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Around the World in 80 Days

Day 36: 30 October

Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 DaysNigel says I moaned tragically in my sleep. He says it was like a horror film, each sound more heart-rending than the last. I try to tell him that that's the sort of thing he should expect, sleeping in the hospital. The real reason for my performance may have been a seaswell, which appeared from nowhere and had us both rolling across our beds, perilously close to the edge.

After breakfast land is sighted on the port side. Radar and satellite navigation systems have made crows' nests and cries of 'Land ahead!' obsolete, but there's still a frisson of excitement when you've seen nothing but empty ocean for four days. The land in question is Great Nicobar Island - 27 miles long, the same size as Singapore, but almost uninhabited. Though we are now 950 miles from Madras the island is still Indian territory. On the bridge the captain has the Admiralty charts laid out. However exotic the location the names remain incorrigibly British. Wherever you look there's a Dreadnought Channel or a Ten Mile Channel or a Carruthers Deep. At the end of Great Nicobar is written 'Densely Wooded' and the highest point is marked as 211 metres.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day: 36
  • Date: 30 October
  • Country/sea: India
  • Place: Great Nicobar Island
  • Book page no: 117

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