Diary and Photos
We are on the road now having set off on the 27th September 2008. We will be posting our diary entries from our most recent country on this page. For diaries from previous countries please click on the links below.
Countries visited so far: England, France, Italy, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Kenya - Part II, Tanzania - Part II, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa & Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi - Part II, Zambia and Zimbabwe, Namibia - Part II, Angola, The Congos, Gabon, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin & Togo
Ghana (& Burkina Faso)
Wednesday 10 February
To our exctiement, on the outskirts of Accra, there is a huge Game/Shoprite shopping complex with a supermarket. However, due to high expat prices and most stuff imported from SA, it was a bit out of our budget, so we only got a few luxury things. Most exciting was a burger and ice cream!
We had picked up a slow puncture, so we pumped our tyre and set off for somewhere to stay. As we drove toward the city centre the wind picked up, big dark clouds roled in, thousands of bats filled the sky and it felt a bit like driving into a Batman Movie. We spent ages trying to get on to the area covered by the map in the guidebook and so decided to try to find a place, which sounded nice and we thought we were close to. After ages in traffic, asking, searching and changing the now completely flat tyre we found the place closed! We asked at Ramada and they suggested another place Beachcomber nearby, which allowed us to camp and wasn’t too expensive, so pretty knackered we had a quick chips, drink, shower and went to bed.
Friday 12 February
Yesterday we dropped our passports in at the Burkina Faso embassy first thing and got them back by 14.00. The embassy was close to Pitstop garage, owned by a very friendly guy called Ian, who agreed to give Bob a quick check over for our final leg home and also offered us place to camp for free for the night wich we gladly accepted. We took the material we had bought in Togo to a tailor next door and had a drink and lunch at a nearby bar while we waited for our passports. We then hurried to the Mali embassy to try to get our applications in there, but were just a bit too late. We met up with a friend for a drink and then finished the day with a delicious Bangers and Mash dinner.
Today we returned to the Mali embassy and completed the various forms and letter of request for entry. As we would have to wait over the weekend we had decided to head up to Wli Falls. With a stop at Shoprite for supplies we made the fairly long drive via Lake Volta to Waterfall Lodge, in a pretty spot close to the starting point for the trail to the falls.
We sat and relaxed for the evening, enjoying the peace with a couple of beers. It may be boring to talk about our dinners so much, but maybe this indicates how important food was becoming to us by now, and Felicity whipped up a Thai green curry to be remembered!
Saturday 13 February
We had decided to make the hike to the upper falls and set off quite early, having read and heard it was quite a tough and long trek. Possibly relishing the chance for some exercise and pushing ourselves a little we were at the top falls in an hour and a half and had a welcome dip in the cold water. As you approached the Falls to stand underneath the amount of spray and icy water was intense and made it quite hard to breathe. We made it back down to the lower falls fairly quickly and after a break there returned to the lodge for a chilled out afternoon.
Sunday 14 February
We stopped to camp at Aylos Bay in Akosombo on the way back to Accra. This is a great spot right on the edge of Lake Volta and particularly exciting for Felicity as it had a rope swing out over the water an activity that she could only be distracted from by a sleep in the hammock by the water’s edge.
As it was Valentine’s Day we went all out and set up the table with a tablecloth and candle and enjoyed dinner beside Bob overlooking the lake.
Tuesday 16 February
We collected our Mali visas yesterday and then had a bit of a tour around Accra.
Today we drove west along the coast to Dixcove. We stopped at Cape Coast for a drink by the beach and to look at the castle there, which Felicity, being very into castles was blown away by. At Dixcove the camping spot we had chosen was perfect; we were literally parked on the beach under the shade of some palm trees and ideal for relaxing and doing very little for a few days.
Saturday 20 February
We spent three days on the beach, simply relaxing, swimming in the sea, playing volleyball and having the odd cocktail. Our most active was going for a wander around the nearby fishing village and going for a short turtle walk one night. On the last night we had really god swordfish at the restaurant.
Just before we set off this morning we were running along the beach and a young kid approached us, holding out a newly hatched turtle. We asked him to return it to the sea and watched with him, as it flapped around a little in the surf before darting off to the ocean. Undoubtedly he did not understand our explanation as to why it should be released, but it was nice to see it swim away.
We drove north to Kumasi today, where we got a few things done and then fairly late evening found and camped at a Mission Guesthouse there.
Tuesday 23 February
We stopped at Tamale in northern Ghana on Sunday, entered Burkina Faso yesterday and reached Ouagadougou the capital. As we drove aross the north of Ghana and into Burkina the scenery and climate changed dramatically. It became extremely hot and significantly drier and more desert like compared with the generally lush and humid countries we had driven through so far up the West Coast.
We had decided to try to get our Mauritania visas at the French Embassy. When we arrived yesterday they told us we had to come back between 11.30 and 12.00 the next day to apply. When we turned up this morning we were told to wait in a queue to apply, simply to find out from the guy behind the counter after about an hour of waiting that they didn’t issue Mauritania visas!
At least our 2 nights camping at Hotel OK Inn in Ouaga were free, including use of the pool and internet. In exchange we ate the first night in the Hotel restaurant which served a good steak.