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Pole to Pole

Day 76: Kanina to Shedi

Michael Palin - Pole to PoleIn Kanina the dawn chorus lasts all night. Never have I heard such a symphony of grunting, chattering, hooting, whooping, howling, barking and honking. And that was just the crew. The village by daylight looks quite pleasant and green, a mixture of straw-thatched conical huts and, settled in a hollow, more substantial structures roofed in corrugated iron.

Once again we decide to move on as early as possible and stop for breakfast after we have covered some ground. It's still frustratingly difficult to gather any accurate information but Gallabat is said to be no more than thirty kilometres (eighteen miles) away.

We leave at ten to six, just before sunrise. Dust and dirt of travel is ingrained in everything - our bodies, clothes, bags and bedding. The Landcruisers that were gleaming and pristine forty-eight hours ago are unrecognizably filthy.

The Eritrean drivers, who have worked much harder than we have, are a little chastened this morning. After yesterday's unproductive free-for-all they have developed a system which involves following rather than racing. The lead driver goes ahead and inspects the route, then comes back to give instructions. The problem, however, remains fundamental. There is no road to Gallabat. There is not even a continuous track to Gallabat. Whatever track there might be is likely to be obscured by an ever-thickening carpet of low trees and undergrowth. The dark shape of the Ethiopian highlands remains elusively distant.
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  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 76
  • Country/sea: Sudan
  • Place: Kanina
  • Book page no: 160

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