Average temperature : 30 degrees C in the shade
Average wave height: Proper over the head variety
Successful attempts at doing the splits: 0
Leaving Kokrobite I learnt a valuable lesson. Here there is rush hour which is long, slow and painful to get through. Then there is ‘Church hour’ which is a million times worse. 6 hours after I left I was finally able to pick up a bus going West to Takoradi. To add to my general good mood the air con on the bus failed, and a pentecostal preacher sat next to me. I think I broke a small part of his soul when I said I didn’t believe in God. Speechless, I started using the old my step dad is a vicar trick and talking about how the family goes to Church on Christmas day…..
It was all worth it though to make it to this little slice of paradise.
Green Turtle lodge is deliberately difficult to get to. I’m glad as it means not too many people find out just how wonderful it is. An eco-lodge I’m minded to yawn at all the ineffectual steps that are often taken in these places. But here it really works – and better still the British owners have really integrated it with the local community. In Kokrobite there was a tendency to feel like you were in a compound. This couldn’t have been more different. I took advantage of the tours they organised to head out in a mangrove swamp to hear (but not see, I’m just a bit too slow for that) monkeys and check out the Salamanders. Always a bit disconcerting when they keep bailing out the canoe part way through..
Heading on a hike to Cape Three Points (West Africa’s most southern point) you get an obligatory tourist shot with a sign that makes you feel a long way from home. For the second time in twelve years I was pleased I’d done German GCSE as I persuaded a lovely German couple with a air conned car to give me a life part of the way home. As the previous time I’d used it was to translate a speeding ticket between Budapest and Zagreb preventing my co-traveller doing two days hard labour, this was clearly an excellent investment by the Government.
The long hot days and journeys had begun to take a toll on my poor foot however. I picked up 15 bites on one tro tro ride in one of them causing it to swell to about twice the size of the other. The best kind of injury; this looked impressive but didn’t hurt at all. A sort of karma for all those times I’ve walked into tables, doubled up in pain and not even got a sodding bruise. Gaining all my human health knowledge from when I used to have horses I treated it like Ginger McCain did Red Rum’s sensitive soles (that’s the sole of a horses hoof, it’s an actual part of the equine anatomy) .. by walking in sea water. Honestly it was a chore. It’s almost back to normal now.. I feel a bit sad I didn’t photo-document it’s progress as it really was quite impressive.
Some of you will know I’ve resolved, comically, to try and teach myself the splits. As a forwards roll is normally beyond me this is quite some undertaking. But even with the gammy foot I’m getting to about 4 inches off the ground. By the time I’m done travelling, I want to be able to do it.. It’s a topic that seems to arouse much hilarity in the many lovely people I have met on my travels. Some of them join in, some just point and laugh. I can take a good guess which friends back home will fall into each category.
I’m currently in the old slave fortress of Cape Coast. I’ll be here for a few days before heading North to do a safari.
Generally I seem to be getting texts but nothing sent earlier this week. This means I had no knowledge of the Royal Wedding until yesterday. The world did not end as a consequence. Just saying..