Voyage of the Dawn Texter ( across the Caspian)

2 a.m  sleeping in sealed compound. Have stowed everything for fast getaway. Police coming over every now and then- don’t see to get Jack Dee’s humour  on CD we are playing

10 a.m. Terrible night. They were loading petrol rail wagons all night as we slept on concrete in no- man’s land . A police man came up and ruffled John’s hair!

Not funny any more

They  had lied about getting onto 7 o’clock  ferry. John started to phone his Azeri friend Farhad  when we were suddenly told to get on board the 6 a.m. boat.

The just as we were about to board they said my passport was not in order and I would have to return to Georgia without the van and get a proper stamp.

Loads of frantic phone calls and at last Fahrad and a further fine work.

Bloody close shave – could have ended up coming home

But we are half way across the Caspian now!

Latest Text

4 p.m. Doing the maths re days left to race across Turkmenistan, clock still ticking.

4.30 p.m. We think there is a boat tomorrow so we are going to sleep shifts in the van so we can bribe the ferry load master.


Good night!

Texts from Simon 23rd April

9 a .m. Our first hitch- bikes have to be out of the country by midday tomorrow although we have 30 day visas, it appears the border guard gave us a short vehicle pass ( what is this a pass for a mini?). Also letter of intent problem withTurkmenistan. So we are applying for new visas and maybe we can get out tomorrow night, John talking to foreign minister

Having a cup of tea – no panic yet!.

 10 a.m. Solutions grinding out

 11 a.m.  Racing to Turkmenistan embassy to get new visa and maybe catch boat tonight.If we run over have to find £ 50,000 deposit for bikes, John considering hiring Asimov military heavy lift transport plane, spect more boring solution will appear.

 11.30 HaveTurkmenistanvisas now sprinting to docks to catch ferry ,  Clock starts ticking at 9 am inTurkmenistanwe have to get over and out of country in 5 days! We may then chill in Aras  sea!! 

12:30  p.m.  racing to port , bribes flying everywhere

2 pm we now have tickets for ferry We were given wrong docs at Georgian border lucky not to be impounded. 

2:30  First stage of customs have gone OK but  we don’t know which ship we are supposed to be on,  there’s lot here frantically trying to ring our man in Baku


2.35 So far have only got as far as president’s wife as hubby in USA

She has asked foreign minister to grease the wheels but he has run out of grease

Next challenge find the right ship if wrong ship go to Kazakhstan- not good.

 ……………………………………………………………… !



No room for van!

Bikes technically out of the country now have to find somewhere to stay  real pressure on timeline through Turmenistan! 

 No vans