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On the Road "The purpose of life lies at the intersection of the heart's deepest desires, the mind's keenest talents, and the world's greatest needs."

Quba (no, not THAT Cuba)

AZERBAIJAN | Thursday, 7 May 2009 | Views [1412]

April 5-7

I was pretty intent on getting out of Baku and up to the Caucasus mountains in the north of Azerbaijan, but everyone had warned me of the lingering cold weather, lack of public transportation, and complete dearth of English (i.e. a challenge for a lone female traveler). Thankfully, Namiq’s friend, the checkers champion I beat last night, also has a side job as a taxi driver and offered to take me up north to Quba (pronounced ‘Gooba’). The checkers champ also happens to have family there who put us up for a couple nights as we side-tripped to the incredibly scenic surrounding mountains. There were a few tiny villages nestled in the valleys, smoke curling out of their chimneys and all, that I marveled at, wondering how pleasantly simple and fulfilling life must be for them; before I ran off to become a shepherd, my thoughts were interrupted by Namiq’s point that most of them probably want my lifestyle in North America. (Are we ever really happy with what we have??)

Quba is famous for its apples, and they still had crates upon crates of them from the previous season, though they were a bit on the mushy side of the spectrum. We also enjoyed a shashlik feast with the family and made the obligatory visits to a half dozen other family members and friends residing nearby. Thankfully I’m used to drinking a lot of tea by now and have learned to pace myself with the tempting trays of nuts and fruit preserves at every house, otherwise I would have been holding my belly like a pregnant woman!

Upon return to Baku on the 7th, I bought my overnight train ticket to Tbilisi and bid Azerbaijan adieu...


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