Published: April 27th 2009April 27th 2009
The rest of this entry will be pretty abbreviated just because it was a slow journey back to Ghana and would get really really frustrating a lot of times and I am still trying to block out the bad memories. Plus we did a lot and I’m just getting tired of typing so much!
So the next day we went left Timbuktu for another LOVELY ride in a 4x4 back to Mopti. Our driver was a lot better this time so we didn’t get stuck in the sand as much. We got to Sevare in about 9 hours and said bye to Jacob and headed to an internet café to email our families and tell them we got back alive. We went to a hotel and decided to try to save a few dollars and sleep on the roof again. Besides, we’ve slept in a lot worse places!
The next day we were trying to get a ride back to Burkina Faso and go to Bobo. A guy at the hotel knew a guy with a bus going to Bobo that night. It seemed great because we were just really tired of being in busses and needed a break so we had most of that day to just hang around. Unfortunately this ride was just awful!! The bus was crammed as usual, but none of the windows opened so we were in an oven and sweating profusely. And to make things worse, the driver was really creepy and in the dark kept reaching behind him and feeling Jessica’s legs. She finally slapped his hand hard enough that I guess he stopped for a bit. We were so hot and frustrated and moody, and to put the cherry on top the bus kept breaking down. We stopped around 2:30 am and everyone got off and we learned from experience that we must be stopping to sleep for the night. Joy.
In the morning after getting no sleep we realize we are at the Mali/Burkina border and have to wait for the officers to show up. This time it was a little more frustrating getting across the border. There wasn’t anything wrong, they were just being really inefficient and moving slower than snails to do everything. By the time we finally got to Bobo we couldn’t have jumped off the bus faster and we high tailed it as far away from that bus as possible. We got to the hotel at 12 and after negotiating we had to get 2 rooms and we all crashed. I slept for 2 hours and woke up really dizzy and shaking and couldn’t figure out what was wrong, and then I remembered. The last thing I ate was a sandwich 26 hours ago! I go to the restaurant in the hotel and the only word I can read on the menu is couscous. The man must have thought I was an animal or something because I got really excited when he said couscous and I go “YES!! That! Hurry hurry, very hungry, Rapidio, rapide, rapid!” (I was trying to think of fast in every language I knew) Well I guess it worked because 5 minutes later he rushed it over and I literally started shoveling it into my mouth and he was just in shock. After getting a good meal, I went back to sleep for a bit. Once we woke up from our naps we explored around Bobo a little more. I really liked it a lot, it was much more low key that most of the places we had gone and people pretty much just left us alone. There are a lot of trees around and its just a pretty town. The next day we were able to explore more of the bakeries around town and the craft shops and the market. I was really amazed by the market because not a single person grabbed us or anything like the markets in Ghana.
The ride back to Ghana is the part I really want to forget. We first made the mistake of leaving on the STBF bus again, the same people we took to Mali. Well we first get on a trotro that we think is taking us all the way to Kumasi like we bought tickets for. Well we start driving a bit and realize, wait, we’re going to Ouagadougou and that’s not in the right direction… Well when we get to Ouagadougou at 9 at night they tell us we are taking a bus to Kumasi in the morning, so we have to go to that station and spend the night. When we ask a lady that speaks English why we aren’t going that night she says its because there are armed robbers on the road at night and we have to wait until daylight to go. Well gosh, that’s comforting!! So we “sleep” at this bus station and at 5 am get on this van that I think is falling apart. Am I seriously going to have to ride in this van all 24 hours back to Kumasi? Of course not…. Because going direct is not the philosophy of this bus company! We drive 4 hours into Ghana (cross the border hassle free mostly) and go to Bolgatanga where they tell us that we are supposed to get on this big bus. FINALLY! A real bus! Its 11 and we ask what time the bus is supposed to leave and they say 2, ok, 3 hours, I can take that. 2 rolls around, “What time are we supposed to be leaving?” “4” ugh, ok guess we wait some more. 4 rolls around “Why aren’t we leaving?” “we leave at 6” OH.MY.GOD. I haven’t showered in 3 days, I’m covered in sweat, my yellow shirt is now brown from dirt, I can fry an egg on my greasy hair, and you’re telling me I’m trapped in Bolga?!! By this point I’ve had enough and I sit in an empty seat and put my head against the window and just cry out my frustration to myself. Luckily I’m back in Ghana and my phone works so I kept texting Bethany to remain sane. So finally 6 rolls around and the bus turns on, we pull out of the parking spot and…. Stop. Wait, what? What are we doing? No one really knows and now the bus is full of people and its an oven again. We don’t leave the station until 8:45!!! I have been on this bus in the same exact spot for almost 10 hours and want nothing more than to be back in my hostel with a cold shower and my own bed. I’m so far beyond done with crappy public transportation. I take a benadril again and just make myself sleep the rest of the night.
We get to Kumasi and get on a van back to Accra. I’m embarrassed by how dirty I am, but what are you going to do? We are so close to being home, just 5 hours away! Never in my life have I felt like a 5 hour drive was almost there. We are 50 km outside of Accra and there is a wreck on the main road. WHAT? I just want to get home! Luckily our bus driver takes a back road, but its only one lane and really muddy because its been raining and hundreds of cars are driving on this road in both directions so people are getting stuck in the mud and we cant fit 2 lanes on traffic on this road. I am so grumpy by this point I have taken an oath of silence and just have to stay away from people. Its crazy what exhaustion, filth, and hunger will turn me into! It was scary! We finally got out of there and back to Accra where I showered and scrubbed myself clean 5 times. I have never been so excited to see my mattress and neighbors in my whole life! They were great and welcomed me back and kept saying how much they missed having me around. Gosh I’m glad to be back and I sure am going to miss those guys in 3 weeks!
Now that I’m back and well rested, the exhaustion and dirt was totally worth it and I had the time of my life, but its good to be back. Now I’m off to starting my first week of 3 weeks of finals! Luckily my first final isn’t until next week so I have a whole week to get back settled in and start studying.