.64 Euro per litre. Good 2 lane road very little traffic at first and then a steady stream, speed limit 90kph and through the towns 60kph, speed and surveillance cameras every 5 k’s or so and everyone sticking to the speed limit, so I did as well, slow going, some of the Police cars were late model BMW’s. Millions of old Lada’s and other old Soviet era cars crawling along and old trucks belching black smoke. Arrived in Ganja, wide roads but no lanes marked and the usual drive any which way hahaha but not much traffic, got to the hotel at 1315, another new country. I paid for my room with one card and then went out for a walk and withdrew some money from an ATM with my other card, relief my cards work, it started to rain and that was the end of my day.

 

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