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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

TRAVELOGUES OF THE FORMER GOLD COAST (Day 3)

DAY THREE: DECEMBER 18, 2011

BOJO BEACH

I decide to go to Bojo beach and probably the Kokrobite beach today since both beaches are along the same route and from what I have read, not far from each other. I head out to the beach sometime after 9 am. I need to get credit for my phone but see no seller possibly because it's a sunday and everybody has gone to church.

I stand at the bus-stop for over an hour before deciding to take a direct to the beach. The taxi drivers are demanding prices which I consider too high and just as I was trying to decide whether to go to the university in Legon instead, I get a taxi which agrees to take me to the beach at a price I still consider relatively high.

We spend another hour or so in traffic due to the ongoing construction works around Mallam junction. Eventually, we leave the traffic behind but the road towards the beach specifically in the area called Aplaku is horrible. It is, like quite a number of the inner roads in Accra, a red dirt road which dirties everything and everyone on the path.

As we drive along, I see a sign which proclaims that Big Milly's Backyard is 8 km ahead and I silently offer thanks to God that the owner of the establishment failed to respond to my request for a possible reservation of the place.

The entrance fee inclusive of the boat ride to the beach is 6 cedis, an amount I consider a bit steep. Having however spent so much time, energy and money to get there, I definitely wasn't about to turn back.

The surrounding of the place where the entrance fee is paid is quite beautiful with trees planted to beautify the place and a water fountain as well.





I, along with a white lady, her (I think), Ghanaian husband and their three kids were taken in a boat (the Bojo cruiser)to the beach.

There were a handful of people on the beach relaxing under the sun and even fewer people swimming or at least pretending to. I sit for sometime under one of the shades, read for some time more while wondering why exactly I decided to come to the beach besides perhaps for the reason of being able to add the beach to one of the places I visited while in Ghana.

The Bojo beach was reputed to be one of the cleanest beaches in Ghana though, and this might have been the reason why I decided to visit it.




And of course my natural curiosity informed my decision to also visit the Kokrobite beach was reputed to be, er, not so clean. Well, that was of course before my experience at the Bojo beach forced me to rescind my decision to visit the Kokrobite beach.

When I decided I'd had spent enough time on the beach sitting and watching others swim or just relax under the shades provided (since I don't know how to swim and swimming was out of the question), I decided it was time to head out of the beach. I was however immediately presented with a problem, I did not have my own transport and the beach was so far from the nearest bus-stop that any thought of trying to walk would just not fly especially not under the scorching sun along the dirt road!

I told the officials of the beach my problem and they gave me a number to call for a taxi and another problem immediately cropped up; there is no credit in my Ghana phone though I have some money on my Nigerian airtel number. I therefore, short of walking or deciding to sleep on the beach, but to make the call with my Nigerian number.

I make the call which lasts exactly one minute and lo and behold, Airtel charges me N3,200 for the call! I couldn't believe my eyes and was sure there was some mistake, but alas, the only mistake was me allowing myself to run out of credit on my local line thus forcing me to use the fraudulent Nigerian Airtel network,

I add the amount Airtel fraudulently took from my phone to the already prohibitive cost of visiting the Bojo beach and I immediately jettison the idea of visiting the Kokrobite beach especially because I knew when the taxi comes, getting out of Bojo would be very expensive. The taxi man when he came, did not disappoint me with the amount he was asking. I eventually settle for him taking me to the Aplaku junction which happen to be the nearest bus-stop to the beach.

I was demoralised by Airtel's fraudulent act and I was even more pained by the fact that I could not call their customer care there and then.

I was beginning by now to learn that getting public transport to and from the places of interest for tourists in Ghana was going to be an expensive venture as some of the places do not form part of the routes covered by the tro-tros.