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Previous experience had taught me that any expedition marches on its stomach.
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But in Africa bureaucrats are usually too proud to accept a bribe, something I admire when I'm not the one being arrested.
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The porters could always be coaxed to continue a little further through driving rain by the mere suggestion of a Pot Noodle at the end.
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In some peculiar way, indeed, the rules were now beginning to seem quite logical. It was then I knew that I had been in India long enough.

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An intelligent enemy,' he would say, stroking his beard as if it were a bristly pet, 'rather than a foolish friend.' Or, 'He learnt the language of pigeons, and forgot his own.' Or, the favourite of Jan Fishan Khan: 'Nothing is what it seems.

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At the dealership, I pulled out the sieve and toyed with it threateningly. When the salesman was ready for me, I held it up, told him I was not a tourist and demanded a large discount.
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The ancient paused for a moment, as if his strength were failing. Yet I sensed that there was more to tell. Looking deep into my eyes, he whispered:
'The Gond kingdoms have fallen, their people live dispersed in poverty: the teak trees and the jungles have been cleared... but the importance of the Gonds must not be forgotten!

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There are two ways to find a lost city. The first is to rely on luck alone, the second is to control all the information.
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Only a man who has his health, a full stomach and wears clean clothes would ever entertain the notion of tracking down the greatest lost city on Earth.

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On a hard jungle journey nothing is so important as having a team you can trust.

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My father used to tell me that stories offer the listener a chance to escape but, more importantly, he said, they provide people with a chance to maximize their minds. Suspend ordinary constraints, allow the imagination to be freed, and we are charged with the capability of heighetned thought.
Learn to use your eyes as if they are your ears, he said, and you become connected with the ancient heritage of man, a dream world for the waking mind.

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A little imagination goes a long way in Fes.

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Real travel is not about the highlights with which you dazzle your friends once you're home. It's about the loneliness, the solitude, the evenings spent by yourself, pining to be somewhere else. Those are the moments of true value. You feel half proud of them and half ashamed and you hold them to your heart.

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Because there is no challenge, there is no reason to work hard. And with no reason to work hard, we all have become lazy. Lazy people are like cancer. They spread. Before you know it, the entire country is destroyed.

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Running an expedition can bring out the worst in a man. It can make you a power-crazed monster.
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There comes a stage at which a man would rather die cleanly by a bullet than by the unknown terror of the phantom in the forest.
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I felt sure we could gain the upper hand by putting ourselves in the mindset of the Incas.

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In the world of the Machiguenga, sadness could be equated with anger, and anger was a perilous emotion, by which a foreigner could lose his life.

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There is nothing quite as unpleasant as wearing a pair of briefs which have been trailed through a Calcutta courtyard. Nothing, that is, except having one's elbows and knees lacerated by unseen slivers of glass and discarded razor blades.
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As a travel writer I've specialized in gritty, fearful destinations, the kind of places that make a reader's hair stick on end.