I didn’t get much sleep last night. My mind just wouldn’t shut up and I was woken up twice by people. The first time, a couple of guys with super bright torches wandered through the grassy area at the end of which I’d set up my tent. I’m not sure what they were doing but it seemed they were wandering around and tending to metallic things on the ground. I lay still in my tent and didn’t move, figuring I would reveal myself if they take a proper interest in my tent and/or called out. They saw my tent of course, but I’m not sure if they could see me inside it. In the end they moved away. They returned several hours later and I heard the same noises. This time they were bold enough to have a closer look. I sat up and greeted them, then got out of the tent. They were nice guys and didn’t seem too perturbed by my presence. I think they invited me back to their house, but I was keen to stay put so just played ignorant. I had a fitful sleep for the rest of the night.

As I ate breakfast I checked out Maps.me to suss out where I might reach. I decided I was keen to find a place to stay without camping and settled on two options, one about 54km away and one about 82km away. I wanted to have a break at 27km (halfway to my first option) but of course there is never a good place to stop when you want one. There were lots of market shops before this milestone, but none for a while after it. It wasn’t until about 43km that I came across a market shop, where I stopped to cool down with an ice cream and cold water. I dozed in a chair outside until the shop worker tapped me on my leg and showed me a bed around the back. I decided not to stay longer but instead get the day’s riding out of the way. As I entered the town that represented my 54km milestone (Bilasuvar), I was happy with the feel of the place and hopeful that the hotel on offer would be suitable. It was. The price (25m, AU$20) was much more reasonable than that offered by the hotel in Salyan. I immediately had a shower, then spent ages hand-washing my filthy clothes. I also got the first WIFI since leaving Baku. To my delight I discovered that the article I prepared for the West Australian was published today! One my internet addiction was satisfied, I set out for food, finding pizza and hot chips down the road. I then did some food shopping before returning home to relax. After watching half a movie, I went for an evening walk to stretch my legs and find dinner, which was a doner kebab (2m, AU$1.60). Back at home I watched the rest of the movie while pigging out on a banana, lollies, snickers and fruit juice. It’s now 10.25pm – well and truly time to hit the sack.

Getting lost by the river

Accommodation $ Hotel
Distance ridden today 51.66km
Average cycling speed 17.8kph
Total distance ridden 23,481km