How charges Uber in Ghana Cedis
back to Burkina on to Togo
Day 101-128: April 3rd, 2004 - April 30th, 2004
Hamale - Sawla - Tamale - Salaga - Yeji - Ejura - Kumasi - Bibiani - Dunkwa - Bawdie - Elubo - Takoradi - Accra - Wli
We make it across the border punctually at 6 p.m. and again we are pleasantly surprised. 'Welcome to GHANA' is written in huge letters on the archway through which we enter GHANA. I do the customs reports, Carnet and so on (easy and friendly) and Deggi is in the immigration office. The official gives us friendly and detailed information about GHANA and its history, changes us money and invites us, it is now dark to spend the night at the border. No problem, here we have security around the clock. When the customs office closes, loudspeakers from the customs office are placed on the street and it is converted into a disco. We fall asleep to music by Bob Marley & Co. We saw in the customs books that Diego and Fabienne drove over this border today too. 3 hours ahead of us! Just imagine, separated for 2 weeks and then only 3 hours difference! We could have gone there together.
We're going south to Wa. We spend the night in a small village right on the main slope. Process as always, result as always: Totally nice, simple people who are happy to finally get a little variety in their monotonous everyday life. Again we are passed around, get to know all the important people, marvel at it, exchange addresses and sleep in peace under the protection of the church. In the morning the tour through the village again and around 9 o'clock we continue. Somehow sometimes depressing, but in times when everyone here has a camera phone and internet connection, it will probably be years in this village before they are connected to the public electricity and water network.
We turn towards Tamale to the east. We pass the 'Mole National Park' (we want to visit the big parks in southern Africa). In front Tamale on the runway we meet a Nissan Patrol with a Ghana number. We stop and look forward to the nice greeting in German: 'Hey, Servus, from the Oberallgäu?'. A family out Accra, YOU German (from Munich !, works in Accra), ER American with children on the way to the national park (more on that later). In Tamale let's go to the 'Catholic Guest House' (N 9 ° 25.565 ', W 0 ° 50.592') and are happy about the low room prices: 40,000 Cedi (€ 3.80) for 2 people; Rooms with bathroom, toilet and van. Beer garden and restaurant right in the courtyard. Class! Camping is more expensive there. In town we find an internet cafe and I make friends with a couple of deaf and mute people who 'talk' enthusiastically about our car. We write pages of questions and answers on our voicemail. I promised them that the photo would be posted on the homepage.
We arrive at Lake Volta in the afternoon and are lucky, we can go straight to the ferry, it leaves 15 minutes later. Arrived over there we decide to wait for another ferry to head south across the Volta Lake Akosombo to drive on. We sleep right at the docking point of the ferry so as not to miss it, it should arrive at 3 a.m. At 4 a.m. I lie down, still no ferry in sight. She comes at 6 a.m. and we start price negotiations. 480,000 cedi, almost 50 €, is a price that seems too high to us, as a motorcycle for the same distance with 30,000 cedi is on the price list. So the wait was in vain and we decide to go south by car.
We're making good progress and we're in by noon Kumasi. We drive into the very busy city and are stuck in the thick of traffic. The guide says about this city that in Kumasi there is the greatest traffic chaos in all of Ghana; .. true 100% !! Great, it's too late now. But here in the middle of the crowd it's all going on. Horns, cars, people, animals, mopeds and bicycles, everything is mixed up. Not a second goes by without the car honking loudly in the immediate vicinity. It's also not surprising when a truck is parked in the middle of a main intersection and removes the engine, no, eat normally. But we want to go further and to the volcanic lake Bosumtwi. A really picturesque quiet place where you could endure it well. Unfortunately the negroes screw it up again. You don't have time to look at the lake in peace. Immediately we are gossiped, should be here, have to be there, addresses, ... Man, get out of here! We are even supposed to pay for a few trees that will then be planted to protect the lake! After 10 minutes we are back in the car. An old man asks us why we want to go again. We explain it to him and he apologizes and asks us to stay. No, we say you only have one opportunity to make a first impression. They fucked up this opportunity cleanly. It's a shame, it was really nice there.
We drive on, have to go through again Kumasi, choke, traffic jam, and now decide to go south to the sea as soon as possible. Or would you rather look at the forest in peace, ... it doesn't matter, we just drive as we like it.
We stay the next 2 nights in Kath. Missions and enjoy how the landscape changes. The colorless landscape is over, we are in the forest, almost rainforest. We ski small slopes, nature extends to the edge of the road and there is almost no space left where we can park our car. The undergrowth is too dense. But it is also a treat for the eyes to finally see GREEN again. Then, on the 2nd day in the forest, the crowning glory: dark clouds and it starts to rain. Heavy thunderstorm rain. Great, for the first time in almost 3 months it has been a bit cooler and, above all, dust-free air! over Asangkragoua it goes further south. We drive up to 1 km to the border with IVORY COAST. Again and again we come across monstrous trucks with 3-4 huge tree trunks on the loading area. There is still real clearing here and every 100m you can see clearings in the otherwise dense forest.
First there is asphalt, and then, for the first time since GAMBIA, the sea. Fresh breeze, cool temperatures, coconut palms and deserted white beaches. Here you can endure it, here you can be 'Robinson Crusoe in the Blue Lagoon'. We're driving along the coast. over Axim and Princes Town we come after Busua. 'Alaska Beach Resort' (N 4 ° 48.448 ', W 1 ° 56.235') is our choice for the Easter weekend. And that's a good choice. Never again will we have such a beautiful beach in GHANA. Here we get to know Aqua, he's a Rasta and a new father and a really nice guy. We eat our first Fufu at his home and it was really delicious. Aqua is a guide at Travel Overland and he can give us a lot of useful tips for the onward journey. He printed a great Bob Marley T-shirt for Deggi and a similar one for Gabi. That's how we get to know Gabi. Gabi's real name is Gabriel, is Lebanese and works as a manager for a large timber company. He's also here over the weekend and invites us to eat shrimp skewers and lobster. Gabi earns quite well and it is a great pleasure for him to surprise us again and again with the most delicious seafood. He takes care of us for 3 days and when Deggi's sandals are stolen, he surpasses himself. The Easter menu he invites us to speak for itself.
One morning there is a small tent next to our Toyo and we get to know Paolo. He is Italian and has been traveling for 4 years. There is probably sympathy on both sides, and so it happens that Paolo will travel with us for the next two weeks. Sometimes Deggi, sometimes Paolo, sits in the middle of Toyo. We don't cover long distances, so it's pretty good that there are three of us in the front of the Toyo. In Cape Coast we stay at 'Oasis Beach Resort' (N 5 ° 6.218 ', W 1 ° 14.611'). Here are two surprises.
1. The owner Ali asks me if I often go to the 'Kraftwerk' in Sonthofen !!?!?! He is a Kurd, his sister lives in Kempten and he also lived there. Cool what?
2. One of the guests, a Canadian with German parents, tells us that his grandmother lives in Waltenhofen and that he was there for the last time 4 months ago. The world is sooo small.
We move on with Paolo and slowly approach Accrawhere we need to get our visas done. The most favorable location for this seems Cocrobite to be and we stand 3 nights at 'Big Milley's (N 5 ° 29.766 ', W 0 ° 21.93'). Again and again we learn on our tour that Diego and Fabienne were here before us, but always left the day before. With the Drodro (shared taxi, one way 2 hours !!) we drive the 20km to Accra to the embassies. We drag ourselves through the capital on foot for a whole day and get all visas on the first day, including the one for Nigeria! When we come back in the evening we are really exhausted. Deggi hurts everything and we suspect a sore muscles (big mistake, but more about that later) because we are no longer used to running a lot. The next day we, Deggi, Paolo and I decide to drive to Accra and stay at the hotel to IN Accra to have the shorter ways. So we looked for a hotel and ended up in a shabby dump that doesn't really deserve the term 'hotel' but it was at least halfway cheap. We are in the 'Hotel de California' (N 5 ° 33.853 ', W 0 ° 12.472'): We argue with the owner about the room prices every day, there is no water in the hotel, the toilets are full of shit from morning to evening and you run after a bucket of water for 20 minutes to take a shower. Here in the hotel we also met the 3 Japanese who we had met a long time before.
Now we are happy that we have a hotel room, because Deggi is getting worse and worse. Deggi has had severe pain for days, plus a high fever and chills. A blood test showed that it is malaria and it must now be cured. A competent hospital is 150m down the street (uff), laboratory right next door. Now we have to wait for the drugs to work. Severe pain and sweating make it difficult for her. Paolo and I run into town all day to get cool drinks and enough water for Deggi from the street shops. The entire hotel also takes an interest in her illness and wants to know how she is doing on a daily basis. After 8 days, the worst seems to be over. A little wobbly on the legs, but on an ascending branch. The hotel really does have the strangest people you can imagine. Deggi, Paolo and I, 3 Indians (with turbans, who always pray for Deggi), the 3 Japanese on a motorcycle tour around the world, 2 Swiss, a gay old American with his black boyfriend, another Tubab and lots of negroes. Not that it's a big hotel, no, only 12 rooms, but a really international audience. When Deggi is slowly getting better, we decide to continue. The days go by and Paolo decides to leave West Africa to fly to Ethiopia and continue his journey in East Africa. It's a shame, if we had more space in the car, he would have liked to continue driving with us. I'll take him to the airport and on the way, we'll have another farewell beer, we run into Diego and Fabienne! You are also here in Accra and are currently with the chief secretary (!) Of the German embassy on the property of her private residence. They met in Mole National Park (north of GHANA) and when Diego asked them there if they had seen a green Toyo from 'OA' they said 'yes', we met them on the way here. Explanation: She is the woman from Munich with the American in the white Nissan Patrol who greeted us with 'Servus'. In short, we're here on the property now and it's indescribable. The two, Martina and Chris, are really nice, and we're doing as well here as you can hardly imagine. Guarded property, a really nice guard dog, pool, chickens on the property, really nice kiddies, ... unbelievable! "Here's the fridge, help yourself!" In addition, really delicious food: pork chop with beans and salad, Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes). In the morning: 'Dagmar, Stephan, come, breakfast is ready!'. Or dessert: warm apple pie with vanilla ice cream ... it is really indescribable. We can use the washing machine, shower with real pressure, ... madness.
Here we now also have time to update the homepage and to plan the onward journey through NIGERIA with Diego and Fabienne. We are now sitting on the terrace and have another coffee 'Jakobs Krönung' together. It's difficult, but tomorrow we will continue.
We drove on and the next surprise is about to come. Martina and Chris had recommended us to visit the 'Wli-Falls', waterfalls a bit in the north. That was a good day's stage anyway and there should be a nice lodge that is run by Germans. Any Africa travelers who got stuck there and opened a small lodge with 3 rooms and camping facilities. All right, let's go. Away from the coast and inland. In Hohoe, we were almost at the waterfalls, then we had a short contact with the local police. We parked in front of a bank and didn't see the 'no parking sign' (you couldn't see it either! It was too well hidden!). A policeman armed with a submachine gun then behaved immediately, sat down with us in the car and we had to drive with him to the presidium. Lucky it was across the street. Honestly, the whole mess just to drive across the street. Fully fluffed, he then showed us to the boss and described our offense. After 15 minutes we were back in the car, I was able to fix everything with a few remorseful words.
So it went on and we were soon at the waterfalls and the lodge. Now the hammer: The owner comes to us beaming with joy and asks where we are from. 'Bavaria, ..Munich, ..Kempten, maybe you know Oberstdo ....'. He says: "I'm from Immenstadt, more precisely from Flecken! ???!?!". An egg will fall out of your pants! Bernhard and Sabine from Immenstadt / Allg. are the proud owners of the 'Waterfall Lodge' (N 7 ° 6.95 ', E 0 ° 35.32') in Wli at Hohoe. They have been here since 2001 and finished construction in June last year. Riesen Hallo, we talk about handicrafts in the Pilsbar, the good sausage from Rehle and Müller, and dream about Zöttler beer together. We are the first people from Oberallgäu to come here. Bernhard (the owner) worked in maintenance at Bosch and says I look so familiar to him; maybe he knows my brother? (Hey, Brother Berni, take a look at the pictures, do you recognize him?) The lodge is cheap, clean, good inexpensive food, toilets you can sit on (without getting all the diseases on earth) and showers with pressure. Children's playground, everything perfect. With a view of the waterfall! You can stay longer here. At night it gets pleasantly cool and there is a Watchman. 'Good luck to both of you', and something else for those who stayed at home: Visitors from the Allgäu are always welcome!
We drive on and the border is right there. We do the paperwork, we are happy that nobody noticed that our visas have already expired and we are leaving.
GHANA: It's nice to travel, has a lot to offer in terms of landscape, great beaches, nice people and too many police and military checks (but always problem-free with nice small talk). English is spoken here and there is still nothing else to eat like it has been for 3 months. Well, rice with sauce is a bit monotonous.
GHANA is lobster (Gabi) and warm apple cake with vanilla ice cream (Martina & Co) !!
on to Togo
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