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Pole to Pole

Day 104: Kigoma

Michael Palin - Pole to Pole'Put the earth in one hand and the live wire on the bite. Five applications in fifteen seconds. Oh sure, his hair stood on end and he was lifted a foot or two off the ground, but the doctors said it saved his life.'

After breakfast, having ascertained that the risk of bilharzia is low as the water is not stagnant, that crocodiles would not come in this far and sea serpents are all I have to watch out for, I take a cautious bathe. The water is clear and cool, the surroundings quite beautiful. No sailing boats or water-sporters to disturb the peace. Only the barely perceptible wake of a passing dugout troubles the placid water. And I can tell my grandchildren that I swam in Lake Tanganyika.

I dry out in warm sun with a cold Safari beer. At the bar is a small, straight-backed European who turns out to have spent nineteen months in Antarctica. Had he enjoyed it?

He pulls fiercely on a cigarette, scouring it for every last ounce of nicotine, before answering, with eyes narrowed against an endless exhalation.
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  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 104
  • Country/sea: Tanzania
  • Place: Kigoma
  • Book page no: 233

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