About time!

My my, I have a lot of catching up to do! And as all writers seem to do these days, I’m going to start with the end of the story, and then go back to the beginning and tell you how I got there.

I arrived in Lahore yesterday afternoon, where this guy (who you may remember from Ankara)

had organized a small welcome party, with what he assured me would be “just a few close friends”.

But when you’re Moin Khan, “a few close friends” means your entire family, eight or nine film crews, the luminaries of the Pakistan Cycling Federation, and an open invitation to all 10,000+ of your Facebook followers. So when I arrived in Lahore, hot, bedraggled, covered in sweat and dust and trembling with exhaustion, I was met by a fleet of agile young women on high-end road bikes and escorted to the national velodrome, where they insisted I do three laps of honour, before presenting me with a trophy and a huge bunch of flowers and shoving me and my bike in front of a phalanx of TV cameras.

If I look a bit like an embarrassed rabbit caught in headlights, it’s because that’s exactly how I felt. In fact, throughout the entire proceedings, and all the speeches and interviews and introductions and presentations, I had the distinct sensation of having accidentally walked into someone else’s life.

And now my own life is about to undergo a change of pace – my project for the next few days is Do Nothing; Eat Everything. And of course, to bring you up to speed with where I’ve been for the past few weeks.

Stay tuned.

Leave a Comment

10 Comments

  1. Posted February 23, 2012 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    WHAT a return to civilization!! I hope you have been sleeping peacefully for hours and hours, comfortably warm and comfortably fed. Looking greatly forward to being tuned back in! xx Jenne

  2. Mike
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    That is fantastic! I wish there were agile young women waiting for me at the end of my daily commute, but for now that shall just remain a fantasy.

  3. Usman Ejaz
    Posted February 24, 2012 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Hey Emily! Listening to you on the radio right now! Just heard you’re about to cross the Karakorum! I did that back in 2002 with a couple of friends and it’s just great to hear you talk about it too! Let me know if i can be of any help! All the best!
    —usman
    +923005545350

  4. ENI
    Posted February 24, 2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    check this out….published in one of the largest and oldest English dailies of Pakistan, Dawn: http://www.dawn.com/2012/02/22/british-cyclist-in-city.html

  5. ENI
    Posted February 24, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink
  6. fay chappell
    Posted February 24, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    emily very well done i am so proud of you.I`m looking forward to the rest of your write up eat well sleep well and take care I love you very much Grannyxxx

  7. Susie
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Very glad you’re there and safe and that you are being suitably feted! :-) It’s a HUGE achievement, Emily and although it may not feel it to you, because you have lived it day to day, the rest of the world sees it differently! :-)

    Brilliant. Well done. xx

  8. Mike Cleeter
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Wow Emily-well done. I’d take my hat off to you if I was wearing one. Lots of people talk about doing what you are doing, but very few actually have the bottle to do so. Love the commentary! Hope you are planning to write a book when you get back. Take Care XX

  9. Peter Walker
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    How wonderful! Did you win an oscar as well?

  10. Cudzoziemiec
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    What an experience! And such a contrast to freezing tents and truck stops! In fact, I think you look as if you’re managing the moment with aplomb – perhaps the camera caught at a good instant!