Trip Start Sep 11, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Ghana  ,
Monday, March 20, 2006

Oooh, it's hot and humid in Ghana - people pay good money at home to sit and sweat in a sauna like we're doing.
First stop on the tourist trail after crossing the border from Burkina was Mole National Park - a chance to see some more wildlife and enjoy the luxury of sitting around a swimming pool during the heat of the day, the whole event made more interesting by the fact that a local baboon has realised that entering the camp is a very easy way of getting food and drink (a bit scary when he stole the water bottle off our table though - he was a lot bigger than those Barbary apes in Gilbraltar...). The highlight at Mole is taking an early morning walking safari (with armed ranger) to see the elephants drinking and swimming in the water hole (the elephants were swimming, not us).

Another very worthwhile stop we made on the journey south was Boabeng-Fiema Monkey sanctuary. The monkeys living in the nearby forest have become sacred to the extent where they are given a ritual funeral when they die and more importantly (for them) they are not allowed to be eaten. Literally anything that moves in Ghana is looked upon as food and eaten - people catch bushrats and sell them on the side of the road and it's not unknown to eat dog or cat in the north of Ghana so these monkeys are VERY lucky. Our guide was excellent and taught us, not only about the monkeys, but about the trees in the forest - which was genuinely fascinating.

Our trip then became a hunt for a 60mm hub spanner to fix a broken hub seal for Bronwen. So, after a failed attempt in Kumasi, Ghana's 2nd city and car parts capital of the country, we aimed for the coast, and ended up in Takoradi, where fate was extremely kind. Not only did we find someone who had the correct hub wrench we could borrow, but whilst Jamie was up to his elbows in grease fixing Bronwen, I was given the opportunity to go to an ex-pats house and 1) have a bath WITH hot water (!!), but 2) use a washing machine! Yes, a washing machine - I must have spent the first minute staring at it in awe as if I'd never seen one before! So, clean all round we must have looked vaguely respectable as we were invited to Phil and Sheila's house to stay. Phil and Sheila have been very generous, and not only did we stay in their house and buy us a fantastic meal at one of the best restaurants in town, they have continued to be a source of great help over the last couple of weeks as we have become more involved in the local community around the Takoradi/Dixcove area of the Ghana coast.
After a very enjoyable trip to Beyin to see one of the old colonial era slave/trading forts that dot the coast here abouts (the Gold Coast as was), and a canoe trip to the lagoon and stilt village of Nzulezo, we returned to the Green Turtle Lodge near Dixcove, 30km from Takoradi/Sekondi to relax on the soft sandy beaches in the shade of the coconut palms.

We have now moved half a mile down the road to camp with James and Angela, an American couple who have recently postponed their overland trip to South Africa to build a guest house and restaurant on the beach. Our pace of life has slowed considerably; yesterday afternoon for example spent inspecting the catches of the local fishing boats looking for a suitable candidate for the barbecue (after 2 hours inspecting swordfish, tuna, and unfortunately even a dolphin, we finally settled on the rear quarter of a 5 foot shark which Jamie, James, Angela and Chloe (the dog) enjoyed marinated in ginger and chilli and barbecued over hot coconut husks). Mark and Marie-Jo (www.nomadafrik.com), our occasional camping companions since Bamako, have taken a flat in Takoradi for a few weeks which means an occasional hot shower and cold beer in the big city. Life is tough!

Next stop is a week long trip east along the coast as far as Accra to visit the capital and maybe see some more forts, before returning to Dixcove for a little more beach relaxation.
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ianandjane on

Welcome to Ghana
Hiya folks
See you mage it to Ghana now and in S-T, we know it well. S-T is linked with Plymouth and Jane is the Education co-ordinator for the link. How long are you there for?
On your route along the coast to Accra, you must pop in to Anomabu, a great place to chill out. We have close links with the Methodist school there and they will make you most welcome. ow about a detour into the rain forest. There is a village called Essaman which is about 2-3 hours off the road north of Doboase Junction, you would be REALLY welcome there.
Jane & I are off to Turkey tomorrow for a weeks walking along the Lycean Coast ... oh bliss ... just us and the tent :-)
Best wishes
Ian & Jane

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