West African Memories Ghana Part One

Hey there, back on a Saturday again! This new series is not quite so new I guess. I thought it would be really interesting to re-publish the first blogs I posted, with thoughts from today, and add a few photos and embellish a little. I headed off to West Africa, which I have always found an interesting place, since I starting researching it. I had planned to go there for years beforehand, my interest piqued originally from a game of ‘name the capital’ I played with new friends when I was in Goa, India, in January 2001. I got the country ‘Burkina Faso’, which at the time I had never heard of! When I returned home, I decided that I needed to investigate!

So here we go with my first couple of blogs from West Africa, when I flew into Accra, Ghana!

16/1/2006

Ghanaian arrival

well, im tired as all buggery. I’ve finally hit sub-saharan africa here. I had a long long journey from hell but finally we touched down in Accra, capital of Ghana a few hours ago, got myself settled into a pretty divey sort of hotel, ate a pizza and at 5.30 am ready for sleep. well, in KL it is 1.30am and in melbourne 4.30. so yeah. there you go.
what else is there to tell you? not much. It’s an interesting place i guess yeah.will post more when ive slept some
take care

One of the main Accran streets.

One of the main Accran streets.

My room at the Date Hotel

My room at the Date Hotel

 

THOUGHTS – As you can see, I cared rather less back then for grammar than I do today. It’s a short entry and I think that has a lot to do with the speed of the internet in Accra. I remember the place I used, a very dark space under some stair. Lots of smoking. I think in tone you can tell already that things aren’t going swimmingly. I remember eating that pizza and thinking that there might be peanuts somehow on it. Which of course was ludicrous but this was my main worry coming into West Africa and it played largely on my mind. Yes, I’m allergic.

19/1/2006

A dose of stark reality

View from Date Hotel.

View from Date Hotel.

Railway line through Accra. Used mainly as a market and place to live.

Railway line through Accra. Used mainly as a market and place to live.

well okay everyone
here’s a proper post from Ghana where the internet is frustrating at best. anyways I am into my fourth African day and i thought I’d be nice and honest (as well as not bothering to capitalise at points) and tell you boy has it been a tough slog. Apart from my severe peanut paranoia preventing me from trying, well, cooked food (boy have i had a few bananas), I have, for the first time since i hit India in 1999, really found things tough.
Accra is not a pretty city. Nor is it cool. Booking a bus ticket is a task in itself. One thing Ghana seems to have going for it is that taxis are extremely frequent. But my room was grungy at best, i shared with a big spider… The heat and more to the point humidity is so oppressive. Fine when a breeze comes through, but when it’s still Oi vay!
I have just found it tough. I’ve actually met heaps of Ghanaians who deserve their friendly reputation. I had to walk far too much which didn’t help as i’m not eating nearly as much as normal. But despite the room quality I have slept a hell of a lot with three early nights.
I managed to get a visa which includes four of the french african countries I’ll be visiting in around two hours from the Togolese embassy which was surprisingly efficient. And yesterday I was taken into Makola market by a very kind lady considering herself to be my Ghanaian mother. I spent half the day sweating and playing Ludo.
I took the bus today to Cape Coast. As if booking the ticket wasn’t hard enough, the bus left and hour and a half late. No air-conditioning on this one and the road was EXCELLENT in places… and dreadful in others.
But my guest house here is cheaper and far nicer than the one in Accra, and the town is smaller and less crazy. The markets in Accra have to be seen to be believed…. so many people everywhere. whew!!!
and anyways….. whilst there is greenery everywhere, the poverty is almost as in your face as India or Bangladesh, and there are less structures. But the people so far make up for it. But i would be kidding if i didn’t day I am finding life here a little incomprehensible…..
but i thought it might be more interesting to be honest rather than la la la this place is fun 24/7. After all it was my choice to come here…..

 

THOUGHTS: Well, this one is both longer and more frank. But still it’s not detailed like I write today. Again, punctuation especially and grammar not cared about at all when writing this one. I remember walking around the backstreets of Accra where there was a lot of people working on new buildings and having a long chat with a guy, mentioned here and it was a very rewarding moment. Didn’t even mentioned the very squishy and uncomfortable bus ride to Cape Coast in any detail.

 

As you can see, this trip did not start out well (it didn’t end well either I should add but *spoilers*). I THINK this is an interesting exercise. What do you think? Please do comment below? Have you ever gone back and revisited (and psycho-analysed lol!) your early blog posts? May the Journey Never End!

One comment

  • Yep, I went back over my old blog posts last year, edited them (to make them semi-politically correct!!) and published them ten years after I first travelled abroad. It made me realise how much I have matured as a person and as a traveller – thankfully!!

    I love that your hotel was called the Date Hotel. Concerning on a few levels!!

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