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Pole to Pole

Day 87: Moyale to Marsabit

Moyale, Ethiopia 
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Wendy prepares lunch.
Michael Palin - Pole to PoleWind rose during the night. I rose several times as well. It seems that the restoration of digestive stability after Addis was only temporary. My alarm sounds at six. Reach for the light, but there is no electricity this morning. Wash in mineral water as my bucket supply has all gone.

After breakfast we climb into new vehicles marshalled by Wendy Corroyer, an impressively competent lady from Abercrombie and Kent. There are four altogether, Landcruisers again, but larger than we have had previously, bought as one-ton trucks and converted into sturdy, elongated jeeps for work on safaris. My driver is short, muscular and middle-aged. He smiles easily, but cannily. His name is Kalului. Our other drivers are Kabagire, a young, slim, shyly handsome man, George, and William whose T-shirt reads 'Born to be on Vacation'.

At half-past eight we roll down the hill out of Ethiopia. Out of 1984 and back into 1991.

As the Kenyan customs officer plants an entry stamp on a fresh page of my passport I remark on how odd it is that it should be seven years later here. He looks across the page at my Ethiopian visa and nods sagely: 'They will never catch up with us'.

Further up the hill, in the main square of Kenyan Moyale, we wait for the armed guard who will accompany us as far as Isiolo. This is the third country in a row to have bandit problems. Here the blame is laid on Somali guerrillas.

We are now in Swahili-speaking Africa and I can dust down my Jambos (Hellos) and my Akuna Matatas (No Problems). Less auspiciously for us, Pole Pole in Swahili means 'Slowly Slowly'.
Marsabit, Kenya 
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Ahmed's descendants at Marsabit.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 87
  • Country/sea: Ethiopia
  • Place: Moyale
  • Book page no: 193

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