One of the smallest countries of the African continent that together with the nearby
Benin is considered the birth place of the black magic. It is from here that it spread out to
the rest of the continent and from here the slaves took it with them on those boats to the New World and the continental Europe and brought it to the whole world. Probably this was the only thing they managed to save from their culture for the new beginning they were forced to start in a strange place.
My trip to this country started with a very unusual as well as funny way. I always manage to start my day late so yes, in this case I did it again. Plus the delay for my visa (you can get it straight at the border) and the fight I have every time they try to reap me off at the border, I arrived late. One of the nightmares you face in Africa is the corruption of the border officials. Every time they try to get some money with an extra paper you had to have or some other idea they come up with. In the beginning it’s fun but after a while it’s more than frustrating to have to fight your way out of it. After all that I arrived at the first city after the border, Dapaong, long after the sun had already set. When I got there, it was pitch black, with people walking in the streets like ghosts .So I had to find some food and a place to stay. Everything went fine when it came to food. For accommodation though, I had met this guy who told me about a cultural centre for the protection of women rights or something like that. This place was renting rooms as well, for some extra money for the cause. At least that’s what I understood. No one was there except for the night guard. Anyway I ended up driving the car in the yard and sleeping there with a small tip I gave the night guard, only to wake up in the morning and find myself surrounded by all these offices, full of people that were looking at me and my strange car with a tent attached to its roof literally like E.T. from the movie. You should have seen the look on their faces when the tent opened and they saw a white guy coming out.
Anyway that was that for my first morning in Togo and after a long drive I arrived at
the capital Lome, on the process of becoming a big African port like the nearby Ghana’s port, only for French speaking countries. I spent the next 4 days in Alice’s Camping (great place, I definitely recommend it) at the beach, with the sea literally outside my tent. I met some French overlanders with a Land Rover Defender, that were heading even more south than me, crossing the country that as far as I know is considered every overlander’s nightmare, Angola. I have heard about it a lot of times from other overlanding travellers that either crossed it or were about to. Good people with great sense of humour and lots to talk about. His name was Dedie but I have forgotten hers (please forgive me if you happen to read this). We kept in contact for a while but afterwards I lost them. I hope they made it ok to Cape Town which was their destination.
Here in Lome I had to fix a small problem that I had with one head light of Voukefalas.
Piece of cake in a port town that everything comes from the sea. Took me less than an hour to jump on one of the moto taxis and he knew exactly where I had to go. After a quick ride and a couple of questions my problem was solved. This is the African way for a simple thing that can take from a few seconds to a few years but it will be solved, you just need patience.
My last stop was a little bit to the north of the country, at a beautiful waterfall in the village of Palime. I think there is nothing better when you are in a tropical country than a dip in the cold waters of a waterfall.
I spent only 6 days in this part of the world and although so small, the best highlight is
the people I met, much more than any beach or waterfall. Sometimes I miss some of them and the talks we had even in the primitive way of communication but that is part of the magic of travelling.