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Ghana 2004

On this occasion I made a short, flying visit to Ghana. Spent most of my time in Accra on the beach but managed to get out and about a bit in Accra as well. Did an overnight stop in Saltpond and spent a bit more time on Saltpond beach and looking around Saltpond town which seemed to have changed a lot since my childhood visits.

After getting picked up from the airport it was good to get to my "home" for the week and have my first slug of ice cold Star Beer.

On my first day in Accra it was raining and I was complaining about the lack of sunshine. I mostly hung out around the house or wandered around locally hoping the rain would stop so I could go to the beach.

The next day, out came the sun, hurray! I took myself off to the Arts Centre in town to look around and maybe get a few bits and pieces.

As the days went on it just got hotter and hotter and by the end of the week I was praying for rain!

Even local people accustomed to the heat were complaining about how hot it was so I didn't feel so much of a wimp that I was completely wilting in the heat.

I spent most of the next couple of days visiting Labadi beach and hanging out drinking beer, eating fruit salad, and people watching. Many of the beach traders recognised me (or at least they said they did) from the year before and we had a chat (which largely involved them trying to persuade me to buy more stuff), and / or a drink, drumming lesson or game of oware (a local counting game -- a bit like backgammon).

On many occasions en route to or from the beach I'd stop off and walk around "Oxford Street" in the Osu area of Accra.

Then it was off to Saltpond for an overnight stay. We headed out of Accra in the early afternoon heat. In places the traffic jams were phenomenal but once out of the city the traffic was a lot better.

The scenery on the drive up the coast is pleasant, passing through several villages and towns. We stopped off at Winneba junction (about two thirds of the way) and had a cooling beer and a bite to eat, before passing through the market town of Mankessim about 3 or 4 miles from Saltpond.

The whole journey of about 120 km from Accra takes about 2-3 hours almost half of which can be spent traveling the relatively short 10-15 Km out of the city.

Once in Saltpond I dumped my stuff and headed for a walk along the beach. It was late afternoon, the sun was starting to set and glinting off the golden sand. The fish had been landed, and at various points there were children playing on the beach, or putting nets away and women working cleaning and scaling fish.

After the beach I went for a wander around Saltpond Town, something I haven't done on previous visits.

We returned to Accra the next morning, the traffic getting back into the city was only marginally less bad then getting out.

We arrived back at the house only to find the water and electricity had gone off so all I could do was head back to the beach for the cooling breeze (and the odd beer or two).

All too soon the week had come to an end and it was time to head back to London (and start planning my next visit ...).



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

craftsman working, Arts Centre, Accra Ghana
Arts Centre


Drummer, Labadi Beach, Accra, Ghana
Drumming Lesson


Oxford Street, Osu, Accra, Ghana


Children playing, Saltpond Beach, Ghana
Children, Saltpond Beach


Women cleaning fish, Saltpond beach, Ghana
Women, Saltpond Beach


Saltpond Town, Ghana
Saltpond Town

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