Cycling Around Africa-Ghana, the first day after Yamma left

I stayed in Tema(20kms from the capital Accra)for almost one week,I should have left earlier, but each time i got unexpected things coming the night before i leave,

like i bumped into some church person so i decided to go to church the next day ;like my phone got stolen so i had to stay for catching the thief even it was in vain in the end; like my bike needed to be fixed after i got hit by the motorcycle , like i found out i had to get the Benin visa in Ghana.

I have been told that i could get Benin visa at the border until last night some friends from Benin brought the news that the visa is not issued at the border, and its only issued on Thursday in Togo. So I rushed to the embassy this morning, got my Benin visa in a few minutes (It was supposed to take 3 hours, but i told the visa officer that i am travelling on bike and i really cant wait to go to his country, it is heard to be a very lovely country, he smiled and issued my visa right away ), so I headed out in the noon.

N 1 highway is the only way to get to Togo, well, i don’t think its qualified to be called “highway”, other than the driving speed. The road is pretty narrow, only single way even, the shoulder is not well built, some parts are fine, but some parts are covered with glass, scrapped tires ,wires ,or holes. I tried to get on the main road but it was too risky, the cars didn’t really respect your existence and they were all in a hurry!

I was not surprised at all when I found out that I got a flat tire, my “tank “tire. Three holes , three iron wires. It was 4:30 pm and I was actually anxious since I’m trying to get to Lome tomorrow, It is 170 kms from the place I left this noon, since I had a late start so I could roughly do 70-80 today . It took me 25 minutes to fix it and i kept going.

I found a gas station to camp, the manager is pretty nice, he said i can either camp on the second floor or the first floor. Second floor is supposed to fit for hotel room but its not yet finished decorating so nobody lives up there.

It is the same like last time i and Yamma camped, but we had to carry all of our stuff and bikes up there. So i chose to camp on the ground floor, it is pretty spacious just in front of a car washing place, some workers were still working on the car and motorcycle, it should be quiet when the dusk comes down. Yamma would choose the second floor if she were here, she always picked the quiet one.ch

Gas station always offers the decent shower, and the water just temperatured.I sat on the mat Yamma gave me and started to read. She would open the container and put the ramen and cold water in and then take the shower if she were here. Oh, Yamma, I just couldn’t stop thinking of her, what is she doing at the another side of the earth ?She probably has lit a big fire in the coal stove, having macaroni and cheese, and a glass of wine; She probably is volunteering in the food bank or hospital;she is probably reading a book or napping while reading ; she is probably thinking about me as well ” where is Cici camping tonight ? Did she have pineapple ? Is she eating Fufu ?”

Yes, Yamma ,let me tell you how I spent my day.
I had to set the alarm clock in the morning, i couldn’t get up at 6 without you waking me up ; I was in a rush packing stuff in the morning since I had to set cycling goal for the day;I only had one short break during the day since there was no one should i wait for ;I couldn’t find Fufu at lunch so I had a pineapple instead, i remember that I used to always tell the pineapple guy “I want the biggest one” when you were here, sometimes I even had to go to market to hunt for the big one , but now I have to tell them ” please give me the smallest one”; I saw a guy selling the bush rat by the highway, I was still scared of it and avoided looking at it, but a question popped up in my mind later on” would I eat it again if I am offered ?”, I dared not to think ; I don’t have to look for cold drinks for someone anymore but I still filled up my bottle with cold water, oh ,and i gotta tell you this:

I had three bags of water but it tasted weird, I thought it was just the smell from the bag so I poured 2 of them into the water bottle, but the bad smell got stronger and tasted worse, it was like the heavy metal, I know I don’t have a sensitive nose like yours but this time the strong smelling really annoyed me and I am pretty sure it’s contaminated.

So I took the last one bag of water , handed to the sales guy “The water tastes really bad, you shouldn’t sell it”, not waiting until the guy responds, a lady who was buying fruits next to it yelled” This is Ghana“,and she repeated again ” This is Ghana, the water is like this”.I was totally shocked by what she said, she must think I’m a picky, finicky foreigner who is new here and pointing fingers .

“I know this is Ghana, I drink Ghana water ,eat Ghana rice everyday, and this is NOT what Ghana water should taste like. This is just bad water, not what you called ” Ghana water””.
She obviously felt ashamed about what she said and mumbled ” Hmm, maybe you can get different water at the shop”.
I didn’t get another water but just thought, why is she thinking of Ghana in this way and why did she put the tag “this is Ghana ?”
Its nothing about ” made in Ghana “but about the way she thinks what we think. We shouldn’t belittle ourselves.

And, now, Yamma, I’m having Fufu with goat meat for breakfast .

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