Archive for the ‘Ghana’ Category

Christmas and New Year

Posted: January 7, 2011 in Africa Orbital, Ghana

Russell writes, Pics by Darren 29/12/10:

Into Accra on Sunday 19th December we headed for a cheap hotel that Billy and Trish (the overlanding Aussie stars) recommended. Accra is really hot and humid with queues of traffic going everywhere, but with motorbikes easily negotiated. This was more of a business stop-over for us as we were here for our Nigerian visas. So Monday morning we took off to the embassy, beginning another African run-around! The embassy had moved since the 2010 guide was published, when we got there we discovered we needed a letter of invitation or paid hotel reservation and copies of every single document. It was a little strange turning up at the embassy to see another BMW F650 GS Dakar parked up and finding Rob from London also going to Cape Town! Back on the visa hunt, with a little help from Rob and a Nigerian lady we met in our hotel, we made the copies and letter of invitation and headed back to the embassy. The visa officer was thorough, we hadn’t got proof of signature for our Nigerian friend from an official document, so off we went again. Back through the queues of traffic we managed to submit just in time (along with $130 each!) and were able to collect the following day. With a little celebration of a sachet of whisky, job done! Also thanks to Aisher’s friend in Accra who took us out around Uso, downtown Accra, for a few drinks and nice evening out.

Green Turtle - Orange Lizzard more like

Now, what shall we do for Christmas? We hear everyone back home is enjoying some snowy weather but here we are sweating in the shade! So Christmas on the beach for us then! We’d heard of a nice remote place along the coast called Green Turtle Lodge, so stocking up at the supermarket in Accra we set off with a stack of the usual suspects, a pile of noodles and a little Red Label. This place is another little slice of bliss with a beautiful coconut tree lined beach and a laid back Brit owner called Tom and his family. We discovered Tom’s parents are coming over on 2nd Jan so Darren is grabbing this opportunity to have a little parcel sent over with a much needed lens cap to stop the camera being damaged and spoiling the blog photo’s we’re all so enjoying.

Chris and Bridgette beach ceremony

We were privileged to be asked to photograph and film a private wedding ceremony on the beach between the South African overlander couple Chris and Bridget. We’d met them many miles ago in Western Sahara and caught up with them in Ghana again.

He had it coming!

A very romantic location, I’m just glad Darren and I are in separate tents as he says I don’t give him any cuddles! On Christmas day we treated ourselves to breakfast in a mess tin, lunch in a mess tin but we did eat out at the camp restaurant for tea with swordfish and lobster which was very nice. I have to say though, I did miss Christmas back home, service at CLC, massive lunch at home with all the family, presents, chocolates, snow! It even rained Christmas morning which was amusing I thought.

Dancing Akweda children

Not much else to report really, we’re stuck on the beach waiting for a package, it’s a hard life! We’ve started to write up our famous ‘Usual Suspects Bush Menu’ (coming soon), you won’t look at tomatoes, onions, garlic and eggs in the same way again!

Akweda village girl

Darren at last got his medical check by a couple of qualified med students from London, about to start work at a nearby city hospital. They said Darren did actually break at least 3 ribs, number 2, 3, and 4 on the left, his sternum and put out a shoulder bone when he crashed in the desert! He was very happy though to discover there didn’t appear to be lung injuries, the upper back was just muscular and that the ribs were in the right place and that the lumps there were just from the bones reforming which should go back to normal in time. Even though he had this injury he still enjoyed the two days riding through the desert after claiming it was just an added challenge in the dunes!

Being taken for a swim!

This has cheered him up no end, battle scars from the desert. Good to know (though still a bit uncomfortable) he’s well on the mend with no permanent damage. ! Hmm, time for another swim…

Darren Writes 02 Jan

Happy New Year

Ok, we’ve got really stuck here now on the beach. Somewhat out of reach of internet to post the blog Russell has written.  We should have left today to pick up my lens cap etc. in Accra and then take our onward travel to Nigeria. A couple of days ago though, whilst shopping for fish in a nearby village, my bike stopped working… Diagnosed a dead battery rather than alternator we are now waiting for the holiday period to be over so we can try and buy a new one in Takaradi, an hour and a half from here. We should manage that tomorrow and post this blog then. Russell, now and again, still disappears into the sea for an hour for a ‘quick swim’. I wonder sometimes if he is coming back!! He’s even managed to start running again which he hadn’t managed to do for the last 7 weeks after his twist. So the rest has done us both good but now we are both itching to move on to some more adventure. Christmas was really nice here and especially good to open and read the card lots of you had written messages in. Thanks for that… Big smile stuff!

We go to the fish butcher

New Year was a beach party here. First though, the newly-wed couple, their two mums and us barbequed a whole small tuna and a trigger fish (yum), made bread and salad’s and some starters. Red wine and whisky to accompany. Life is good!  We hope you all had a good New Year too!

Yesterday I went to the village with Russ’ battery to bring back my bike. I spent the day with some locals and then went to watch the fishermen’s catch being landed, auctioned and chopped up. This is where I normally buy it before it gets dried and sold on. Yesterday was the normal catch of tuna and sword fish but also pulled off the boat were a couple of sharks and then a dolphin and then a hammerhead shark and then finally a 2 ½ m Manta ray! I was a bit sad as I would prefer to see these on a dive, but for these guys, fish is fish and a living. Still the dolphin did taste good. Just kidding!

The man from Akweda...

Cos we’ve got so much, Russ and I have decided to send you all a bit of sunshine… Enjoy

Russell writes 7/1/11

Finally back in Accra and found the internet. Please continue to remember us in your prayers. Darren had malaria while at the beach and although the treatment did its job, he’s still recovering and isn’t 100% yet. God bless you all. D & R

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Ghana

Posted: December 22, 2010 in Africa Orbital, Ghana

Russell writes 20/12/10:

Back on the road, well, more dirt track, sweat and grime encrustation! We had another big day to the border of Ghana and we were looking forward to an English speaking country! Crossing the border was again very laid back and friendly with no hassles, the benefits of choosing the more remote, smaller crossings.

Our laid back oarsman

 Camping in the bush that night we had our first camp fire and set the hammocks up, this was how to do it, and without an audience! We should write a bush camp recipe book as some of our creations really hit the spot. That night we launched into baguettes filled with tomatoes, onions, garlic, Moroccan spices, soft cheese, mayo and finally – hot dogs. Washed away with a carton of red wine! Next to our fire after a long day on the road – this was a slice of bliss!

Filtering our water

 

The next stop in Ghana was the Hippo sanctuary in the north-west. Here they have set up a protection area for Hippos and the smart thing we liked was that the idea was locally initiated and the money used for employment and building local roads and schools. So before 1998 there wasn’t a school, which kind of shows when you talk to some older folk (above 14 that is)! Here we stayed the night by the river at the Hippo hide and enjoyed G & T’s by the fire, no ice, but still it was nice.

Center of attention

On the road south we tried to bush camp again but were guided to a rural settlement along very narrow footpaths buy a Ghanaian who spoke no English. We turn up and are suddenly stars of the village show! So much for a quiet bush camp! They agreed to let us put up our hammocks for free, but we had to watch 3 Chuck Norris Delta Force movies with all the kids cheering at every explosion and high kick!

Some of our fans

As we travel south in Ghana we can see the countryside grow more tropical and the humidity rise, but that makes for hot work finding our way through Ghana’s second city.

We’d not washed for 4 dusty, sweaty days and our clothes for even longer, so when we turned up at our next stop we discovered our next slice of bliss – a campsite on the edge of the beautiful crater lake Bosumtwi.

A slice of bliss

 At 86 metres deep, 30 km in circumference and surrounded by tropical hills, this was a great way to relax on the way to Accra. Time for a swim.

Lake Bosumtwi