Monday, June 16, 2008

Trek Through Africa: TOGO - BENIN (Day 81-85)

Day 81 : Thursday 11th Feb - Accra

Made breakfast at 5.30 to leave for the Nigerian embassy and beat the Economic trucks, went to meet the Danes but they did not turn up. At the embassy had to wait an hour before it opened, managed to dry my washing by the side of the road that had been wet for days. Good to be able to speak English with the locals, bought some ice-pops off a bloke on a bike. Back into town and did truck guard with Charlie in a town centre car park. Decided to stay the night in a hotel with Charlie and Lars. Flagged a taxi down and he took us to a massive hotel on the outskirts of town called the Rivera Beach. Got a room each for 11,000 cedes. Had a sleep then a shower. Went down for a meal in the hotel, almost empty. Walked into town and then got a taxi to the Novohotel, feel out of place in expensive hotels like this. Had a beer then left, walked round Accra, down some dark streets but it seemed OK, could not find a decent place, so we got a taxi back to the hotel. A bloke in the hotel then took us to the Kilimanjiro club, smart place, stayed there for a while then got a taxi back to the hotel.

Day 82 : Friday 12th Feb - Accra

Got up for breakfast but found that I had spent almost all of my money. Walked back into town and bought an ice-cream before meeting the truck outside the post office. walked round town to try and find a camera, went in a couple of computer shops. Bought a mask off the market for 14, sent it home with Julia's stuff. Saw Blue Peter filming round the centre of town. Left at 3:30 and took a motorway heading east through Ghana towards Togo. Made a camp and struggled to get a fire going.

Day 83 : Saturday 13th Feb - Ghana / Togo / Benin

Had a better nights sleep but still feel very tired, with all the civil unrest in Togo we were the only vehicle going into the country. We had to put the sides down on the truck and no one was allowed in the dog box, crossed the border with almost no checks, and passed lines of refuges heading out. No action at all in the countryside, so quiet I fell asleep. The capital Lome was still smouldering after the riots, did not hang around, soon at the border with Benin. Managed to jump the massive queue to get through, but it still took a long time. Drove along the coast road and stopped at a Hotel / campsite on the beach just through the town of Cotonou. Washed some clothes and towels in detol and soap then went to the bar. Met some English teachers that had fled the trouble in Togo and were waiting for it to quieten down before going. Read some British papers and had four pints, got quite pissed. Could not find my tent, then remembered that I hadn?t put it up. Walked into a giant cactus and hurt my left leg and knee. Crashed out in Julia?s. tent

Day 84 : Sunday 14th Feb - Benin

Had little sleep with my leg hurting all night. Everyone went on a trip to a village built on stilts in the middle of a swamp, me and Lars decided to stay on the campsite. Went for a very good meal in the hotel and organised a group meal for tonight. Tried to sleep in the afternoon but it got too hot. Went for a meal at the same place at night but the service and food were not that good. Charlie missed it again because he was unwell.

Day 85 : Monday 15th Feb - Benin

Up at 6:15 to beat the Economic trucks again to the Nigerian embassy in Cotonou. Spent three hours in town, bought some stores in the supermarché and then waited in an air-conditioned patisserie. Went to a voodoo market and wrote a couple of letters. Back to the camp on the dog box, made a fire for Julia and Jo then went for a swim in the sea. Could not wait for the girls to cook a meal so I had a chicken sandwich and chips from the hotel. Went to bed early, a storm came in very quickly and caught us with no fly sheets on, everything got soaked, tent full of water.

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