Friday, 17 May 2013

Day 20 - On the Turkmen Shore

The boat dropped anchor off Turkmenbashi at 2:30 yesterday. 24 hours later we were still waiting for permission to tie up. As the voyage stretched into its second day, supplies started to run out. First there was no more red wine, then the beer, then the porridge. Luckily the cooks (Olga and Svetlana) have a never ending supply of tea and chicken recipes.

As people got desperate we agreed that we would eat Sam first. He is big enough to last a few days and all the good Italian ham and cheese he eats should make the meat well flavoured. His only request? "Make sure you cook me properly". As he has swallowed a temperature sensor as part of his study, we should be able to get him to Rare or Well Done.

Anchors up at five, a short hop to the dock and three hours to unload. Then the fun began. A process so labyrinthine, inefficient and comical that Kafka himself would have bowed down to the Master who created it.

We arrived at the hotel as the sun rises. Sixty hours from Baku. Eighteen of them actually travelling, the rest waiting. Schengen Agreement anyone?

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