Bed and breakfast—are we there yet?
We arrived in Baku expecting to bush camp a night or two and then board a cargo ship bound for Turkmenistan. But Mother Nature had other plans. I already mentioned that we had strong winds the night we camped by the mud volcanos (At a crossroads in the middle of nowhere). Those winds were blowing right across the Caspian Sea, disrupting all sailing traffic along with our schedule.
That wouldn’t have been so much of a problem. We could have camped until the winds died down and the ferries resumed service. But the truck had only a short-stay permit for Azerbaijan, so Will had to get it through customs and ‘checked out’ of the country. Oops! Then we were truckless, with none of our camping gear.
So Lu headed off to find a reasonably-priced hotel (no hostel in posh Baku) that could suddenly take 20-plus people. She had at least partial success at the Hotel Empire. They could take us all, but not at very reasonable prices. There were double and triple rooms, and everyone had to be willing to share if necessary. Lu dished out the keys randomly—she hadn’t seen any of the rooms—and then we heard about and saw the triple that Lin, Norman and Lily scored.
Oh wow, what a classic—with decor right out of the 1970s. There was a living room (with velour-covered furniture) and bedroom all done up in oranges, browns and golds. The huge bathroom included a jacuzzi, the sheets were satin, the TV was a flat screen, the clock chimed and there were robes and slippers all round. The trade-off, of course, was that there were three of them. No funny business. hahaha
We stayed a second night (the weather remained bad) and everyone got their same room back, so we’re now referring to Lin and Norm as mum and dad, and Lily as their unexpected love-child. Lily is playing her role to the hilt. She keeps begging for pocket money and asking ‘are we there yet?’.