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Pole to Pole

Day 103: Dodoma to Kigoma

Michael Palin - Pole to PoleDream of thousands of shuffling feet, a babble of strange voices, baby cries, chickens clucking, heavy objects being dragged close by me, clicks and curses and strange cries. My eyes are wide open, but I can see nothing. My window has been boarded up. The noises continue, growing in intensity.

Dawn. In the Low Type, which is filthy and caked with un-flushed waste, a sign reads: 'The co-operation of passengers is required to prevent waste of water and the misuse of this toilet compartment'. There's no water to waste.

Something is different about the train this morning. It's shorter for a start, and the restaurant car is different (the clock has stopped at 8.10 rather than 1.05). Over breakfast of fried egg, boiled potato, bread, marge and three cups of sweet tea, I hear the explanation of my dream last night. Soon after midnight the train stopped at Tabora in order to be split up and re-grouped into three separate trains. Patti and Craig had to spend three hours on the platform making sure our equipment was not sent north to Mwanza or south to Mpanda. Apparently Patti received one proposal of marriage. Craig none, sadly. Angela tried to help out with her torch until she found out that the entire shunting manoeuvres at Tabora were being co-ordinated by torch signals.
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  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 103
  • Country/sea: Tanzania
  • Place: Dodoma
  • Book page no: 231

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