Saturday, 28 February 2009

21: A midnight feast in Togo

After a successful few days in Accra securing visas for Benin and Nigeria, and praying for the electricity to come back and restore our overhead fan to action during the frequent power cuts, we headed out to the resort of Kokrobite, 30 kilometres west of the city, for a couple of days and nights of alcohol-fuelled hedonism in Big Milly's Backyard. Monday morning came around too quickly and we were back to the extreme sport of cycling on Accra's roads. We rode back to our base in town, the Dome Hotel, got our old room back, and had a quick bucket bath before dressing up as best we could for our visit to the Angolan embassy. Our efforts proved fruitless, however, as the lady from the consular section told us that they only issue visas to Ghanian residents. So the hunt continues, we'll try again in Nigeria.

Leaving Accra we headed east along the coast towards the Togolese border. Heavy traffic demands concentration and the high humidity makes for energy-sapping cycling. Fortunately there are juicy pineapples and fantastic ice cream in abundance. Eventually the traffic thins out and shortly before sunset we pick up supplies in a village before camping just beyond a police checkpoint. We were given water in the village to wash with, but as dirty as I am I think I might still be cleaner than the water we got, so I decline a shower. At 4 am the thunder and lightening show that had threatened us all night broke into rainfall and I lay half asleep in the lightshow with the tent staying surprisingly dry. The following morning Peter manages to get the same number of punctures (five) that I have had in over 12,000 km's before we have even ridden the bicycles 5 metres.

Yesterday we crossed the border and passed through Togo's capital, Lome, before continuing along the coast to Chez Alice, another overlander's haunt. In the evening we sit at a bar on the roadside and soon I'm hungry and looking for a snack. "Any peanuts?", I ask in my best French. I am led to several nearby foodstalls and eventually someone says yes. A few minutes later a large bowl of porridge is put in front of me. Somewhere along the line things got lost in translation, but at least I know where to get breakfast.

Lome, Togo
Trip distance: 12,310 km

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