Friday, 27 December 2013
Day 72 - Ho to Golokwati
I was up before the others as usual and decided to go for a walk along the main road to find some breakfast. I headed towards the way we came in because I was up for some yams having liked them yesterday. I found these very easily, bought a couple of Cedi's worth along with the standard water sachets and dough balls. When I returned to the hotel I saw the guy who was dancing when we first arrived. He was nice and explained that he lived in the guesthouse and that the parties were a regular thing. I then went to sit down and consume my man breakfast in the gazeebo patio area where we had dinner last night. The yams were very filling and I remember saving some for later. There were chickens roaming around and small lizards running up the surrounding trees. I then went back to see the others. They had opted to have breakfast in the bar area. We left at a reasonable time. It was a hot day and there was a long, gradual uphill to begin with and the roads were particularly bad in the morning. This caused a more noticeable gap than usual in the group (Chris and Jones were quite a long way ahead of Tom and Kinza, with me generally somewhere in between). After maybe a few hours we approached some police who were checking vehicles going in each direction. We were stopped. The policeman seemed more interested in having a chat than checking up on us properly. After between 5 and 10 minutes we left and carried on. A bit later we started getting hungry and in need of a food stop. We were in a fairly remote area with no shops or people walking around with stuff on their heads. Luckily it didn't take us long to find a little cafe/hut thing outside a police building with a plastic table and chairs outside. There were a couple of food options available and it was very reasonably priced. We had a plate of chicken and rice with a sauce that was very tasty with Kinza having a vegetarian alternative. We were joined by an important-looking member of the police force and chatted about the trip and what we thought of Ghana. After Chris had finished his plate of chicken and rice he ordered another plate of chicken and rice. After some deliberation I then did the same. Having eaten well we carried on, with the roads thankfully improving again. Our next stop was probably a few hours later in a sizeable town. We found a shop that had a good choice of food so indulged in juice, cookies, coke and some other stuff. We were offered seats in the shop so sat down and ate. After the food session we got ready to leave and discovered Tom had a puncture. We crossed the road to a shop that had a nice flat smooth concrete area outside well suited for flipping the bike over and fixing the puncture. This went smoothly and after inflating the flat tyre and checking any of our other tyres that needed air we pushed on. Within the next half hour one of Chris's tyres exploded (one of the Casablanca bargain specials). This left us the problem of finding a replacement tyre. After asking some locals we found out that there was somewhere back where we had come from that should have the tyre we needed. It was a fair distance away so Chris flagged down a tro-tro (old minibuses that are widely used in Ghana as a form of cheap public transport) and went off with Jones, leaving me Tom and Kinza with the stuff. We were joined by the local children who were having fun rolling Chris's old tyre around and riding around on their bikes. We were also welcomed by some of the older locals. I passed the time by wandering around in search of food. I managed to find some dough balls and ate maybe 5 leaving me very full. Eventually after maybe an hour of so Chris and Jones returned with the correct tyre. This went on the wheel fine and we were soon back pedalling again. With first the puncture and now the replacement tyre delays we didn't have too much daylight left so had to try and keep up a decent pace to get somewhere near where we were aiming for at the start of the day. With maybe 30-45 minutes of daylight left we arrived at a small town and asked if there were any guesthouses. There weren't any here but thankfully there was one a short distance ahead. We found this easily enough and before the imminent darkness took over. We entered the gated complex (not as posh as it sounds), agreed a price and parked the bikes by the gate. We then went over to a table area to order dinner. I didn't really fancy anything on offer and didn't need to eat after the amount consumed earlier so opted out of the food. The others ordered some food and proceeded to play cards. I wasn't interested in this either so had a lie down/snooze on a bench by the table. After a while the others were done with food and cards so we made our way to our rooms. This time it was me, Jones and Tom in one room and Chris and Kinza in the other. We went for showers but the lights didn't work. Me and Jones proceeded to swap these bulbs around with the ones in the toilet giving us light. I then cleaned my teeth, and tucked in for an early night.