After a couple of hours they knock our door, we are arrived and we have to show passports to the police. Perfect timing, let's hope we don't go out at 1 o'clock in the night. We'll load the bikes on the Daniel's car Daniel and we will go together to Batumi, where we would have to apply for a visa for Azerbaijan. A little 'sleepy we meet the immigration officers, they put the stamp on the passport and make us a photo (must been a fine one) and we go back to sleep waiting to get off the ship. Just a little after I fall asleep Daniel calls us from the window, we can go! But we're asleep and we are not so longing... But we have to abandon the ship, might be five in the morning. Daniel reach his car, we load the bike and go. A guy at the port asks us our passports, we give them to him. We get in the car and go to the police checkpoint, where everyone, including the guy of the harbor, take a look at our passports. In theory they should just check the stampwe got on the ship a few hours ago. Everything looks okay, but the guy of the port jumps in the car with us, to do what we don't understand, and leads us to another police station, they all look the passports, then to another police station and again they all look our documents. Meanwhile, at the first checkpoint we said goodbye to the German guys, of course, they let them go immediately. It will be because we are in the car, we think. However, it seems over, finally we leave the harbor but the guy is still on our car. He "accompanies" us up the road to Batumi and then asks us hundred euro because, he says, he has given this money to the police to let us pass! Sound suspicious. We straight tell him to fuck off and get off our car before we call our embassies and he just gives up right away and get off the car, not even try to haggle a bit! Let's say you still have to learn a lot about the "job" dude!
Azerbaijan consulate in Batumi
As soon as we wake up we go for a bath, now the water is beautiful. And then head towards the city in search of the Azerbaijani consulate, we find it quite easily. Too bad, though, that we discover that from 1 July this year they no longer issue visas and we have to go to Tbilisi! Perfect! There is not much we can do then we do a tour of the city, which is a mix between futuristic and decadent and go back to our "camp". We argue with the guard at the entrance because he didn't let us in, does not seem to know that there is a campsite within the park! Let's say that the organization is a bit rough.
Anyway, tomorrow we leave here and go back to Poti and then reach the Svaneti region.
Last swim for a while 'and then we go. After a few kilometers there is a quite violent climb but thankfully short. Then ride along the sea for several flat kilometers stopping to eat the usual khachapuri along the way. Parts of the road facing the sea are very nice, for the rest of the plain is always a bit 'boring.
We stop to to camp a few kilometers from Poti, in what probably was once a beach frequented by people, now only a few dogs and cows go to drink at the nearby river. There are some abandoned house and a lawn where we put the tent.
This morning we take what is really the last swim! Temperature is about 40 degrees.
But the road today is quite flat. Leave Poti and we stopped to eat the best fried eggplant with walnut sauce (made at the time) in the only restaurant within 30km. As I said, the road is flat, but there is a Dutch style head wind of course. We engage the first gear, and so, after some kilometers the road turns north while the wind also changes to orient in the direction exactly opposite to our.
About ten kilometers from Zugdidi we see a beautiful river with low water and we stop for a swim, the water is very warm but refreshing, we would like to stop and sleep there but we do not have food so we go in search of food and also a bar where to watch the match of the italian football team, but we do not find neither the one nor the other, we must necessarily go to Zugdidi, the great city... in fact 50,000. We come and go in search of a room, a police car begin to follow us, but we do not understand why. They ask us something we do not understand, we ignore them. When we stop they also stop them a few meters back, if we turn right they turn right too, and if we turn left they do the same. In short, a full-blown stalking, but in the light of the sun!
Finally we arrive in a street where there are two small hotels, ask the price, which is the same, no competition, and choose the one where we can put the bike in the courtyard.
In the meantime, the police are always out there waiting, we do not know what. We imagine they want money but it seems odd, they can not ask money in the street! Eventually we get to the hotel and after a minute they too come and speak with the owner of the, we imagine they want a bribe from him for having "brought" us to his hotel. From the tone we understand that the must have fucked them off, he just tells us "no problem"... well, mystery.
Anyway we arrive in perfect time to see Italy losing with Costa Rica!