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Published: February 7th 2007
Hello all, just a quick entry to let you know I'm alive and well.
Having enjoyed the luxuries of air conditioning and pizza at Frankie's in Accra, and then the party atmosphere of Big Milly's on the coast in Ghana, things have been a bit less fun.
For a start I was really ill as we left Ghana, I have never felt so sick in all my life. Thank god for all the lovely people on the trip with me who gave me sympathy and medical advice. I think I sampled every petrol station toilet between Accra and the Togo border during two horrendous driving days! I also had the fright of my life at the Togo border when I was searching for the toilet down a dark corridor and came face to face with a prisoner in a cell inches from where I was standing. I screamed and brokedown in Lisa's arms at that point it was all too much! Still, at least I didn't have malaria...I think. Two people did come down with it as I started feeling better. When they went for a second test I went along too and my results came back positive, but
I've felt fine since so not sure how much I trust the test results. Don't worry Mum, I'm fine!!
Unfortunately I missed a lot of Togo while I recovered and built back my energy, including the fetish markets where they have piles of dead animals laid out for sale - think that would have made me feel worse again anyway! I'm not sure I agree with encouraging the killing of endangered animals by gawking at them, even if it is a traditional way of life here. Another visa stamp in the passport as we passed briefly through Benin, stopping to visit Ganvie, a village built entirely on stilts in the middle of a lagoon. It was interesting to see how everyone goes about daily life from a dugout canoe, from fishermen, to women in the market place, to young children playing chase with their boats.
We have now crossed most of Nigeria and should be going to Cameroon in a couple of days. The roads are becoming increasingly potholed and the weather more opressive every day that we travel at the moment. It feels like the real challenge is about to begin as we head towards the jungle
Everyone has a boat in this stilted village, even the kids!
and the rainy season and some countires with pretty poor infrastructure by all accounts. It will be a great adventure, but Cape Town is definitely a beacon at the end with promises of luxuries!
I don't know how I feel about Nigeria. Before we got here we had heard so many warnings and bad reports you can't help but be on edge. We have been stopped more times than I care to remember by armed police, often being stopped every couple of kilometres. But most of the time they are just curious about where we are going and want to wish us a safe journey. All we've given away is a couple of bottles of water, so the bribery doesn't seem too apparent. There are as many people as ever waving and calling out 'welcome' as we drive past so really it seems it just a few conmen and corrupt officials giving everyone else a bad name. And yet I can't help but feel relief that we are only spending a week here!
Anyway, we're off to visit a monkey sanctuary now. Not sure how good communications are going to be from now on but hopefully I'll be
in contact again soonish. It's great to hear from everyone, hope all is safe and happy at home, Fxx
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