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Pole to Pole

Day 119: Victoria Falls to Bulawayo

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe 
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Michael Palin - Pole to PoleA bombshell of a telex has arrived from Cape Town. There are no berths available on the Agulhas - the South African supply ship which was our only means of transport to Antarctica. The full complement has been taken up by scientists and survey staff.

We must go on to the Pole somehow. It is inconceivable to have come this far and not to reach our goal. Phone calls to the office in London to double-check the Agulhas and investigate any possible alternative.

Meanwhile, life must go on, and that means packing and moving on, yet again.

On the way through the hotel gardens to reception a group of tourists stands frozen beneath a low covering of mango trees through which a troop of baboons is rampaging, bombarding the red-tunicked porters below with sticks, branches and half-eaten mangoes. It's amazing how little it takes to cheer one up.

We assemble at Victoria Falls station around 5 p.m. to take the overnight train to Bulawayo. Like everything else in the town, the station is in immaculate condition. It's a low, elegant, Greek-revival gem with freshly painted sky-blue doors and matching detail, and on the platform an ornamental pond, palm trees, frangipani and striking red flamboyant trees.
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  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 119
  • Country/sea: Zimbabwe
  • Place: Victoria Falls
  • Book page no: 264

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