Yesterday the mercury bubbled and fizzed around 35 degrees C. Humidity was a drenching 30%.
How I long for snow tomorrow!
After months of mostly haunting the abodes of backpackers, I have been embedded in a grand old hotel by the banks of the river for the last two nights of my journey, to be amongst the shades of my writing confreres.
They range from the sublime to the bathetic. My fellow countryman (I'm pure Pole when it suits) Joseph Conrad stayed here, as did Somerset Maugham, Noel Coward and Gore Vidal (and I have lots in common with that trio) and many other illustrious wordsmiths; also, alas, those literary pygmies (prolific certainly but pygmies notwithstanding) Jeffrey Archer and the shimmering pink blancmange herself, Dame Barbara Cartland, graced, or soiled more likely, the Oriental's sheets.
Writing this blog - and this is my final instalment from foreign parts - became an integral, if unintended, part of the journey.
The blog began in a last-minute panic on the eve of departure, when I'd pressed all the wrong buttons and obliterated myself: it endured teething pains in Siberia where the keyboards were in Cyrillic and I didn't know which buttons to press: and came onto its own in Mongolia where I was tested and tormented by screeching teenagers playing computer games all around me, but where I found I could retire into a sound-proofed bubble of concentration, which gave up its riches willy-nilly.
If you are reading this, thanks for accompanying me thus far.
I hope to write more when I'm back at home, where I'll start on a long-overdue journey inwards.
What form despatches will take I do not know.