Beaches, Market Madness, Accra Love and Farewells

Trip Start Aug 14, 2013
Trip End Feb 01, 2014

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Flag of Ghana  ,
Wednesday, January 1, 2014

We have finally come to the realisation that our time in West Africa would soon be coming to an end, Ghana being the final country we visit as part of our overlanding adventure.

We spent our first few days in Ghana visiting the beaches, first the beautiful beach of Akwidaa, then a beach near Cape Coast.  Whilst in the Cape Coast area we visited Kakum National Park where we walked along a super scary and very high canopy walkway, we were hoping to see some wildlife, maybe a monkey or 2 swinging in the trees - thanks however to a group of people singing what appeared to be football songs, any chance of seeing any type of animal were dashed; we also visited the bohemian town of Cape Coast where we ate at the awesome Baobab House Cafe, and visited one of the "slave castles" built by European Traders in the 1600's.

From Cape Coast we headed for the market town of Kumasi, which is home to  the biggest open air market in West Africa, Kejetia Markets.  Now having been in West Africa for a couple of months and visiting a number of what we thought were huge markets, we were left speechless at the sheer size of the Kejetia Markets.  We spent 3 hours shuffling through the huge maze of stalls and stores and we don't feel we even scratched the surface, we watched woman selling all types of fruit and vegetable with their big straw hats and bigger smiles, got lost among the alleys of shoe and sandal makers, we were offered a turkey in the bird market where cages full of chickens, guinea fowl, turkeys and pigeons were piled high, we stumbled across the fetish stalls with their dried chameleons, leopard tails, bird heads, horns and animal hides, we saw bbq bat, cane rats and small deer on the side of the road.  At times there were so many people it would take you 10 minutes to walk 20m, Ant at one point got his foot caught in the rope of a goods cart being walked through the markets carrying a tonne of rice, once his foot was freed, he then had to help the local guy move the cart out of the path of another oncoming cart with a bigger load.  It was absolute chaos but we loved it, though 3 hours was more than enough time to immerse ourselves.

From Kumasi it was off to our final destination, Accra where we spent 4 days exploring the city and saying long goodbyes to our new friends.  We loved Accra!! After initially staying in the centre of the tourist part of town, we headed out for our last couple of nights to the less touristy area of Abraka, where we spent our time wandering the local neighbourhood and eating some of the nicest street food we've had on the trip (plantain pancake and bambara beans is the best).  

When not chilling out in Abraka, we visited some of the coffin makers who make elaborate coffins for funerals, some of the more interesting ones we saw were an airplane, a canon camera, a hair dryer and an ant, we were also shown pictures of other coffins made - a box of tomatoes are the most memorable for me.

The highlight of our trip to Accra has to be our guided tour of Nima, one of the most impoverished areas in Accra.  Charles, our guide, was born in Nima and has lived there his whole life (he's 30).  Charles is really passionate about his area and we spent 2 great hours walking the streets, visiting the local markets, a community school where the kids welcomed us with songs and poetry and walking the labyrinth of alleyways where the people of Nima live.  We can't recommend this tour enough, if we were to visit Accra again the first thing we'd do is contact Charles!!

So, all good things must come to an end and after 2 and a half amazing months travelling the deep interior of West Africa in our much loved Aminah, we are leaving - with a very heavy heart.  West Africa with its people, music, food, natural beauty and culture has definitely captured us and will hold a place in our hearts forever!!  We are also blessed to have met some amazing fellow travellers, whom I know we will be in contact with for years to come!!

Next stop, 4* luxury in Dubai and then off to Malaysia for some well overdue catch ups!
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