I hung around the hostel in the morning completing chores (clothes washing) and waiting to hear from Hamd. I ducked around the corner for lunch at a little food shop and another customer paid for my meal. He was a lawyer with an endearing laugh who made lots of jokes that I respectfully laughed at even though I could hardly understand what he was saying. Hamd picked me up on his motorbike not long after and took me for a joy ride through Lahore’s crazy streets. Through the afternoon and evening we visited a huge variety of sites. Perhaps the best of these was Masjid Wazir Khan, where we climbed to the top of one of the minarets and had a stunning view across much of Lahore.

I can’t express enough how kind and generous Hamd was with his time, energy and money. Such a wonderful way to see Lahore. I could easily be happy spending at least a few more days here getting to know the place better, but at the same time I know that north is going to be so mind-blowing that I’ll be glad I got up there as quickly as I could so I can spend as much time there as possible.

Hamd dropped me off at the hostel around 6.30pm and I set about doing a bit more route research. I scored a free dinner courtesy of a Canadian guy called Osama, who managed to receive up a heap of chicken biryani from a local family. The rest of my night has been spent chatting to other guests, including Tim, an American guy who has just started a bike tour. Riding into Lahore from Amritsar was his first and only cycling day so far. We are riding the same route to Islamabad but I haven’t suggested we ride together and neither has he. I want to get to Islamabad as fast as possible (2 x 140km days), whereas Tim will be taking it easier as he settles into touring. My motivation to rush ahead is that it might mean spending Sunday with Hamd and his mates visiting a place outside Islamabad where you can go cliff jumping (or something similar…there is water and something very high to jump off anyway).

View from the minaret

Accommodation $ Backpacker hostel
Distance ridden today 0km
Total distance ridden 18,503km