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Around the World in 80 Days

Day 65: 28 November

Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 DaysDusk falls as we climb up into the Sierras. A red and dusty light catches the boulders strewn along dried up river beds. We pass a point where we can see the San Andreas Fault, a blue line of rock in the hills.

I scan through Amtrak's blurb, '. . . come to where the sun rules the earth . . . where canyon walls give up the secrets of rivers long dead . . . where desert winds carve steeples to the sky'.

The PA adds a more realistic note. 'We do advise all passengers not to place Kleenex tissues in the toilet bowls.'

As the last light of a good-looking day fades we move slowly up and over the Cajon Pass, and down into the Mojave Desert. After a couple more hours we're in Nevada. I know it's Nevada because the only signs of life are casinos, explosions of neon which dot the darkness like tribal fires.

At mealtime we move along to the restaurant car which is run with the same benign air as a prison canteen. Food here is strictly to be delivered and consumed. Enjoyment is not an issue. The menu is printed on an order form, which must be signed and the number of the car in which you're accommodated filled in. If all this is not done, frosty looks all round.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day: 65
  • Date: 28 November
  • Country/sea: USA
  • Place: Las Vegas - Nevada
  • Book page no: 209

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