Ipswich cyclist gets deported from Azerbaijan during round-world quest
- Credit: Archant
Gary Taylor does not have the best of luck.
The 30-year-old decided to pack his troubles away in his bike bag and take on a round-the-world challenge after losing his job and long-term girlfriend.
Shortly before setting off in February, Mr Taylor, from Ipswich, broke his tooth while eating some chips, which posed a possible set-back to his journey.
Yet the determined fundraiser hit the saddle right on schedule, tooth intact, and has now made it across two seas and 12 countries.
But the cyclist has faced some unfortunate challenges along the way, including three collisions with cars in Istanbul.
From Turkey, Mr Taylor followed the Black Sea coastline into Georgia, where he did a week of riding with a German cyclist called Wolfgang.
“We made some horrible decisions with route planning and ended up on terrible tracks over steep, cold mountain passes covered in snow,” he said.
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Riding from Georgia to Azerbaijan, Mr Taylor cycled for five days through semi-desert to the capital, Baku.
He stayed with an American family for more than a week while sorting his visa for Uzbekistan and tried to get a ride on a cargo ship across the Caspian. “I ended up having to catch a flight, though, because I didn’t register with the migration office in time,” he said.
The luckless traveller was deported from the country and had to leave within 72 hours.
“I’m banned from returning for a while,” he said. “But I doubt I’ll be going back; Azerbaijan was not really my cup of tea.”
Mr Taylor is now making his way across Uzbekistan to Tajikistan.
To follow his journey or to donate to his chosen charity, Re~Cycle, visit: www.gearsweneveruse.com