Shuraabad, just an hour from the capital Baku and Ryan and Helena’s favourite place for a relaxing break away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

It’s hard to describe but it’s in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by briny lakes, feeding into the Caspian sea.

Ryan and I have just sat on the verandah drinking rum and coke and watching sea birds, swallows and hawks dive at the water teaming with water snakes aka danger noodles.

We waited for the sun to set over the lake tonight but sadly that didn’t happen because of the last minute cloud coverage. The swimming pool was a wonderful place to sleep off the jet lag while Helena dutifully swam up and down the pool to keep her pregnant body exercised ready for my grandson to make his entrance in early September.

Miri and Max look after this place and tonight we’ll eat at their restaurant and later build a fire by the waterside. It’s so very quiet here and the perfect antidote to my last 2 weeks of frenetic packing and saying goodbyes.