After the Nanga Parbat killings we cancelled our Fairy Meadows trek and continued riding down the Karakoram Highway, to the capital Islamabad. The remaining six hundred kilometre journey turned into a slow, four-day endurance race, with armed police escorting us most of the way, a lot of waiting at checkpoints, temperatures of over forty degrees making driving in the afternoon almost impossible, a failing charging system on An’s bike and an overheating fuel pump on mine. Even my body let me down. On the way to Abottabad, I got extremely painful abdominal cramps and had to stop at a gas station (read: toilet). I was soaking in my own sweat and could barely stay on my legs. Again we were in for an early stop. After an hour of rest and cooling down in the station’s office, we went to find a hotel in Abottabad.