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Route taken: Akwidaa beach, Busua, Tarkwa, Dunkwa, Obuasi, Lake Bosumwe, Kumasi – 225 miles

Damp start at the beach and it got worse as we got going north to Kumasi, Ghana’s cultural centre and the main town of the Ashanti region. A drop in temperature from the 30c + we have been having on the coast as we climbed upwards to Kurmasi.

We found a route that took us through thick jungle. Our GPS was out if it’s depth and didn’t even recognise any of the roads we were on. Not sure how well mapped West Africa is, so we relied on good old-fashioned asking as we went. Whenever we got to a roundabout or junction we stopped to ask someone.

We got to one roundabout and asked a couple of boys selling coconuts, so we grabbed a few of those and drank them in the Landcruiser. Bun reckoned they would help cure our hangovers. We had a late night drinking on the beach at Akwidaa with a couple of young guys from Manchester.We kept the bar open as late as we could and watched a thunder-storm closing in from the Atlantic which didn’t produce the massive storm we were expecting.

The road to Kurmasi was adventurous. I felt like the man from Del Monte as we drove along the road/track through the jungle. More fruit sellers on the side of the road and I was only missing a panama hat to finish it off. The worst parts of the road turned into red puddles from the colour of the earth and in other places the rain filled the pot holes.

It seemed to take all day without stopping, but it wasn’t actually that far. We spend the whole time looking out for broken down vehicles and others that have crashed and been left burnt out on he side of the road. Ghana has some awful vehicles driving around.

Makes sense. The number of vehicles we saw at the port last week explains it. Written off vehicles from the States and the UK, with their fronts smashed in, were leaving the port in masses as we left with the Landcruiser. They switch over the steering wheel from right to left and respray then to turn them into taxis. They leave the port with temporary plates before they are registered locally and fixed up in the meantime. It’s funny seeing a car leave the port with no windscreen and the bonnet smashed in, on its way north to start a new life.

Eventually we reached Kurmasi. We took in Lake Bosumtwe with the intention of staying there but cracked on to Kurmasi. We stayed in a cheap hotel for the night.

August 2010