In 2000, Oil Odyssey had carried the first barrel of crude down the BTC line -- so in OO 2001, we brought the first natural gas down the line; the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan -- SOCAR -- prepared the canister for us. Here Vince takes delivery:
We mounted the canister in a sidecar -- we had real some concern that it would explode in a crash. It had a working valve that could be ignited. Here Tom breathes fire -- I just have a thumbnail of this pic:
Also new for 00 in 2001: Tom brought along an Azeri TV crew and, in a last-minute addition, a bus load of Azeri musicians and dancing girls.
Tom's adopted daughter Milena dances in Baku for the renowned Rashid Bedudov dance troupe and they agreed to accompany us:
Dancers Aytan (left) and Aynura (right) also came along:
Dancer Zalika sits astride a Ural to demonstrate rideability. When these girls got tired of riding in the bus they could be enticed into a sidecar.
And the we had Azeri singer Bilal Aliyev, a star in Azerbaijan and the Turkic world. So we put on shown of music, dance and song in the small villages along the way: