Castles and beaches
13.04.2007 - 20.04.2007 32 °C
Left Accra, via very comfortable bus with aircon for Cape Coast last week Friday. Cape Coast, the centre of slave trade along the Gold Coast (Ghana) was relatively interesting, but being of Dutch planning quite similar in fact to the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town. Quite opposite to the expected and professed reaction to learning about the slave trade and seeing these places of human trafficking... it was predicted by an Accra local that we would cry upon learning about the wrong doings of the colonialists, etc, etc... my experience of the castle and Cape Coast was one of getting over wanting to save the world.. at least for now. It has become my philosophy for the moment that the world should save itself! However, I am sure that this mindset is temporary and very much spurred on by the heat, humidity and feeling of absolute foreigness.
I truly miss being able to just blend in to the crowd.. here you stick out like a sore thumb and the locals do not let you forget that! Strange and quite ironic that as a tourist who should be the one gazing upon the other, we avoid almost all eye contact as we walk down the roads for fear of being inundated with requests for our hands in marriage ( in Ghana I am married by the way!! to a South African!! and yes he is white) or just general nonsensical chit chat (which was amusing and entertaining at first but becomes very tiresome after the first 50 requests in a 200m stretch of open-sewer sidewalk), so we hide behind our sunglasses while the throngs of locals have a good, long look at the obrunis passing through.
So after just one week in Ghana, Simone and I decided to head off to a beach-side eco-backpackers called Green Turtle Lodge, which comes very highly recommended by each and every obruni we have bumped into here in Ghana. Three tro-tro's and two taxis later, we arrive... absolute bliss!! If you look on a map, Green Turtle is west of Takoradi close to a small village called Akwidaa.. a village we have come to relate to quite fondly. Palm-fringed beach, fabulous food (although overpriced but only small-small) interesting people, etc etc. After initially considering moving on from there to see a stilted village further west, we decided to stay put and relax!! Incredible! One week and already we need a holiday!
Green Turtle has been great for many reasons. First and foremost to relax and gather ourselves! But further we have had the opportunity to test most of our equipment that we spent so much on... our small-small tent called Wondergirl (named after a cappoeirra dancing, meditating, fire eating, ashram raised, ganga smoking Ghanain local called Wonderboy - really Jeffery but font tell anyone- who performed at Green Turtle for Kate's birthday - have to mention that Simone and I both felt that Wonderboy/ Jeffery was a perfect candidate for our friendy Sian) withstood some semi-torrential rain and kept us dryzabone. We have already cooked two meals on our little cooker and our Steripen has not let us down yet!
Cooking was the most fun... went to village where we bought some ingredients from the locals. Buying food in Akwidaa takes the shape of following a friendly local kid around through a maze of wooden and corrugated iron shacks and buildings, stopping on various corners and sneaking into various nooks and crannies to find exactly the ingredients you need. This small and relatively unimportant activity has probably been my favourite experience in Ghana. So, Mom, we eating fine! Last night we had spaghetti with a sauce of tomato, onions, curry, ginger and garlic and added to it some yummy smoked tuna (checked with the local ladies in the kitchen about the tuna, but yay! it was perfect!).
The other great part has been, as is always when you travel, meeting people from all over the world and sharing our stories and experiences, getting ideas and changing others. Very entertaining were Tombo and Nick, our two Manchester boys.. good luck in Wa. And then the Slovenians... yes, Solvenians, Rok and Victor.. I learnt to pronounce some Slovenian placenames and sing some Slovenian songs.. something I could only possibly learn in Ghana (!?)
Today, Sim and I headed into Takoradi for some admin... yes, this is admin... and were pleasantly surprised that we seem to have settled a bit and although very bustling and hot, it has not gotten to us yet (maybe because we know we heading back soon!) So we will be hanging out at the Green Turtle probably still until Monday, soaking up the last bit of sea we will see for a long while, and then head north through Kumasi and Tamale to Ougadougou in Burkina Faso.
Keep posted cos I could be getting myself a juju tomorrow... check it out!