Although Sam’s patient taxi driver shows up 3 hours before
we are ready to check out, we get an even later start today because we go first
to Sam’s work – which ends up being about 45 minutes in the opposite direction –
so my daughter can use his computer to finish making her travel plans. She intends
to leave us on Friday and head to Benin to study traditional healing practices
Finally we’re ready to roll and the taxi takes us back to
central Accra where we are planning on catching the bus to our next destination.
My daughter decides we should negotiate for a taxi instead
which ends up being a really good thing. We are supposed to spend the nite at a
bed and breakfast of an ex-pat friend of a u.s. friend that is not quite yet
open for business but where we’ve been invited to stay the nite before we
continue along the coast to Elima.
The rural terrain of Ghana’s coastal route unfolds before us:
some taller hills west of Accra but then mostly even plains of lush green
grass, few trees, low brush, abundant banana or plantain and palm groves, with a
scattering of tiny villages infrequently springing up, and of course vendors in
minimal structures as well as individuals sitting merely a foot from the
pavement on the side of the road next to 10 or 12 mangoes stacked in triangles
on the ground or holding high like flags the limp carcasses of small dead
animals we do not recognize.
When we finally get our destination just as the sun is
setting, we realize we will not be able to stay: there is really no road to the
future resort so we bounce along between little thatched-roof homes while tons
of goats and chickens skillfully avoid us, thru crumbling walls and fading straggly
gardens, skirting small fires and relaxing villagers, climbing over large stones
and gaping craters that try but do not succeed in trapping us to our relief.
We reach the outer wall that is ornate with pre-colonization
figures and nature scenes but is the only completed part we can see. There is
one room with walls and a roof boasting a bed that is too small for all of us
and but no water or bathroom.
We are given a tour of where the kitchen and other rooms are
going to be built and then we are invited to drive to the owner’s grandmother’s
home, where a splendid meal awaits us.
We have to re-negotiate with Kobi, our driver, who
graciously is willing to take us further up the coast toward our next yet to be
determined resting spot.
Fortunately, Tessie successfully contacts another Ghanaian
friend/chosen family whose parents live just beyond Elima – our final destination – and are
building a guest house where we can spend the nite sin electricity because they
shut it off while they are out of town – but with two beds and a bathroom with
a shower and tub.
We drive in the dark now for close to another two hours
until we must leave the paved road again and travel several miles on bumpy dirt
roads and thru several substantial villages before we arrive at the dwelling.
A man from the bordering village greets us with a bright flashlight
and big smile, opens the house and brings over another mattress we place on the
floor. We fling open all the windows and doors and fall asleep to the sound of waves gently
caressing the beach below.