We left in the same delightfully spoilt fashion as we had gone to bed by enjoying James’ American pancakes for breakfast, with homemade syrup and apple jam! The road out of Qax was blissful having been recently completed as part of town-wide upgrades for the imminent Presidential visit. It took us swiftly (bar one long climb) to Sheki where Alex went to find himself a bigger flag than the ones given to us by bystanders yesterday and where one keen observer of our bikes delighted in giving us some money to go and buy some salad!
We cycled about 40km further over the rolling foothills of the increasingly large mountains to our left, passing an oddly empty town seemingly straight from Playmobil. As we cooked our rice on a football pitch which had taken our fancy as our camping spot, a local man came to talk to us before calling one, then two, then about ten friends over to share in the popular game: “guess what the tourists are up to using lots of hand gestures and few mutually understood words”.
As the sun came down, they ushered us to a nearby café where we had beer, warm chickpeas and a couple of vodka shots when I wandered off to wash my hands! We headed back to the tent and were pleasantly surprised to find three of the men come and stir us out armed with cherry syrup, vegetables, bread and vodka!