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Pole to Pole

Day 111: Shiwa

Michael Palin - Pole to PoleEven Shiwa, with all the care that has been taken and money that has been spent, is fighting for its survival. The Great Man has passed on and John and Lorna are struggling to discharge all the responsibilities required in maintaining an estate of forty square miles in a country with 150 per cent inflation. They have tried timber, cattle-ranching, egg and poultry production, but none has survived for long. John is hopeful that the new government will improve matters; meanwhile he and Lorna have formed Shiwa Safaris to exploit the tourist potential of the wildlife on their land.

At the end of the day John takes me down to the lake. It's a tranquil place, unmarked by human ambition and the inconstancy of fate. I feel he's happy here, released momentarily from the effort of keeping someone else's dream alive. I look around for the wildlife on which he is staking his latest hopes. A heron gracefully skims the water, a wattled plover screams overhead and a line of hippo tracks leads through the mud and into waters that reflect the ochre-red of another sunset.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 111
  • Country/sea: Zambia
  • Place: Shiwa
  • Book page no: 252

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