In the morning I didn’t feel any better and André was starting to get something too. The owner of a roadside eatery next to where we had camped saw us taking down our tents and came over. He invited us back to have some breakfast and we were more than happy to accept the invitation.
He brought us over and gave us eggs, roti (a fried bread in Pakistan) and of course, chicken curry. I was afraid to touch the curry, André gladly ate it. I stuck to the eggs and bread. Afterwards I felt ill, the owner took us around the back where there was a small garden to drink tea and rest. I lay down on one of the benches and slept while André mercifully fielded all the questions from the people as they came by.
We got going again a bit after ten. It wasn’t s hard tide at all but I really couldn’t keep up the pace. I had not energy and felt like I would throw up at any minute. I can’t remember much about the cycle as a result, I was focused more on just pedalling.
After an hour or two we passed through a checkpoint and on the other side, a McDonalds. An air conditioned building where we could sit as long as we wanted, it was too good to pass up. And we were both in need of a rest anyway. We sat in that McDonald’s for two hours, not eating thing just waiting to feel up to cycling again.
When we finally did get going we both didn’t still didn’t feel so great. It finally happened that it wasn’t able to keep breakfast down, and from then on the cycle was a slog. On the bright side we had found a host for Islamabad, a Dutch guy who seemed really friendly from our messages with him so if we could make it there we’d have somewhere to rest and recover at ease.
So we kept cycling, but it was tough. Not being able to keep down solid food I got energy from sugary drinks, but that isn’t a sustainable way to cycle. By late afternoon I was really struggling, André was a bit better but his stomach was at him occasionally. We really must have eaten something bad.
A change in fortune is just around the corner though, we met two very nice Pakistan guys, young guys who wanted to buy us a cold drink and of course get a photo. While drinking this cold drink at yet another petrol station (apple juice) one of them invited us to stay with their family. This was Nadeem, he lived close by in the village and we took up the offer, the prospect of getting s good nights sleep in a bed seemed like just what we needed.
Nadeem led us to his village (he requested we put in trousers over our shorts as we passed through it) and to his house, a large building with comfortable couches a welcoming family. We left our bikes in his big garage and collapsed onto the couches where we drank tea and spoke to his family.
They gave us a dinner, which I politely tried to eat as much as I could while André, like a champ, made up for what I couldn’t finish. Nadeems friends came around in the evening to talk with us some more, all of them so curious as always about us, our lives back home and what we thought of Pakistan.
We went to bed early, they had hoped to stay up late with us but in this front we had to disappoint. We hit the hay and slept for 10 hours.