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Full Circle

Day 96: Samal Island to General Santos City

Michael Palin - Full CircleA superb morning. The night's downpour has freshened the air and scattered the clouds. The shallow sea is a rich mix of green, jade and deep blue as we skim across towards Davao. Nothing of course is ever as innocent as it looks and one of the problems in this idyllic bay is the use of explosives for fishing. Not only does it kill the fish but it shatters irreplaceable coral as well.

On the dockside we transfer our bags to a jeepney that will take us due south over the mountains to General Santos City from where we hope to catch a ferry to Zamboanga, from where we hope to catch a ferry to Borneo.

Drop in to the Insular Hotel for an international paper. Pass a very fat man across whose T-shirt is written 'I Look Much Better Naked'.

The lead story in the Herald Tribune is the news that the President of South Korea has bowed to pressure to reopen the case against the two generals who were held responsible for the Kwangju Massacre. A victory for all those marchers whose protest I was caught up in a month and a half ago in Seoul.

Jerry is our driver. He has a radio all wired in on the driving seat which means he can't sit straight on to the steering-wheel. This doesn't seem to worry him any more than the fact that none of the gauges on the dashboard work. Maybe he has some ancient 'third eye' intuition as to when we are short of fuel, for he pulls confidently into a filling station off the Carlos P Garcia Highway and pours many litres into a tank alarmingly situated directly below his feet.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Full Circle
  • Day: 96
  • Country/sea: Philippines
  • Place: Davao
  • Book page no: 138

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