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Pole to Pole

Day 101: Lake Manyara to Dodoma

Michael Palin - Pole to PoleThis is strong missionary country. On the way in we come across the incongruous sight of orderly rows of vines, tended by the Passionist Fathers and producing Dodoma Red, which I am warned against.

The Vocation Centre of the Precious Blood Missionaries and the Assembly of God Bible College beckon with their signs, as does the New Limpopo Bar. A stretch of dual carriageway around the refreshingly modest Parliament building passes the Roman Catholic bookshop, the Paradise Theatre - Elliott Gould and Kate Jackson in Dirty Tricks - and the headquarters of the ruling CCM party (attached directly to the Parliament) before we are deposited in front of the colonial fašade of the Dodoma Hotel. Considering this is the best hotel in a capital city it's disappointing that there is no hot water on tap, but a bucketful can be brought to you on request. In the public rooms fat armchairs with their stuffing leaking out are set around an old John Broadwood piano with middle C missing. The food is dull but the beer is cool and welcome. My bed has a huge mosquito net, though I point out to the attendant that it has three very large holes in it. He smiles helplessly and produces a can of fly-spray the size of a bazooka which he uses so freely that I am unable to breathe inside the room for at least ten minutes.

There is a disco in the hotel tonight and it's a measure of how tired I am that the music blasts me to sleep.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 101
  • Country/sea: Tanzania
  • Place: Dodoma
  • Book page no: 227

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