After that day, I continued to travel far and wide on that trip. A ferry ride to Zanzibar (where I celebrated my birthday), via Harare I spent a few days in Lusaka. Via Lilongwe I travelled up, crossing Tanzania the other way to Nairobi. When I flew in towards Nairobi Airport, the sun was already beginning to set, and the dusty haze that often shrouds the continent had settled once again, so I looked down on the Serengeti through a brown filter. Reaching up out of that haze, the huge snow capped mountain of Kilimanjaro raised itself, its white tops tinged red by the falling sun. Despite having passed it many times, it had always been on the wrong side of the aircraft, or shrouded in clouds, so this was my first ever sight of it, and it was magical.
A day or two later I was back in England, and I phoned my father who was in hospital in Liverpool, suffering from more asthma and heart problems. Mum said he was nearly on the top floor of the Royal Liverpool, and had a splendid view out over the docks to the Irish Sea. I talked to him about the trip, one of the most eventful I had been on. He was very appreciative, his own travels in various parts of the UK, his time in India and his holidays with mum all over the world in their retirement had been a great source of joy to both him and me. He and I loved to travel, not necessarily going anywhere. He had helped me learn to drive, but rather than concentrate on three point turns and emergency stops, we would travel down the back roads of Liverpool and South Lancashire, reluctant to turn our back on the horizon and head for home. He always understood what it was like to travel and enjoy it, so he lapped up my stories from the recent trip and he shared my experience of seeing Kilimanjaro for the first time in such a wonderful way.
It was the last time I ever spoke to him as he died a couple of weeks later from a recurrence of his condition. I was so glad I left him with a memory from my travels, as he had given me so much of the wanderlust, that need to keep heading for that horizon, that made those travels possible.