Final thoughs of Africa

Khartoum Travel Blog

 › entry 16 of 19 › view all entries
1974 performance on "The Porter Wagoner Show". Dolly wrote the song after the breakup of her and Porter.

First off start the Dolly Parton Song in the YouTube link below. Listen to it as you read the entry below. Right now your plane’s landing into the city of Khartoum. The city seems to be made up of blue and orange lights. But they don’t seem to be lighting the city below. There are just these orbs floating suspended above ground. You’re transfixed by them as move up and down with the changing topography. The Dolly Parton song seems to be moving in perfect rhythm with the rolling orbs below. In your hands are 12 patches from each of the countries you’ve biked through. The weight of everything you have seen over the last 5 months is finally hitting you. The pride of finishing the trip, the excitement of what will happen next and what in the moment you are sensing, has you dazed in a tranquil, rapture feeling. You’re full of all these beautiful emotions. It was something I won't forget.


Then that reminded of the last time I felt this way. I was transfixed by a man’s face during a concert. A local singer came down from the hill of Malawi to play at the hostel. One song he sang of the death of his second son. But it wasn't his face that had me transfixed. It was the Czech who lost his whole family in a car crash a few months earlier. He had been on a bender for the last few months and was always in a good mood. But during the course of the song he went to a world I hope to know nothing about. The image I saw on his face was haunting and distorting but still alluring in some way.


On the plane with me was a French girl. She couldn’t get a travel visa for southern Sudan so she was going to fly to the north and continue the trip once her friend caught up with her. What made her special is that her friend and she are walking Africa. Started in Cape Town and ending in France. It has taken her a year so far. They can average 42 km a day. Isn’t that something?

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1974 performance on "The Porter W…
photo by: alexchan