16/08/2010 – Akwidaa beach – didn’t move a inch

As good as the Ghana coastline gets and it was pretty special. Ideal location away from any fishing villages and a clean stretch of sand as far as you can see. No streams of waste heading into the sea like on the coast towards Accra. A pleasant surprise when we hit Akwidaa. We relaxed here thinking it might be the last we see for a while.

We arrived on Saturday and took it easy all day Sunday. Nice to not move for a day. Distances have been short in Ghana so far, nothing like the huge distances in Namibia and other countries.

15/08/2010 – Kakum National Park to Akwidaa beach (including visit to Cape Coast castle) – 85 miles –

Cape Coast and Elmina (the oldest European settlement in Africa south of the Sahara and haven’t answered the pub quiz question of the oldest yet) a short distance to the west stand witness to Ghana’s past. Gold and ivory were the initial draw but slavery was it’s main commodity and hundred’s of years of sending slaves from all over west African was to come.

The whole black diaspora can be linked to Ghana’s Cape Coast. Along with other West African countries who were colonised by another European country. We know the rest. Once the slaves left the ‘door of no return’ that was it. Slaves came from as far north as Niger and Bukina Faso.

We spent Saturday morning at the castle. Lot’s of history goes along with it since the Dutch converted it into a castle, but I wont bore you with the rest. fascinating viewing and a wicked slave museum in one section that was well worth a visit. We could have taken in loads of castles along that stretch of the coast but we opted for Cape Coast only being pushed for time.

We made a move around midday to grab some lunch further down the coast. We stopped at one place but was about to leave our order when their was shouting coming from the kitchen. A few plates smashed after that. The food eventually came but the owner tried to overcharge us for the food. Hadn’t had that for a while, so got my negotiating skills sharpened again. Ordering fresh fish gives them free reign to charge what the hell they like depending on the size!

14/08/2010 – Anomabu to Kakum National Park – 43 miles

We had to come here – a 30 metre high walkway that takes you over the forest floor. The Canopy Walkway passes over 7 bridges and runs over a length of 330 m. What a great idea; it was amazing. Trying to take photos and walk at the same time was a bit hairy! Didn’t help with Bun filming me.

Kakum is one of most accessible rainforests so is a big attraction with Accra being only half a day away. The 350 square kilometer park was first established in 1960 but opened as a park in 1994. Kakum National Park is an isolated rainforest of what was once a continuous belt of rainforest extending from Guinea through Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Cote d’Ivoire to Ghana

The park contains rare animals, including the endangered Mona-meerkat, as well as pygmy elephants, forest buffalo, civet cats, 300 species of birds, and over 500 species of butterflies. We didn’t see any of these from up high, but we heard a lot of noise.

We stayed at the quirky Hans Cottege Botel just after the park. Home to its own crocodile swamp.

First day of the Premiership. Out comes the radio and the world service again!

13/08/2010 – Kokrobite to Anomabu (we stayed at the Anomabu beach resort) – 95 miles

We moved on along the coast. Ghana’s has some great coastline and the remains of former colonial castles which were used as bases during the gold, ivory and slave trade. Cape Coast has the most famous, but there are many others including Abanze, Fort William, Fort Victoria and Fort St George at Elmina.

The road winds its way along the coast. Suddenly things started turning a lot greener. Lots of people on the roadside selling pineapples, melons and whatever else that has come from the thick jungle either side of the road. A few odd-looking things that had been smoked. One was a grass cutter, the other we reckoned was a smoked bat. We had read about it, but were still waiting to try some!

We had heard goods things about Anomabu, so we stayed there for one night. It had a lovely restaurant and we got to try lobster. Much smaller than the ones we’ve had from Scotland, but just as nice.

The sea looked pretty fierce so didn’t swim. We needed to as it was so hot and humid. We found a spot amongst the palm trees and relaxed, catching up on reading and music.

12/08/2010 – Tema Port via Accra to Kokrobite – 48 miles

An unbelivable experience getting the vehicle back. As soon as we were able to drive away from the port we instantly forgot about it and moved on. However customs and the port work is a system all to its own. We left the clearing agent to it in the end. Their lack of communication got annoying after a while. They just didn’t seem to know how to deal with a vehicle that wasn’t being imported but was merely in transit on its way to the UK.

There were several fees to pay for the shipping company and the port, but these were all in line with what I had read on an overland site. No nasty hidden charges, which we were pleased about, and despite the wait we were happy to get going again with the Landcruiser in one piece!

We went back to the Afia hotel to pick up our luggage and to say goodbye to everyone. It made sense to leave town as soon as possible and get going again, so we headed to Kokrobite along the coast. The notorious Accra traffic caught us and we were stuck getting out of town for a few hours. The sellers weaving their way through the traffic entertained us and we bought a few fan ice creams to cool us down!

We arrived at Big Milly’s and a weird thing happened. We met a Czech couple whose vehicle I instantly recognised. I had seen it on a web link I had posted on the previous blog. It was the one with the lions and elephants destroying some overland 4×4’s.

They were heading from Europe through west Africa on their way to South America. They were in no rush at all and had allowed a few years for their journey. We spoke to them for ages and then went in search of some food!

We listening to: Azymuth – Aguia Não Come Mosca

Were reading:

Me – A primate’s memoir – Robert M. Sapolsky – part humour, and science research amongst a group of east Africa baboons in Kenya

Bun – reading like there’s no tomorrow –

Another day of life – Ryszard Kapuscinski & Colin Thubron – Mirror to Damascus