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Pole to Pole

Day 18: Karasjok

Michael Palin - Pole to PoleRequired: one pair of thigh-length rubber boots, a plastic pan, a shovel and a natural sense of rhythm. The plastic pan has replaced the metal pan (as used in the movies) because the gold shows up better against the blue of the plastic. The shovel is required to ladle mud and the natural sense of rhythm helps with the sifting. Gold, being the heaviest of metals, will always sink to the bottom, and the skill lies in the delicacy required to filter out the gravel and mud without losing the grains of gold as well. Being the sort of person not noted for either rhythm or delicacy I experience a childlike sense of glee when, after a few minutes of sifting and spilling, I catch a glimpse of gold amongst the pitch-dark graphite sand. Not enough to open a Swiss bank account and probably not as much as you might find on one of Elizabeth Taylor's eyelashes, but the mere fact of having retrieved it, by my own efforts, from the mud of this remote river gives satisfaction way beyond the value. My self-sifted fortune is estimated to be somewhere in the region of £9.50 sterling. Decide to buy the crew a beer and invest the rest.
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  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 18
  • Country/sea: Norway
  • Place: Karasjok
  • Book page no: 36

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