The Gergia-Azerbaijan border crossing took some time and for some reason they issued us with a 3-day transit visa while we already had a tourist visa from their London embassy (and we had paid for it...). Don't ask us why; we were simply glad to be left in the country in the end.
We rode through the western part of the country on a fairly decent road and made good progresses despite gusting winds and threat of rain throughout the day. The first petrol stop was a bit of a struggle and it took us a good hour to change US$20 into local currency to fill my tank - we ended up going to the black market as all the banks were closed (Easter) and none of the ATMs was taking our cards.
People are very friendly so far and constently wave at us on the side of the road. Only (annoying) hic is that the police seems to make an habit of stopping us for no valid reason. happened twice today and so far no backsheesh but they were clearly asking for it...
Our impression of Azerbaijan is so far better than Georgia (eventhough we ended up having a very good stopover in Tbilisi). Well-developped country side, some sign of living industries, decent infrastrutures (you can the the petro-$ effect) and even a few wineyards - the ultimate sign of civilisation... (young plants only with concrete poles)
We are now staying in Seki, a historical town on the edge of the Causcasian mountain range. No much chance to discover the place yet but definitely looks nice. We plan to visit a few cultural sites tomorrow on our way to Baku before catching the overnight ferry to Turkmenistan. The ferry logistics is said to be a bit of a struggle... let's hope for the best !
(deserted roads on the way to the Azeri border)(lunch break - communication was difficult !)
(young vines - clearly somebody said they wanted wine done in Azerbaijan)