I am back at Accra, at the same place I stayed in the first night. Not very adventurous, but it has Internet and hot water, and is in a nice neighborhood.
Here is a quick list of things I did while I was here: bought some craft items, saw the fort at Cape Coast, walked on the catwalk at Kakama National Park, swam (pool and ocean), got a mild sunburn from being too relaxed to even notice, had a massage, listened to drums over a bonfire. I am leaving out the less-than-glamorous things that always happen in a week of traveling. It was a nice week, and I’m rested enough to go back to Nimba.
I got some pretty strange culture shock by coming to Ghana. There is an electricity shortage here due to a drought. So the electricity goes off at odd times, which is different than Liberia, where if someone cares enough to pay for and install a generator, then it works. So in Liberia, a country without any electric system, the electricity was much more reliable than in Ghana. Also, Liberians use latrines. In the cities, I guess they use septic tanks. In Ghana, they use indoor plumbing. But the toilets drain to open sewers. It turns out I prefer latrines. I never really realized I have a preference, but traveling teaches you things about yourself, they say.
I traveled for the first bit here, both because there were things in the guidebook that tempted me, and because I was looking for somewhere with the right comfort to price ratio. I had one really bad morning in Cape Coast when I realized I simply didn’t have the energy or patience for traveling. I looked in my book for the most expensive place I could find, hailed a taxi cab, took his first price (thereby overpaying by 5 times) and went directly there. I call it my “Out of Africa” moment, when I realized I really needed to be out of Africa, right then, immediately. The expensive hotel was OK, but was actually a disappointment in a number of ways. On the plus side, I was checked into a place with a clean bed and swimming in the pool within about 30 minutes of having my Out Of Africa moment, thereby saving my sanity from utter oblivion. On the negative side, the electricity was out for my entire stay there, which made some things like AC not work.
The restaurant was anemic. I ordered once and was told they didn’t have what I wanted. As a wise traveler, who was also on the edge of a nervous breakdown from things in Ghana not working right, I immediately said, “Well how about you just tell me what you CAN make.” The waiter seemed pleased that I was not going to make him say no a hundred more times. He told me they had some chicken. I asked, “Can you make the curried chicken?” and thankfully, he said yes.
After one night at the super expensive place, I made a beeline for Big Milly’s Backyard, where I hid out for several more days, pretending I was someplace else than Ghana. It worked fine, and I am now delighted to be bqck in Accra, and tomorrow I will be delighted to be in Liberia.