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Pole to Pole

Day 79: Bahir Dar

Michael Palin - Pole to Pole2.15 p.m. At lunch in the Fountain of Life Restaurant beside the lake there is a loud crack on the plate-glass window. We dive for cover, but nothing has broken. A huge hornbill has flown into the glass and now lies stunned and flapping feebly on the patio outside. It flies off but only as far as the water. Santha and one of the waiters rush out and help it onto the bank, where it all but attacks them.

The sky is darkening over the lake this afternoon, and it looks as though we shall have our third storm in three days in Ethiopia. But the wood collectors still cross the water in their distinctive narrow papyrus boats. These delicate, insubstantial craft also service the islands of the lake, about twenty of which contain monasteries. Some of these are closed off to the outside world; many more will only allow men to land.

The storm does not come today, but the low dark clouds make Lake Tana even more mysterious and secretive.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 79
  • Country/sea: Ethiopia
  • Place: Blue Nile Falls
  • Book page no: 173

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