Not the best planned event, but what can we do. Trainees were informed Friday afternoon that our host family's should pack a lunch for us and to wear comfortable shoes plus bring an extra pair since we will be walking in mud. Friday night, Sumgayit had a horrendous wind storm and some families had no electricity Saturday morning.
Alas, we met up at 9AM with others (lunch and extra shoes in hand) for marsrutka ride to PC offices where we waited some more and played cards. Then 60+ Americans and 5 Azeris were herded into 2 nice buses and rode south for 1 1/2 hours through Baku to see historical site of 2000+ years old carved petroglyphs. (Incredible sights en route, but no one from Azerbaijan knew anything about the pipelines, oil rigs, market place, industrial sites et al.) Paid 3 manets each for guided tour through small interpretive center (funded by Norwegian NGO) and then walked to see actual ancient carvings.
Due to high winds, we ate our lunches on board buses about 1 PM. Buses then took us to road leading to mud volcanoes, but bus drivers refused to drive buses on very sketchy road. After 40 minute negotiation, all climb into 1 bus for 1/2 mile drive closer to volcanoes, then we hiked 1 1/2 miles up hill to see mud volcanoes.
Difficult for many to hike but younger male trainees enthusiastic about playing in mud. A beer at the top would have made it worthwhile. Hiked back to buses and started back about 6PM for 1 1/2 hour drive to Sumgayit. PC Trainees broke the "no one out after dark" rule, so needed to call host families that we would be home late. Arrive home via marsrutka about 7:30 and host mom has dolmas and yogurt waiting for me. Better ending for a long day.
More photos on my picasa album.