For so long, I could not find any one who want to share with me a trip to a confluence. How about a visit to Gobustan to see the mud volcanoes and petroglyphs site, if we still have time then we’ll visit the 40N 49E ? Two of my friends answered my call and we decided how to spend our Sunday with Ruslan and his 4WD.
I am a bit disappointed with petroglyphs, many of them do not look genuine to me. We were the only visitors to the site. Very little efforts have been put in place to preserve the site. Only tiny ropes run between careless burried wooden stakes to keep visitors from the petroglyphs. However, the guide was insisting in asking us to pay for our cameras. Nothing much to see, we decided to leave the site
The mud volcanoes are not very big as I thought. The mud flows can be seen from quite a distance but they may be results of violent eruptions. When we arrived, they are peacefully bubbling and making sound like standing near a big bee hive. The largest one looks like a huge frying pan, with the mud keep on bubbling like boiling oil.
It’s too early to call it a day, isn’t it ? We should go to the nearest town to have lunch and head for the point. Ruslan did not know how to get to Navagy, a small town about 10 from the point. He was a bit suspicious when I said I (a foreigner) will guide him to a town I have never been. I got maps downloaded from UC Berkeley Library and overlaid with UTM grids. About half way, there is a check point and we were requested to submit our documents. I pulled out my name badge, to my surprise, the guy opened the gate. We entered an old oil field, and then passed a construction site where our 4WD had a flat tire. After a few times trying to get round the creeks we were only 100 meters from the point. We walked down the hill to the bottom of the valley. Not too difficult to get all zeroed and get ready to take pictures.
Ruslan had another surprise when we told him not to go back on the same way we come. I told him to take a shortcut to the main road. He’s really worry as we did not have a lot of fuel left in the car, the gauge was very close to Empty.