English translation day 30 - 44

 picassa photo album

Day 30-32

Then it's off to Tamale Mole National Park, only accessible via a 90 km long gravel road that is rutted and where you get a ripple effect which is sometimes called dakdak or washboard piste. It rattles the fillings from your teeth below 70 km/h, but if you're going any faster, you can get caught in one of the sandy ruts and holes, so it's pretty dangerous.
The park itself is modern with a pool and a mishmash of tourists from all over the world. The next morning we arrange a jeep safari through the park and in three hours we spot a reasonable number of animals including 3 species of antelope, a cobra and a few gray monkeys.
Because it was an exceptionally wet season witch supplied the entire area adequately with water, there were no elephants seen for a week, but just before we started to pack, one comes down the plain to the large well, in full view. Unfortunately my little camera's zoom lens is inadequate to capture the elephant.
On the afternoon's drive out of the park, Nicolas has a puncture for the first time and with the help of some policemen who were passing it still takes a couple of hours. All the while I wait in the next village, where I scout a sleeping place at the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, it shouldn't always be a hotel.

Another 300 km south and we arrive in Kumasi, that is busteling with traffic and people and is located in a different climate, a more tropical landscape with hills and very hot and damp.

I also saw something special today, a cloud to be precise, about 30 seconds I rode in the shadow of a cloud, and the last time that happened was weeks ago.
Later that evening it rained for a few hours, warm rain, but still nice after the weeks of dusty and dry sand.

Day 33-34

Along the road we lost Boni yesterday, when we took a left turn, we saw him drive straight on, thinking he would soon realise his mistake and turn back, we waited, but to no avail. Luckily the mobile phone reception is good here and a few days later we meet again.
When we, after visiting the busy market of the town of Kumasi, the three of us had the same dream: sleep in a tent in the bush! A possible route was mapped out and we bought some food.

First part to Dunkwa was asphalt and then we had to try and find the south road into the mountains. That was not simple, and just before dark we drove into the bush and quickly found a safe campsite.
It was certainly a special experience, especially for the deafening sound of the insects and the hour-long light show of lightning in the distance. In the morning a pineapple was found not far from the tent and breakfast was ready.
Because we knew we were not on the right track and it was also quite technical, we first drove back to Dunkwa and rapidly found the right direction, a nice track to Bagoso.
The people in the villages could not believe their eyes when we passed and reacted sometimes rather strange, shouting things like: 'what are you doing/where are you going'. At first sight, the people here in Ghana sometimes are quite aggressive, but once contact has been made they will change their whole attitude. We had no real negative experiences here.
After one day driving through some real jungle we reach the coast of Ghana, and for the first time since Dakar, I see the sea.

Here we take a little time off from the adventure, and we look for a nice place to celebrate the new year.

Day 35-41

Although we found a nice place in the 'Casablanca beach resort', New Year's Eve is a bit disapointing.
We purchased a few bottles of liquor , including a Piper Heidsieck for 7 euros, but when we got to the bar at 9, the restaurant turned out to be closed. So New Year's Eve for us was noodles cooked up in the room and around midnight we watched the fireworks with the night guard.
Now that all sounds a bit worse than it was because I was in good company with Nicholas and Isabel and it was still good fun.

Because the internet connection the owner promised us didn't come through, we went to Cape Coast three days later to spend our last 3 days toghether in Ghana. We visited some castles, and found internet to update the blog.
Our last day together was spent in the nice Kakum National Park with a canopy walk and after that it was time for us to split up and for me to set course to Morocco . By now it's January 6th, but I still have plenty of time to drive home.

Day 42-44

After the departure of Nicholas and Isabel (may they  easily get through dark Africa) I was back at driving my own tempo, ie. full speed until just after noon and then to the hotel bar to have some beers. The first day I got to Techiman about halfway Ghana and the second to  just before the border with Burkina, in Lawra. All that time the road was  perfectly graded , with just one piece of gravel of 40 km up to Lawra. 

After a meal in a 'spot ', a kind of small restaurant for locals, I had tea with a friendly customer, who invited me to his little tyreshop. I also had some money changed in the company of the police, in uniform and with a machine gun. He didn't decline my invitation for a drink . He ordered a Guinness,  drank it in one go, and went back to work, professional guy . From him I learned that a police officer can never work in his own region, but is always moved to another side of the country, to combat corruption.
After a night in a crappy auberge, next morning I was ready to turn towards the border with Burkina. Because of my early departure, I was at the border at 8 o'clock and around 9 I entered Burkina without any problems .

I hoped to find a nice sandy piste up to Bobo, but only very recent, the track was graded, so I got to Bobo very early. On the way I encountered 14 Italians, on very clean big adventure bikes, almost all with their wife on the back, clearly an organised tour.

I am now in Bobo in an Auberge with swimming pool, wifi, air conditioning and all the other luxury that I deserved after a hard days ride.

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