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Published: March 26th 2005
I've been taking it easy for the past week, spending a lot of time in Accra, with trips to Lake Volta and Kokrobite. Lake Volta is the largest man made lake in the world, the lake was created when the hydroelectric dam was built in the first years of independence, under the government of Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana and independence leader. The lake and the scenery around it are spectacular.
The rainy season seems to have started early. That doesn't mean it's been raining all the time, but there has been a lot of heavy rain. Parts of Accra have suffered from flooding as a result. This is not helped by the fact that many of the streets that have flooded are low lying, with no drains by the side of the road and often shacks have been built near natural waterways. The problem particularly effects the poorer slums in the city. Most people in the city live in those slums on less than $2 a day.
At the end of the last blog I had arrived in Accra and booked into the Niagara Hotel on the evening of the 17th.
Another view from the Blue Royal
I took it easy most of the day, but visited the National Museum in the morning.
First thing in the morning I took the Tro Tros to Akosombo
, which is a village next to the dam that holds back Lake Volta
. It's the largest artificial lake in the world and is surrounded by beautiful countryside.
I booked into Aylo's Bay, which was very good value for money. The views from the gardens and the floating jetty are out of this world. When I arrived at lunch time it was very busy - I thought they wouldn't have a room, and at first they said they were full, but they then found me a room. The rooms were bungalows, with huge bathrooms and kitchens, for only 25000 Cedis - that's about 15 pounds sterling.
In the evening it rained very heavily. The TV news in the bar informed me that there had been extensive floods in Accra
because of the onset of the rains early in the season.
I returned to Accra and booked into an outrageously
My room was the bungaloo on the left
expensive international style hotel at $US160 a night. It had a sports club and swimming pool, but to be honest it wasn't worth the price. Apart from the pool and the sports club it was no better than a $US60 a night place. There wasn't much sun all day - it was overcast all day, and rained during the night.
I booked out of the overpriced 'international' hotel and took the Tro tros to Kokrobite
which is a resort near Accra. To be honest I didn't really enjoy Kokrobite. I don't really enjoy sitting on sandy beaches or the sight of white tourists spit roasting themselves in the sun. The sun was out during the day and it was hot, a break from all the rain that there has been recently.
I also didn't enjoy myself because I found that the place where I was staying - Big Milly's Backyard was infested with ants and mosquitoes. The mosquito problem was probably worse than usual because of the onset of the rains. I got bitten! The room was also uncomfortably hot, despite having a fan. I read a book till early morning
because I couldn't sleep because of the heat and the insects. I got what I paid for, because the place only cost about 5 pounds a night.
I wasn't staying in Big Milly's a moment longer, so I returned to the comfort of Accra to a hotel in the Osu
area at $US60 a night. I did some shopping in the area that is the nearest thing Accra has to Oxford Street in London. That's if London's Oxford Street was lined with open sewers!
I went to the Tro tros park to get a bus to Togo
. I bought a ticket for the 1pm STC coach. At 2.15 I gave up waiting and went to get a hotel. Because the bus was so late I decided not to bother. I didn't want to cross the border after dark. I returned to the Niagara Hotel that I had used a few days before. I read a novel for most of the rest of the day.
First thing in the morning I went to get a ticket for the STC coach, to be told
that there weren't any seats, and that the first bus would be on Monday the 28th, after Easter. Easter is a holiday in Ghana - most people are Christians, although many people combine Christianity with older traditional beliefs. So, I bought a ticket for the 9am bus on Monday. I then booked out of the Niagara Hotel, and moved to a Hotel in the Osu district at $US59 a night. Actually the nicest place I've stayed in Accra, because of the view from the balcony. I took it easy all day. It rained heavily during the night.
In the morning I walked the 2 or 3 km to the Labadi Beach
. It was overcast when I started, but the sun broke through as I was walking. I was a pool of sweat by the time I got to the beach, so got a taxi back to Osu. Again I relaxed all day.
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