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Kilimanjaro? Well, it nearly killed me

If the altitude doesn’t get to you the long-drop toilets will. Tim Moore has his definition of a holiday brutally redefined on a gruelling five-day ascent of Africa’s highest mountain

There are two stories about what it’s like to climb Kilimanjaro: the one people tell their friends after they get home, which has the benefit of inspiring others to tackle the world’s highest free-standing mountain, and the one they tell each other at the summit, which has the benefit of being true.

The memory of what is endured en route to Uhuru Peak, 19,340ft above the level more commonly associated with holidays, is somehow expurgated and re-edited, the learning curve of painful experience Tipp-Exed out. The same mental process explains why my wife has been able to go through childbirth three times, and why I have eaten more than one battered saveloy.

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The atomic history of Bikini atoll

In 1946, the US government sent the 167 natives of Bikini Atoll into exile while it set about destroying their island with 23 nuclear tests. Local resident Jack Niedenthal tells what happened next

The atoll of Bikini, a necklace of 23 islands with sandy beaches and swaying palms that surround a tranquil, blue-green lagoon, presents a startling paradox for the nuclear age. How does a small coral atoll in the middle of the Pacific, which was once rocked violently by 23 atomic- and hydrogen-bomb blasts in the 1940s and 1950s, manage to appear so beautiful and abundant with nature’s bounty just a half-century later?

The remarkable legacy of these islands and their people began just after the second world war, in December 1945, when US President Harry S Truman issued a directive to army and navy officials that joint testing of nuclear weapons would be necessary “to determine the effect of atomic bombs on American warships”. Because of its location away from regular air and sea routes, Bikini was chosen to be the new nuclear proving ground for the US government.

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