Baku (AZE)- Caspian Sea (AZE)
August 12, 2014
BOARDING THE CASPIAN SEA FERRY
Our Baku fixer Ismyall showed up around noon at Guesthouse Inn. We drove our car and followed him down to the Ferry Port 1 and saw our fellow Mongol Rally Team Ulaan On Your Feet and Team Battlestar Galactikhan were already there waiting for the ticket office to open. TBS is going to Ataku, Kazakhstan and UOYF is going to the same destination as us- Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan.
After waiting for an hour at Ferry Port 1, Ismyall told us that the ferry was going to leave at Ferry Port 2. We drove our cars and followed him. We passed some custom officials and arrived at a gated parking lot, next to where all the cargo ships docked.
We parked our car and walked out to get supplies for the ferry trip. From what we heard no food and water would be available onboard. I bought a Azerbaijani vodka, some Big Bon cup noodles and gallons of water.
After that we chilled at a local outdoor restaurant waiting for further informations of ferry. I got some lamb kebab, absolutely delicious!
THE COSTS OF BOARDING THE CASPIAN SEA FERRY
Around 5pm we received an SMS from our fixer Ismyll. We had to go back to the ticket office located at Ferry Port 1 to buy tickets. We instantly drove back and got in line at the ticket office.
Here is the breakdown of the costs of our Mongol Rally Caspian Sea Ferry ride:
- $85 USD per Meter for our car
- $95 USD per passenger
- $50 USD for Custom Documents Processing Fee
- $20 USD for fixer fee for today (not including yesterday’s fixer fee)
Ended up being a total of $630 USD for Team Hippo to board the Caspian Sea Ferry.
Here’s the ticket office at Ferry Port 1, Baku
Then we found out that the ferry was actually leaving from Ferry Port 1. We waited inside the customs zone and we finally got on the boat around 7:45pm. It took us almost 8 hours to board the ferry.
The ferry left the dock around 10:30pm.
After almost 8 hours of intense heat finally we boarded the Caspian Sea Ferry.
NEW FRIENDS ON CASPAIN SEA FERRY
The first friend we met is Eltan the big dude, the Judo pratictioner and the ferry electrician gave us a very warm welcome, sometimes too hot (Jo you know what I meant ;-). We chatted with fragments of English and joked around, he pointed to his apartment on the hill in Baku and invited us to stay at his place if we came back to Baku.
There were altogether 33 crew members on the cargo ferry and 25 sailor students onboard, all dudes.
THE INFAMOUS TOILETS AND THE SLEEPING CONDITIONS OF CASPIAN SEA FERRY
We discovered the infamous shared toilet and shower. This one and only one hot, humid and steamy unisex toilet is shared by at least 30 peoples. It is quite disgusting but not too bad. Sometime when you got go you got to go, you know what I mean?
Here was our small room with 3 bunk beds. It was very hot and humid inside so we all hung out on the deck, occasionally inhaling the diesel smoke form the engine.
The room is too steamy and hot so at night Young and I ended up sleeping on the deck of the cargo ship. It was windy and my sleeping bad was too hot for the weather, nonetheless, it was a unique experience sleeping on a commercial cargo ship while crossing the calm Caspian sea. The bright full moon silently counted the passing minutes of our existence.
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