I always wanted to go to Ghana. You see, back home all the immigrants I had met from there had something very positive about them. Some sort of vibe that comes out of anyone from there. On my overland trip to West Africa I had the opportunity and I would not let it go. I grabbed the opportunity to spend 10 days there but I could definitely have spent many more.
My trip started in the capital Accra. I arrived late in the afternoon and ended up on the beach, a couple of kilometres away from the busy port. Accra is one of the biggest ports in West Africa. I set up my car tent outside some reggae disco. Although the area was not the best, I must admit the people seemed really friendly. It was not long after that that I had my first Rasta friends passing me the joint. Poor but proud, with an open heart, young Rasta guys. Although they know that the chance of getting out of poverty is very little, they still find joy in small things that we forget in our part of the world. One splif (as they call beer) and nice music, that is the key to paradise. I must admit that the next day I left the place that almost every other “first world person” would avoid astonished.
I did not have much time so I had to continue. Otherwise I would have stayed to explore that world that I got to know by accident. My next stop, Gomoa Feteh. Difficult name, isn’t it? Every time I stopped the car to ask directions and had to say the name,
people could not understand it. It was a fishing village next to an old slave fort right on the beach. A beach in the tropics full of coconut trees and full of cocoas, white sand and the Atlantic ocean opening in front of you. Absolute dream. The inhabitants, fisherman most of them, really helpful with their African English (ex English colony) pointed out the fort as the only place to stay. Funny though, that was where I stayed.
Later that day I met someone who knew a lot of things about the colonial times and got me into how the civilized West made humans a way of making money and how these people have every right to look at us and feel disgust. The methods the English used in this place to prepare the black African slaves for their journey to the New World are a
disgrace for the humanity. Lots of thoughts in my mind started making me feel guilty for every white guy or “obrouny” as they call us. As for the rest of my time there, I dedicated it to the small children that in Ghana are the 45% of the population. Their innocence makes up for all the difficulties of the world. I think I became a child for those moments I was playing with them. This is how I was filling up my day until it was time to move on.
Before I entered Ghana, fellow travellers had mentioned a place on the western side of the country called Dix Cove, a bay almost next to the borders with Ivory Coast. I couldn’t
wait to get there because until then people were talking about it like it was obligatory.
Otherwise a trip to Ghana would be incomplete.
Green Turtle Lounge, remember this name. It’s probably one of the very few places where I would like to live forever and that coming from a devoted traveller says a lot. The scenery was simple, an unspoiled, untouched beach, a small fishing village and a lounge that is for travellers. Set up by an English traveller who respected the surroundings and the locals. The whole village was working for that lounge. Every job was shared, so everybody was happy. Tom, if I remember well, was the Englishman’s name who had combined the western technology with the local knowledge in a way that could be an example for many. Something very similar with what I had learned at Gomoa a couple of days earlier. After all we could all share things without someone having to be the giver and someone else the taker.
You might think it was the company that I had there or the environment or all of it. Believe it or not, it was hard to leave. I met a Canadian fireman how was doing volunteer work there, a Brazilian girl, a couple of Swedish people interested in local dancing and of course the jamjamboure, the local drums. From the village an old gentleman that if he lived anywhere else in the world, could be a professor or a scientist, in Ghana he was just a fisherman providing us with fresh fish and lots of hours of talks about almost everything.
After all that my passage from a waterfall in Kintampo in the north of the country, on the way to Burkina Faso, was just another day before I said so long to one of the highlights of West Africa. Some people claim that Africa has some kind of magic. I don’t believe in these things but I definitely felt it in Ghana. Save me a place and I’ll be there in the future.
Moments to remember: the kids’ smiles in Gomoa Feteh, the sunsets in Dix Cove, the lovely walks and talks on the beach, the football match every day between Europe and
Africa on the beach.