Ghana pt. 2

The dry, scorched north gave way to lush tropical forest and cocoa plantations as we approached central Ghana. After a couple of days in hectic Kumasi we breathed a sigh of relief as we descended to beautiful Lake Bosomtwe with its calm, glassy waters and the occasional scary tropical storm. From there we headed to the coast via gold mining country, through humid jungle and along dusty, disintegrating roads, where we met some lovely people staying in villages. Now we have reached the Atlantic ocean once again, and are heading east towards the Volta Region, our final destination!

We are already half way towards our fundraising target to build a compost toilet, if you think you can help us with the rest check out our donations page and read more about how fab compost toilets are here. A big thank you to everyone who has already donated!

Kumasi Market. The largest market in West Africa. Bloody mental!

A small section of Kumasi Market, the largest in West Africa, viewed from an overpass. It was bloody mental!

Avocado tree!

Avocado tree!

Jungly hills to the south of Kumasi as we approach Lake Bosomtwe

Jungly hills to the south of Kumasi as we approached Lake Bosomtwe.

A storm!

A storm!

Lake Bosomtwe, Ghana's only natural lake, in the crater of an ancient meteorite impact!

Lake Bosomtwe, Ghana’s only natural lake, in the crater of an ancient meteorite impact!

Elizabeth the grumpy donkey.

Elizabeth the grumpy donkey.

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Fisherman are only allowed to paddle the lake using small handheld paddles. Here someone is transporting a plantain tree on their wooden plank canoe.

Fisherman are only allowed to paddle the lake using small handheld paddles. Here someone is transporting a plantain tree on their wooden plank canoe.

One stormy night Alice heard a mewling sound coming from the bushes. Two tiny abandoned kittens in a plantain bush!

One stormy night Alice heard a mewling sound coming from the bushes. Two tiny abandoned kittens in a plantain bush!

A gold rush is in full swing in the central region, with the second largest mine in Africa after one in South Africa, a policeman proudly informed us. More evident from the roadside are small scale mines like this one. Not good for deforestation and water pollution.

A gold rush is in full swing in the central region, with the second largest mine in Africa after one in South Africa, a policeman proudly informed us. More evident from the roadside are small scale mines like this one. Not good for deforestation and water pollution.

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Our route unhappily coincided with another stretch of road construction. This time it was raining which kept the dust down but turned the road into a tacky quagmire requiring frequent stops to unblock the mud jamming our wheels. Great fun!

Our route unhappily coincided with another stretch of road construction. This time it was raining which kept the dust down (sometimes) but turned the road into a tacky quagmire requiring frequent stops to unblock the mud jamming our wheels. Great fun!

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And finally we rejoin the Atlantic Ocean!

And finally we rejoin the Atlantic Ocean!

"Garden eggs" and a bitter tasting aubergine thing that gets better when cooked.

“Garden eggs” and a bitter tasting aubergine thing that gets better when cooked.

A house sized soundsystem damaging the ears of some children.

A house sized soundsystem damaging the ears of some children.

Cape Three Points, Ghana's southernmost tip, where we spent a lovely long weekend with...

Cape Three Points, Ghana’s southernmost tip, where we spent a lovely long weekend with…

... Dougal Croudace!

… Dougal Croudace!

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Spot the squash.

Spot the squash.

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We stayed in a bamboo house on stilts with a compost toilet underneath.

We stayed in a bamboo house on stilts with a compost toilet underneath.

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Cocktails on the beach for Alice’s Birthday.

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Burkina pt. 2 and into Ghana!

After 7 months of cycling, some 9000km or so traversing mountains, desert and mangrove in nine countries, we have now arrived in Ghana! We are having a great time and enjoying being able to speak to people in English instead of broken French. A small reminder that we are trying to raise £600 to build a compost toilet in the Volta Region, our final destination on the trip, donations page here and further info on our Donate for Toilets page. A big thank you to everyone who has donated so far!

Here are some of our adventures from Burkina and into Ghana!

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We reached the south-western town of Banfora, where you can enjoy a calabash of ‘chapalo’, millet beer homebrewed by women, under the mango trees.

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Right along from the chapalo is the palm wine lady, so we stocked up for later…

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After a few days in Banfora we headed north to laid-back Bobo Dioulasso (‘home of the Bobo and the Dioula’). The only cathedral we’ve visited with a tin roof.

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We visited the museum and saw some cool masks. This one is shaped like a fish!

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and a life size model of a Bobo house you can clamber around on! Grains are dried on the rood, and wandering goats kept at bay by branch ladders.

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The ‘Museum of Music of Yesterday and Today’ where Alice got to play a one string fiddle…

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Rotisserie chickens are big in Bobo, as are ‘chicken-in-a-bag’s cooked over an open fire. The Burkinabe call rotisseries ‘poulet televise’, as apparently watching them rotate is like TV!

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Moving on to Ouagadougou, we spent a relaxing few days with a warmshowers host (thank you Wies!) and her gaggle of very friendly chickens…

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Little friendly chickens!

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Ouaga’s big public park has its very own population of crocodiles, who can be spotted nosing around the lilypads. Most of them were relatively wee ones like this guy.

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But then, just as we were leaving to escape the midday sun we spotted this…

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GIANT ONE!

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Continuing on from Ouaga we headed south to the Ghanaian border, stopping off in Tiebele, historical seat of the Kassena royalty, where people traditionally decorate their houses in cool geometric patterns!

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Houses have their own chicken holes for the hens to hide in

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Grandparents and grandchildren live in figure of 8 shaped houses, young bachelors in round ones, and newlywed couples in rectangular ones.

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We have reached GHANA! Here we are cycling along one of the many dams.

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The standard of driving here seems pretty dreadful. A passing motorbike crashed into Zak's back pannier, ripping it off the bike. Luckily everyone was okay, and we attached it back on with cable ties.

The standard of driving here seems pretty dreadful. A passing motorbike crashed into Zak’s back pannier, ripping it off the bike. Luckily everyone was okay, and we’ve attached it back onto the rack with cable ties.