Day 65 : Closer to the locals

8 Jul

Traditional azeri dinner

We woke up under a cloudy sky, which was good not to burn in the tent. We released the bikes from the tree root we locked them in, then started cycling towards Ismayilli, 100km away from Oguz, where we slept.  The ride was enjoyable  and we stopped for lunch after 40 km, to get some fish next to a small river. Then the sun came back and we got back on the road. The scenery remained really nice as we were surrounded by big snowy peaks. Around 6 pm we entered the Ismayilli state reserve ; a forest with big trees providing enjoyable shade, with some waterfalls here and there. We took a break at one of them for beer and pictures, then rode the last 20km of the day.

  Ismayilli reserve

Around 8 we started to look for a camping spot out of town. We saw some fields at the bottom of the moutain and went to a farmer to ask if we could sleep in the area. It didn’t take long before all the family and neighbours showed up and invited us to sleep in their backyard to make sure that we would be safe.

After some exchange in russian to explain the trip we were on, we set up the tent and showed them our gear, in which they were very interested. Ramila, the mother, offered us freshly baked bread and came with a liter of homemade, delicious plum juice. We started cooking next to our tent, then they offered us to come in and share food. We brought our cucumbers, sausages and ketchup (that they really liked!), and they had potato soup, bread, and tomatoes.

Outdoor kitchen

After dinner, we started playing football with the 3 kids in the backyard, pumped their ball, walked them on our bicycles, and tried to communicate in Azery with Emin, the father, whom range of russian words wasn’t bigger than ours.

Getting ready for le Tour de France

The family lives with its 2 cows, 2 veals, sheeps and horse, and does not seem to rely on money to sustain. Emin was therefore extremely happy when we offered him our 3 batteries for his torch, that didn’t work anymore. We did what we could to help the family a little bit, and felt pretty good about the rich exchanges we had that night. We went to sleep, inspired by countryside people from Azerbaijan.

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