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Pole to Pole

Day 107: Kigoma to Mpulungu

Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania 
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Kigoma to Mpulungu: on the Liemba, the Dutchman's Land Rover comes aboard.
Michael Palin - Pole to Pole'He is asleep.'

She bats not an eyelid, and as I utter the immortal words, 'When he wakes up, tell him the BBC are waiting', she closes the door on me.

The captain finally appears, dishevelled but surprisingly cheerful after his sleep. I ask him about the problems of running an eighty-year-old ship.

'The ship is big, but the engine is small . . . manoeuvring is a little bit difficult.' He shrugs. He has no chart of the lake.

'We are sailing this through experience. If you are one mile away from the shore you will be safe.'

The Liemba, he tells me, is registered to carry 500 passengers and thirty-four crew, 'but sometimes in summer seasons where we find that these people along Lake Tanganyika are harvesting their crops it can be more'.

'How many more?'

'Up to a thousand.'
Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania 
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Kigoma to Mpulungu: the floating wedding party.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 107
  • Country/sea: Tanzania
  • Place: Kigoma
  • Book page no: 242

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