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Sahara

Day 97: Oran

Michael Palin - SaharaThe good news is that my hotel overlooks the sea. The less good news is that between me and the sea is a warehouse, a grain silo, two fuel storage tanks, a stack of containers and a chimney. The positively bad news is that at six o'clock this morning I was bent double with stomach cramps. Since my emetic experiences in Western Sahara I've kept a bottle of Pepto-Bismol nearby and am gulping the thick chalky fluid every hour on the hour.

I don't think I'm the only one with problems. The hotel itself looks distinctly off colour. My bathroom ceiling has been partly removed to provide access to a water pipe, and every now and then strange, animal-like cries issue from the gaping hole. The tap on my basin coughs and splutters in a horrible parody of my own lurchings and strainings, and I can find no taps on the bath tub at all.

I make my way gingerly to breakfast. I'm on the tenth floor but I haven't used the lift since I saw the owner banging the control panel to make the light come on, so it's a long walk down. As I pass the third floor I have to step over a stream of water, which is running down the corridor from beneath the door of Room 306.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Sahara
  • Day: 97
  • Country/sea: Algeria
  • Place: Oran
  • Book page no: 250

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