How to spend a long weekend in Ghana

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Last weekend was a long one because Ghana had something to celebrate: the 6th of March is Independence Day. And what do they do on the 6th of March? They march (good pun, I know). At least the school children do, they come together in their school uniforms at the stadium and march in a kind of parade and because this is really exhausting, the next school day is a holiday.
This year the 6th of March was a friday, so some friends of mine, who are fellow volunteers in school, and I decided to use the long weekend to explore the coastal area in western Ghana.

Waiting at the TroTro station until the bus going to Takoradi is full

Before I came to Ghana I imagined travelling with the TroTro as something very stressful but now there's nothing I love more than just getting onto one of these small buses with only a crude idea of where I want to go, enjoying the landscape and buying plantain chips through the window as I go.

View from the hotel balcony
There are excellent opportunities to go out in every bigger city in Ghana, but after the long journey we just went to a Chop Bar (Ghanaian cookshop) to get a portion of Fufu with Groundnutsoup (pounded Cassava and plantain in a peanut soup).

Old tracks near Takoradi Port

Next to Tema Port in the east, Takoradi Port in the west is very important for the import and export of goods to and from Ghana.
One thing I really like about Takoradi is that it has this typical seaport structure. Everything is very open and spacial and the roads have a linear structure, so we decided to take a walk from the market circle to the port.
The area around the port is very green and has quite a nostalgic atmosphere with all its old administration buildings.

As Paula, another volunteer who teaches in a vocational school and whom I just love, used the opportunity to take some pictures, two other friends just went ahead and asked the port authorities if we could have a look around the area tourists are not allowed to enter.
And then something happened, that would never happen like this in Germany....

Construction work on the new part of Takoradi port
 Left: Me, Right: Paula

They considered us for a moment and then they said: "Okay, let's go."
One of the higher ranked officials took us around the place in his car, we saw how a big cargo ship was loaded with cocoa, we saw one of the newly built oil drilling platforms and we could have a look at the construction of the new part of the harbour, which is built to save transport costs.

Our guide explained a lot, answered all of our questions and insisted on driving us back to the market circle where we wanted to have a look around and do some shopping.
Sometimes there are people who see that you're foreign and they take advantage of that too.
But just as often it happens that people approach you and embrace you with incredible hospitality.
This man was the best example for that, he even drove around the market circle twice, so we could have a good look at it.

shopping beads at the market
After a day in town we decided to let the weekend end casually and drove further west to Cape Three Point, the most southern point of Ghana.
There we stayed at a beautiful Eco Lodge called Escape Three Points. Since I live in Ghana I'm spoilt when it comes to beaches but the one there was unprecedented.

Escape Three Points

Beach at Cape Three Points
Travelling in Ghana never fully works out the way you planned it. A hotel you want to stay in is closed down, the TroTro you've been waiting for is 3 hours late (or later than you thought it would be, there are no schedules) but in the end all of it will be worth it. And this weekend definitely was.

- Sarah

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