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Ghana 2003

Ghana - land of my birth. After this trip note to self to visit more often. Last time was 3 years ago for a very short visit. This time we stayed a little longer and managed to see a lot more.

After London's near zero temperatures at the time we left, walking off the plane into that unforgetable wall of heat was a mixture of pleasure and severe discomfort.

Our first full day was spent on Labadi beach in Accra - just one of the many beautiful beaches we visited on this trip.

The weather was very hot and sunny - almost the complete opposite of what the forecasts were on one of those Internet weather sites.

A slow stroll down the beach helped to melt away the tension of the previous day's flight. Later we found our spot and rewarded ourselves by ordering a fruit salad. This turned out to be so huge that despite being absolutely delicious we were unable to finish it.

The next day we headed up the coast to Saltpond which was a good base for Cape Coast, Elmina and surrounds. Both places have castles that were used to trade slaves.

Elmina Castle, built by the Portugese was particularly oppressive. Cape Coast Castle was built by the Dutch.The castle has a good museum which documents the history of the slave trade.

In Elmina we rounded off the day by having a wonderful meal at Coconut Grove beach resort. Then it was back to Saltpond for the night.

Kakum Forest, and the beaches at Anomabu and Biriwa were our targets for the following day. All of which were wonderfully scenic. The menu at the hotel at Biriwa is quirky - an eclectic mix of Ghanain, German and other "European" food (thankfully not in the same dish). Back to Saltpond for another night before returning to Accra - not without visiting Saltpond's beautiful beach though.

The journey back to Accra was long and hot. The traffic in some parts of the city is really terrible. Anyway we eventually got back and over the next couple of days lounged around the pool at La Palm Beach Hotel, and visited a few more beaches - Next Door a bar / restaurant overlooking the sea and later Coco Beach resort just past Teshie Nungua. In the evening we shot some pool over a couple of Star beers at the kinda tacky Aquarius German bar.

A good night's sleep prepared us for our busy day driving through the Akwapim hills and visiting Aburi Botanical Gardens, Akosombo Dam with the beautiful Lake Volta, and Shai Hills Wildlife Reserve. Just about do-able in a day but more time in each of these places would have been good.

We took a whirlwind tour of the dam which is itself kind of ugly, the lake and surrounding scenery are very beautiful though. Akosombo dam's hydro electric plant supplies to surrounding countries as well as Ghana - that's after some greedy corporate manufacturing plant takes one third of the power at a ridiculously unfair low price. Apparently at the time the dam was built, the then government signed this rip off deal because they wanted the dam built.

After a couple of days shopping at the Arts Centre's craft market and around Osu, drinking in Ryans Irish bar, hanging out for an evening with friends at the Tesano Club, sampling Osu's Macumba Club (where most of the clientele are working girls looking for punters or punters looking for working girls), our final day was spent back on Labadi Beach where we each got sold a drum by a nice guy called Absolon who threw in a quick free drum lesson.

All in all Ghana is a great place. The countryside is beautiful, people are friendly and generous, there's plenty to see and do and it won't be long before I'm organising my next trip...

 

 


Click on a picture to enlarge it and get a short description of the place

Labadi Beach - Accra
Labadi Beach

 

Fishing boats, Cape Coast, Ghana
Cape Coast

 

Cape Coast Castle, Ghana
Castle

 

Cocounut Grove Beach Resort, Elmina, Ghana
Elmina

 

Canopy walkway, Kakum Forest, Ghana
Kakum

 

Royal Palms, Aburi botanical gardens, Ghana
Aburi

 

Lake Volta, Ghana
Akosombo

 

Shai Hills wildlife reserve, Ghana
Shai


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