Day 440: You’ve GOT To Be Kidding

16.03.10: The day started slowly, with me finally dragging myself out of bed around 11pm. I spent most of the day packing my bag, organising my tapes and doing a bunch of boring stuff that possibly doesn’t warrant a mention in this great big bulging blog of mine. At 4pm, it was time to hit the road again… I had a good two and a half hours to make the train to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan – what could possibly go wrong? Ah yes. What could…? Rati had a couple of things to be getting on with, so he said he’d join Michael and I at the station later. We headed off to town, asking the cabbie to take us to the post office as it was high time for me to send some tapes back to the UK for safe keeping. When we got…

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Day 436: Rimming The Black Sea

12.03.10: Dear old Bertie died of a heart attack in the 1920s and - according to his wishes - had been stuffed and kept in the little museum on the grounds of the fabulous manor house that Mand and I were visiting for Pimms and cucumber sandwiches. Bertie looked hilarious in his tartan and tweed and hadn’t aged a day. He was characteristically mounted standing up and holding the very glass of whiskey he was drinking when he passed away. The whiskey had evaporated over time, but one sleuthy sniff revealed to me the tell-tale smell of almonds in his drink – arsenic, old bean: dear old Bertie didn’t die of a heart attack, he was MURDERED, and what’s more… his killer was in this very room… Before I could whip around and reveal whodunit, I woke up and found myself on a bus heading east…

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Day 435: The Getaway

11.03.10: The fact that I got out of bed this morning just goes to show how dedicated to the cause I am. Atheer didn’t get up until well after noon. First up, I needed my passport back. After a quick (but surprising) fingerprint-taking session, the Iranian Embassy gave me my little burgundy booklet of travel, furnished with a brand new visa. I had Iran in the bag. Now I just have to get there before World War III kicks off. I had got in touch with Jamel, a couchsurfer in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, to ask if he could write me a new letter of invitation. No probs he said, but it would take him a couple of hours to get it proofed and everything. The Azerbaijan Embassy closed at 1pm and was way way way on the other side of town. I HAD to…

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