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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ghana Travelogues

I admit the title above is not very original besides the fact that I consider it to be too obvious, I would much prefer a less obvious and far more creative title but alas, my brain is just not cooperating with my desire this night and so I shall leave the title as it is until something literally creative smacks me in the brain!

I had for years been mouthing my desire to take a vacation by myself and away from my normal hangouts and so when I finally made my decision in 2011 to go by myself for a two week vacation in the former Gold Coast, more than one person expressed scepticism at likelihood of my enjoying the vacation especially since I had admitted I had no friend in Ghana that could take me around and show me the country.

Because i'm just as human as the person next door, I sometimes allowed the doubts to get to me but I am ultimately happy that I didn't allow myself to be dissuaded from embarking on the vacation. I spent a total of 15 days in Ghana, and, my only complaint apart from the fact that I don't like their food, is that the days went just way too fast!



My first impression on getting to Accra and travelling from the Kotoka International Airport to my hostel at Darkuman was that Accra combined the beauty, serenity and wideness of roads that can be found in Nigeria's Federal Capital city (Abuja) and the crowdy, dusty and sometimes port-holed roads that can be found in Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria.

The roads were mostly well-ordered, neat and wide as we left Kotoka Airport and approached town almost up to Ring road. However, as we got to Ring road and left it especially as we approached the Kaneshie market (a massive building which housed mostly sellers of foodstuffs), up to the point where we got to Darkuman, the scenery changed to that of the ever-bustling Lagos. I only succeeded in taking a picture of the Flagstaff house and couldn't take pictures yet e with my Sony digital camera with which I was at this time yet to make a full acquaintance.

Interestingly, because the weather in Accra was so similar to that of Lagos that it lulled me into a false sense of still being in Lagos. During the journey from the Airport to my hostel, a sense of uncertainty started creeping in; would I enjoy touring and seeing all the tourist attractions in Ghana that I had seen on the internet and decided to visit? I however made up my mind to enjoy every second of my vacation regardless of the fact that I'm travelling alone.

After having rested for some time and not having eaten any real food except a piece of fish and part of a bar of chocolate that I had brought along with me, I decided to go out and do some exploring around the neighbourhood of my hostel. I take a very long walk (feeling like Janie Walker), trying to see whether I would chance upon any place or thing of interest; I didn't. I however did see a place called ANAMBRA FOREX BUREAU. Unless the word Anambra has some meaning in one of the Ghanaian languages, I felt very sure that the place was owned by one of my ever-industrious Ibo brothers. I felt like whipping out my camera and taking a picture of the place but was restrained by my not wanting to appear like the "Janie Just come" that I am.

The harmattan in the evening, seemed a bit more forceful than it was earlier in the day, and I noticed a handful of hawkers wearing socks in their slippers. Again, I resist the urge to take a picture of these hawkers.

Through my walk back and forth, I see no fast-food joint though I saw quite a number of food outlets which incidentally branded themselves as fast food outlets though of course not in the sense that we have in Nigeria. I finally enter one of the food outlets on the street of my hostel and ordered fried rice and chicken. Lo and behold, the fried rice is not like we have in Nigeria. The fried rice in Ghana has none of the vegetable that we put in ours in Nigeria. But at 2 cedis (equivalent of 200 Nigerian naira)for a take-away pack with 2 reasonably-sized chickens and a small amount of salad, I'll say it is food cheap (I don't want to say dirt cheap seeing as it is food we are talking about here).

Back at the hostel, I meet Angelic, a Netherland graduate of International Law who tells me she is in Ghana for her internship at a human right centre somewhere there in Accra. she seems real friendly and we chatted for quite a while about her experiences in Accra before we both decided to call it a night.
My life as a tourist starts tomorrow!