By James Marr
"Seen in the course of the thick finish of a schnapps bottle, the assumption of riding to a song competition close to Timbuktu used to be idiot-proof. Then sunrise arrived with a clunk; West Africa? No subject the place I became, the examining used to be both grim... Daniel Houghton: murdered as he begged water from a good close to Simbing. Mungo Park: overcome through paranoia and slaughtered at Bussa Rapids. Gordon Laing: strangled and beheaded outdoors Timbuktu. Hugh Clapperton: crippled with malaria and dysentary, rotted to loss of life. Richard Lander: despatched briefly insane and compelled to devour bowls of poison via the king of Badagari. i would yanked my studying sessions from my nostril and gawped during the window. Did i actually are looking to force via this hell?" In his Toyota 4x4, with his spouse and pals, James Marr heads overland within the foosteps of 18th and nineteenth century explorers. alongside the best way he loses his passport within the sand, ruptures his gas tank, fortifies his...
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Additional info for City of Myths, River of Dreams. Overland from the Barbary Coast to the Gulf of Guinea
What did she know that we didn’t? I reflected. We studied the menu whilst the waiter bustled furiously between the tables, scratching orders on a notepad, which he tore off and sent fluttering through a doorway. Christine opted for the vegetable couscous. I went for the highly recommended ‘Tagine Berber’. As the wind buffeted the windows we washed it all down with a Cabernet Sauvignon from Meknes, a town in northern Morocco. After dinner, and feeling suitably fortified, we huddled over a game of Scrabble in the bedroom, which I…almost won.
I bolted from the terminal, still infused with that European folly of immediacy, expectation, intolerance. I’d boxed myself in with a list which said we should be in Tangier by the evening. And that wasn’t the only consideration propelling me full tilt back to the car: who was to say if the ferries would be operating the next day, or the day after that? How quickly would they clear the backlog of passengers and vehicles waiting to get to Morocco? During the summer exodus of Moroccans departing for their holidays in the home country, I’d often witnessed the port of Algeciras plummeting into disorder.
Every once in a while the immigration officer barked at their restlessness. I gawped through the windows; no chance of even a glimpse of Gibraltar, never mind taking a photograph. We pitched into another emerald trough. I felt sure we were stuffed; this old tub would never make it. MOROCCO THE DEVIL’S HASTE Ahead, through the ferry’s sea-splattered windows, the sheets of rain briefly parted; an outline of land revealed itself. My pulse beat that bit faster as Africa loomed from the tumbling waves.