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Published: October 8th 2013
The pain has finally ended... We made it all the way to Lomé...
So out of Accra after our long and torturous 150km ride into the city. The morning had started off fabulously.. paved shoulders, great highway and a wicked tail wind. We put in 90 km before 11:00 and found a clean highway restaurant to have lunch. This would be the first any only time on our trip that we've had a proper lunch. After lunch however, the wind changed directions and we got caught in a monsoon. We waited out the storm in somebody's hut until it cleared enough to ride. The ride into Accra itself was a hairy experience to say the least. Apparently greater Accra is only 2.5M people but I would have to dispute that. We were 20km from Accra when we encountered dense urban area. So we dodged taxis and TroTros the whole way in, took a wrong turn and ended up in the wrong part of town (from where we wanted to be). Dark clouds were quickly closing in so Barry made an executive decision to head to OSU, which is where we stayed before and checked into the same hotel. No sooner than we pulled into the hotel when the floodgate opened and we encountered our second monsoon of the day. We were so beat, we showered, went out for some pizza and were in bed by 8pm.
The next day would be to Ada Foah, which is a beach town on the mouth of the Volta River. We found this quaint little guesthouse backing onto the river with a palm-fringed private beach. It was fabulous. We spent three days basically just relaxing. It was a much-welcomed break. No Internet in the entire town so those of you that thought we were MIA that is why.
After our little break, we hired a boat to take us further down the river to Anninyui, which is where we could join up with the highway to the border crossing. The ride into Lomé yesterday was one of the best of the trip. The road hugged the coast so ocean on one side and lagoon on the other. There were very few vehicles on the road and lots of small coastal villages. We made it to the border crossing by noon, I have to say that that crossing was chaos. What a gong show. Togo is a rather poor country, their custom's officers issued visas out of a small hut and the actual crossing itself was a rope across two poles. Anyway, we managed to get through with minimal problems. I think we got ripped of on the cost of the Visa but oh well.
Lomé is actually right across the border. So we spent some time looking for a hotel, many of which were full. We finally found one on the east side of the city, but also in the party district, so needless to say that Barry and I didn't sleep too well and we might have to change hotels today...
We are supposed to stay in Lomé until Thursday and head back to Accra on the bus... So we can leave on Friday. I have to say I am very much looking forward to coning home. While this trip has been fairly good, the challenges finding food and decent accommodation have certainly taken its toll.
So Togo is an old French colony - I've had to practice my French. In it's heyday, before the civil war in the 1990's it was probably quite a beautiful city. It has obviously been crumbling since, but parts of it are quite nice including the coastal road with palm-lined beaches. Have to say though, the level of poverty here is beyond what I’ve seen so far in Ghana. I honestly didn't think that was possible and quite sad to see. I'm not sure if we are being charged a "white man's" premium, but everything here is pretty expensive considering.
Stay tuned to hear of adventures of Lomé's Grande Marché and Fettish Market...
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