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Pole to Pole

Day 108: Kigoma to Mpulungu

Michael Palin - Pole to PoleI'm sitting in the shade of an orange tree being fussed over by Jake da Motta, an engaging Hong Kong-born Englishman who, with others of his team, is in charge of our welfare over the next few days.

Up here, among the stone-walled huts and the hibiscus and the gentle breeze, Mpulungu has taken on an unexpectedly Provenšal aspect. This is soon to be quite rudely shattered.

Roger, naturally anxious to get to work, has booked me an appointment with the local witch doctor.

After lunch we drive away from Denish's sanctuary and down a track which curves round the bay, away from Provence and back into Darkest Africa.

A crowd of people cluster around one of the more substantial bungalows in a lakeside village of thatched huts scattered messily about a patch of rising ground. Some of them are on tiptoe, straining to see through a window. Inside, I'm told, is an effiti, a man charged with being a black witch or warlock, who is thought to have secured the deaths of five or six people. The witch doctor, or inganga, has been to the man's house and found a leather bottle in which a mixture of blood and poison was found. This is thought to be the blood of the victims.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 108
  • Country/sea: Zambia
  • Place: Mpulungu
  • Book page no: 245

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