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Around the World in 80 Days

Day 34: 28 October

Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 DaysThe clocks have gone on by one and a half hours, so sleep later. Nigel and I try our most technically ambitious adventure this morning - an interview with the captain on the bridge. This necessitates me holding the tape recorder and mike (and remembering to keep both out of shot) whilst checking the level on the recorder and answering questions. The captain has chosen this moment to give long, discursive replies and my arm is practically breaking by the end.

Finish Travellers, a gentle, sensitive, sensuous tale, which has restored my faith in writing. Now embark on Anthony Burgess (Little Wilson and Big God) and a book on Islam, about which I know woefully little. On the Susak mental exercise is not as problematical as physical exercise. There is nowhere to run off the effects of the Zlatorog.

The sea and weather conditions become the main source of interest. There are no other ships to be seen, only a squall of rain and a sensationally prolonged sunset, during which the surface of the Bay of Bengal seems molten.

Spend an hour or so at the prow, screened by the containers from the noise of the engine, just gazing out over the glassy silent surface of the sea, and looking down at the wash from the bows which is filled with phosphorescent pin-pricks of light. I am taking a last walk around the ship when a door opens, at the stern, letting out a long strip of light, into which a huge bull-shouldered deckhand steps, lifts his arm and sends a bottle of Ballantine's arcing high into the ocean.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day: 34
  • Date: 28 October
  • Country/sea: Indian Ocean
  • Place: Bay of Bengal
  • Book page no: 115

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