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Pole to Pole

Day 95: Nairobi

Nanyuki, Kenya 
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Nanyuki: half-time.
Michael Palin - Pole to PoleBut at Colpro, safari suppliers to the rich and famous, it's business as usual. Well, not quite as usual, for as Chetan Haria, the proprietor, tells me, the tourist market still hasn't recovered from the Gulf crisis. There was a time, he remembers fondly, when 270 Americans came in at once, 'all wanting to look the same'.

His family began the business as an army surplus store thirty years ago and it has grown to be the leading supplier of safari gear, much of which is based on military uniform. Now that the Hemingway days are over and hunting is strictly controlled the outfits are a mass of anachronisms, a matter of fashion rather than practicality. The jacket design seems entirely pocket led. Some models have as many as twelve in various places. What earthly use, I ask Chetan, is a pocket sewn into the lining in the middle of the back? He glances towards the door.

'There are thieves outside,' he confides darkly.

I settle for what is described as a 'photo-journalist's jacket' as I know it will be good for a laugh from the crew. It is.

A photograph of Prince Charles - a previous customer - is tacked onto the wall beside the changing booth from which I eventually emerge with my ensemble: a cotton shirt with a map of Kenya printed on it, my photo-journalist's jacket and a pair of trousers which can be unzipped at the kneecap should I prefer shorts.
Nairobi, Kenya 
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Nairobi: half-trouser.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 95
  • Country/sea: Kenya
  • Place: Nairobi
  • Book page no: 205

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