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Hemingway Adventure

Amboseli National Park, Kenya (second day)

Chyulu Hills, Kenya 
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On the edge of the Chyulu Hills, south-eastern Kenya, Masai cattle are herded back from the twenty-mile trek to the nearest water pipe.
Michael Palin - Hemingway AdventureAli pours us all beers but this is Ramadan and he cannot take a drink himself until the sun has set.

It dips close to the horizon, but seems to linger there most provocatively.

‘Has it gone?’ Ali keeps asking anxiously.

Though we tell him it has, near enough, it is not until he’s satisfied that the very last trace of the rim has disappeared that he reaches for a bottle of Sprite. It’s the first food or drink that has passed his lips since ten o’clock last night.

Back at Tortilis Camp, I shower and check myself for ticks. ‘Small black things, about this long,’ warns Hans, the manager, parting his thumb and forefinger by at least an inch. We’re treated to Italian food tonight, dispensed by Jackson, who has traded his Masai cloak for a waiter’s black tie.

The exhilaration of a day spent walking in the bush merely confirms that Africa can never be reduced to European intimacy and cosiness. I fall asleep, having struggled to read Green Hills of Africa in the dim lamp-light, listening to the birds and bats above me in the thatch and the occasional indefinable grunt or shriek from much further away and the evening wind that grows hour by hour until, in the middle of the night, it suddenly dies and I am woken by total silence.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Hemingway Adventure
  • Chapter: Amboseli National Park, Kenya (second day)
  • Country/sea: Kenya
  • Place: Amboseli National Park
  • Book page no: 168

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