Just a quick update. I am currently in the UK while I am shipping my vehicle to South Africa. I hope to return to my trip around 23rd April. The final Ghana update will be uploaded after that point. I include some photos of the vehicles going into the container. Please keep the e-mails and guestbook entries coming. Thanks, Ian
Sunday 5th April, Tema
I left Big Milly's Backyard and headed across to Tema. The roads were much quieter on the Sunday and I made good time. I locked the Landrover up at the offices of Supermaritime and the security guard found me someone who would take me to the airport for 10 Cedi and 20US$. Not too bad a deal as it is around 20 miles and I had all my luggage to carry. The journey was interesting with some strong opinions being expressed by my driver. I found quite a few Ghanaians quite forceful in their views and some very suspicious of the fact that I am a man travelling alone. We arrived at the airport around 1500 and I settled in to wait many hours for my flight.
The flight I booked was based on cost not convenience and I was scheduled to check in at 2300 for an 0255 flight.This meant a long wait as I had to drop off the Landrover at around 1400. Accra Kotoba International Airport is actually quite small and mainly deals with local flights to Lagos. There was one unusual flight announced, a UN flight which didn't appear on the board.
During my long wait I was very glad to have changed the battery in my I-Pod for a long life version. Excellent upgrade even though it was a bit tough to get into the I-Pod. After a meal around 7pm I settled down to one of my talking books. The airport was great for a bit of people watching and also was once again a small world. I met up with 2 Germans (Patrick and his girlfriend Paula) who had been at both Green Turtle and Big Millys although just passing through the 2nd. We had a nice chat before their flight. They tipped me off that you need to have customs look at your check-in bag before you do the check-in. This useful tip had me at the front of the queue as not many locals seemed to know this either.
Check-in started an hour later than specified but was fine. I then went to settle in another place for the rest of my wait. Heading off through immigration I met the least pleasant Ghanaian yet. He was dressed in military camouflage uniform and was definitely trying to extort money from me. I managed not to part with any but he wasn't nice. So to wait a little longer in the very highly priced 'duty-free' area. 0255 came and we were sent to the gate. We waited some more. Finally at 0400 our plane had arrived and we boarded. A 25 min hop to Lome and then the aircraft was serviced with us on board. We set off again and I got a little sleep thinking that at least our late departure would mean a shorter wait for a connection. No such luck.
On arrival in Casablanca I headed to the waiting areas and sent Stephanie another red herring text as if I was out and about in Tema. This plane was also 1 hour late. No announcements or apologies were made for either plane. At least this one had a reason which I could see- they had to change a tyre!!!. Not seen that before.
Getting to Heathrow we all waited for our baggage. I knew it would be tight for getting the bus I had planned. We waited at the carousel. No bags for our flight turned up. Then an announcement apologising for the handler putting our bags on the wrong carousel. No hiding the blame here. Getting my bag I found I had missed the bus and waited for the next one. Guy very kindly picked me up at Birmingham Airport and gave me a lift to Shrewsbury. Much appreciated.
Stephanie was totally surprised so it worked out well.
Tuesday 7th April Shrewsbury
Strange to be back. Pete Ryan helped me get my car going and a quick thank you to him for helping on a few counts while I have been away. It is good to have friends like this.
I'm not going to give an account of my holidays but will pickup when I return to Africa. The Ghana Pt3 will be posted at this point.
The coming route will either be a loop round Southern African countries or a journey up the East of the continent finding a way out through probably Djibouti. Watch this space............
Please prompt anyone you think may like it to buy the CD. Thanks, Ian