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Pole to Pole

Day 48: Rhodes

Michael Palin - Pole to PoleWake at 2 a.m. from a recurring dream of tanks in Moscow to a far worse cacophony from the road outside. Motorbikes skidding round corners, music and loud arguments. I should have realized, the day is for TV crews and the night is for the locals. Shut my balcony doors and wake an hour later pouring sweat. Open the doors and lie there rigid with sleeplessness as dogs take over the streets. Try to prop the doors half-open and nearly break the window but at least fall asleep from the effort. Not for long. An agonizingly slow street-cleaning truck finally lumbers by at half-past six. Half an hour later Clem and the crew are ready to go.

'Why so early?'

'Best time. Before the streets get busy.'

Vangelis Pavlides, a political cartoonist and local historian, has agreed to be my host in Rhodes. He appears on his vintage BMW motorbike and we grab some fresh bread from a local bakery before taking a walk round the Old Town. Vangelis is a good companion. He loves the city, though not uncritically. In his opinion it had a better sewage system 400 years before Christ than it does now. It also had a population of 300,000, now shrunk to 80,000.
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  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 48
  • Country/sea: Greece
  • Place: Lindos
  • Book page no: 105

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