Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ghana - part two: Kokrobite

Here we were in Kokrobite, Accra, Ghana looking once more for an accommodation. I heard about Big Milly's and we targeted this place. The place was fully booked for the weekend, the self-contained room for 65 GHS meant that you have your own WC and shower (SC means much more according to western hotel standards - well this was Ghana style;)). The place looked like party and we left happily.

After a short search we found a place (Asaasi Yaa) and our room had many huge windows which guaranteed a constant gentle breeze inside.  From our room we were able to watch the play of the waves and listen to the thundering sound of the waves - ♪ that's the way we like it - ahaha ♪ ;)

The first fruit boutique was only a short walk away and the rest could be found in the village – still manageable by foot. The surroundings offered enough possibilities to walk our dogs in not-so-shitty places.We had about 30 kilometres to Accra if we wanted to buy stuff in a supermarket or go to the vet (girls needed to get their Rabies boost).
Sunrise at Kokrobite.
Lyra riehuu. Lyra ist am Zerschen.
And Ulpu loves this play as well.
We got some playing support from the locals.
Survivor - he belonged to the hotel and came with us almost every walk.
Marks of raging waves.
Fascinating play of waves.
Fishing boats.
Colorful fishing boat on beach.
Walking at the beach after a storm.
Beach with plenty of trash from the village.
Kokrobite beach at Big Milly's. Very busy, no chance to play here with girls!

Plenty of high level security around.
Wondering what where those little metal spaghetti on the grass - left overs from burning car tyres!
The place would have been perfect, but there was no speedy network coverage and we had many hours without electricity since their generator was broken. This did not work out for us since we needed to search a lot in the internet. Four nights later we moved 200 meters into another hotel (De Holiday Beach Hotel, though not on the beach!) which we thought off earlier it was too expensive for us.
View from Dampa hill. Several unfinished hotels and houses. The red house on the right side at the beach was our first hotel.
Skippy throwing a stick for Lyra. Survivor was with us. The blue two-floor building on the left side was our new hotel.
The new hotel offered a lot of goodies like a swimming pool at the "Obama terrace", bar, restaurant, laundry, Wifi as well as a games room with billiard, darts and a “business center”. After some discussion dogs were allowed for free, the generator worked well and we also had good network coverage and high-speed internet connection with our USB modem. The room was quite spacious, with fan(s) and A/C, fridge, couch and comfortable chairs. In short, it looked like a great place to stay.
Laundry day. We were not able to agree with hotel staff on costs for our laundry.
Skippy's beautiful back after hard labor.
Reality check:
Our room had two fans (only one was working), several lights were broken and the A/C brought some cooler air, however the unit did not manage to cool the room properly. The Wifi was occasionally working and when it worked it had a slow speed. 

On our ninth day we had a flooding in our room as some pipe in the (locked!) kitchen had burst. When I called the reception lady, told her to hurry (her body language was: “oh this bloody white man, what does he now want again!”) since there was water everywhere. She came, opened the room and the kitchen floor was covered with water up to the high doorstep! OK, that was that and the next two hours went with changing the room.

Room flooding.
Each of their rooms had a kitchen and the kitchen of our new room was equipped with no more then a portable electric stove, a microwave oven and a toaster. No dishes, no cutlery and the extra cost for this was 50 GHS! The fridge was moved to inside the bedroom in case the kitchen was not ordered by the customer. Now, during our moving, I asked since we had this trouble, could we get the kitchen space and they can keep the microwave and the stove! There was a huge “no-can-do” attitude in the air and the shy lady from reception asked me if I could move the fridge to the bedroom. I did not do that since I wanted to have the kitchen space. When I moved the next load of our things to the new room some of the “stronger” lady-workers already moved the fridge and locked the kitchen. We kept on mumbling about that and at some point later – we must have been complaining enough – one lady came and opened us the door :)

That was a nice gesture, but did not help much in the end, then no matter how we turn this coin around our hotel sucked. It did so most of the time and mostly in small things, where the hotel staff gave us a real hard time. It felt like “nothing” worked. The hotel water system was leaking somewhere and thus the staff decided to switch off the pump. If we wanted some water we always needed to ask “please put the pump on”.
Magnificent colors of nature.
Colorful lizard enjoying the heat of the sun.
Then there was a two-day period of “low voltage” which meant that heavy motors such as air-conditioning and pumps did not get enough current to start. The voltage went so low that even the fans stopped rotating, the TV went off, our fridge was hotter inside then it was in the room and most of the energy saving bulbs in our room did not go on.

The staff made no visible effort to look after their guests. Nobody asked whether we need a candle or a pocket light. After one of our plenty of complaints we got a bucket of water for washing. Next day, a lady came to ask for the bucket and Skippy asked whether she will fill it and bring it back. The answer was “yes” and yet the bucket vanished and we only got another bucket next day after we complained again for a few times.

The change of towels had been such that we gave our towels to be changed and the worst case was, that several hours later we got new ones and the bathroom floor towel 5 days later (staff explanation: it was not dry yet). We only asked for room cleaning once a week, because we tried to keep the room as clean as our home. The first service went ok after that it was really lousy because the hotel's two vacuum cleaners were broken and thus the ladies could only clean our carpet with a brush! Imagine that – good luck to get the beach sand out of the carpet with a brush! The lights in the shower, corridor and (1 out of 2) in the bedroom were broken and were not fixed within our entire stay (almost 4 weeks).
Suzi got a new drive chain and sprockets (14/47).
Right mirror still needed fixing.
The business center had a printer and two desktop PC's. Both PC's were broken and did not boot up. I was able to get the printer working once before it went to printer heaven. The games room offered an Xbox (without power cable) the other desktops without power cable, the billiard table was bent on two sides which made the play rather hilarious and amusing at the same time, besides the fact that the balls bounced to the tiled floor whenever they made it into a hole. The swimming pool water looked very greenish starting at Mondays before it got cleaned on Thursdays for the weekend.

Then the generator failed in the time of the low-voltage. This lead to a very hot room during the night. Next morning we had to go to the US embassy to apply our visas and girls were alone in the hotel room. The staff must have closed the windows as Hertta was missing Skippy and informing the neighborhood about her misery. The aircon was off, the fans were running on idle speed and thus the room was quite warm. When we came back we got worried about Hertta, because she felt very hot and yes, she had high temperature, however apparently not yet in the critical limit.

I think the fact that so many things did not work in the hotel and yet they demanded full price was something that gave Skippy the rest. I was also not happy about this, however I tried to tell myself “This is Africa and I am here on free will”. Well, it did not work that well and I WAS counting the days to get out of here. I am working on my mental models and try to get me to a level where I basically have no expectations whatsoever and are asked to pay for whatever a high price. That would help me to not get angry and upset and thus lower e.g. my blood-pressure ;)

IMO, the tension started to show also between us in our everyday life. It was not easy to stay “cool” and “behave” when the nerves are surfacing almost every minute...
Drying laundry - Ghana style.
Maybe this is something for folks who work with electricity :D
Ever heard of digital AC? Well this is how it works:
- city electricity cut -> lights off
- 5 minutes later: generator on -> lights on
- 8 hours later: city electricity back -> generator off -> lights off -> lights on
- 2 minutes later: city electricity off -> lights off -> generator on -> lights on
- 10 minutes later: city electricity back -> generator off -> lights off -> lights on
- 5 minutes later: city electricity off -> lights off -> generator on -> lights on
at some point the city electricity went back on for the day -> generator off -> lights off -> lights on
Has God the answers to my problems? Maybe I should have consulted the presiding bishop?

Some of the De Holiday hotel's staff.

Beautiful colors of nature - a delight to watch.
The first 7 kilometers from Kokrobite to Accra equaled a ride to hell and were another test drive for the bike's suspension system. Plenty of potholes and some deeper and bad segments, which were under water for one entire day after a heavy rain shower. A few days later people shuffled sand and stones around in one of those deep spots. When we returned from the city they had blocked the road in order to collect money. Ignorant and stubborn as I am, I found a little hole on one side, gave good throttle and we were through without paying. Plenty of yelling behind us. I could not help myself, I just hated such kind of give-me-your-money situations, potentially I am developing an allergy by now. It might be normal here thus most likely not at all legitimate but who cares about that here anyway?
Kokrobite main-crossing - typically blocked by taxis.
Another church assembly.
Just before my birthday my package from Germany arrived. That was a super speed I must tell and I was very happy! Rudi, nochmals vielen Dank für deine Hilfe und auch für die deiner Eltern!! On top of that I did not have to pay any customs – an extra birthday present. The delivery of the package was Ghana-style. The UPS guy called me and asked when I would come to Accra to get my package. I was kindly asking in return how about delivery to my hotel? In the end we agreed to meet at the toll gate of the main street. After arrival the guy admired my bike, gave me the package and left. No signature, no ID-card required. Well, I did not care since I got what I wanted :)

Skippy decided to start to study and become a "nutrition counselor". Happy girl, she got her study material also with that package.
Skippy on her way to become smarter :)
We went to university campus on our search for a laundry place. Nice green areas with almost no litter.
Skippy got seriously attacked by mosquitoes in our 15 minutes walk there.
Tasting local food at "Time Out" at campus (rice with veggie sauce). That was good!
We found vegan ready food at Shoprite.
We went twice to the Vegetarian Health Food Center for lunch:
Bambara Beans with Kakro and salad (we both liked that one).
Fufu with groundnut soup (I did not like it - very spicy and too starchy).
Banku (corn starch) with Okra Stew (spicy and too much starchy stuff).


We really wanted to go to South Africa and we did a lot of checking with immigration officials in South Africa and Namibia about how to get the dogs into the country. In the end there was no way to avoid a quarantine of 14 days. Whether we would fly direct from Ghana to South Africa or from Ghana to Namibia, always a quarantine would apply. Since in none of the countries we would be allowed to visit our girls we feared for the worst with Hertta. The Vet would anyway make us sign a letter in which they would take no responsibility of the health of dogs during quarantine. We did put the life of our animals at priority number one and as we stated earlier “if a country does not want us, we will not go there” and thus this meant good-bye to Africa!

The question was where to go next: South America? North America? Australia?

We both felt that we wanted to go back to a western civilization. Brazil was out of question due to the upcoming world cup. Australia was on the “wrong” side and would mean high shipping costs. This left us with North America and why not start with the USA. Folks, here we come! We will be riding through the US until next spring (2015) when we want to visit Canada. Everything after that is tentative (as all plans are tentative... ).


And this is how it looks on the map.
Wolfi's new master plan (Red - done that, been there. Yellow - planned air/sea. Black - planned riding. Dotted black - Skippy does not want to go there right now). Skippy's comment: “this is Wolfi's plan, as I look only one country ahead”.
Now we had to get visas for the US. The application process was very cumbersome compared to other visa applications we had so far. First we had to fill in an online form with huge amount of questions and then go to the bank to pay the visa application fee (anybody ever heard of credit cards???). After both things were done we could apply for the interview time (you need both codes in order to get a time slot). Bad timing or what, but we needed to wait for 4 days (weekend was coming) before it was our turn.
We made it through the Monday morning rush-hour and arrived at the embassy's first check-point “do you really have a time slot today”. Second check-point was to remove all dangerous items such as wrist watches, mobile phones etc.! Then there was a registration counter where we got a number and once it was our turn we could continue waiting in the air-conditioned waiting area.

We got to the counter and even though the system approved Skippy's digital photo, the lady did not and thus we needed to get new pictures for Skippy. Done that and returned straight to the counter. After this there was another counter and that was it – some 3 hours later and the applications were filed!
Boy cut us coconuts - those coconuts were really delicious.
Brick factory nearby the hotel.
I got my year-on-earth-counter increased and Skippy wanted to make some delicious birthday cake for me. The first efforts lead to a dead end, because we did not find many of the required ingredients and those which we found had visibly dead bugs in! So she used her magic and made a raw cake with what we had. I liked it – thanks my love (see video)!

I made me a present and we went to see Noah in the cinema nearby. It started Ghana style again as the taxi which I ordered from the guard did not show up. The next shift of guards was already on duty and now he called us again a taxi. The taxi ride to the cinema was equal to a good horror movie and any ghost ride roller coaster could use this experience to create the next generation effects!

The movie started in time and we were - thanks to our desolated taxi driver - 10 minutes late (he missed the first turn, gave us some extra sightseeing and we needed to wait for quite a while to make a U-turn on the highway). After about 25 minutes enjoying the movie in a freezing cold theatre the electricity went off and it was all dark. This was our first movie night in West-Africa and we did not get disappointed! Some minutes later the show continued :D
The theme of the movie fitted to us as this evening took a sad ending. We were almost at the hotel when our taxi driver did not do any attempts of breaking the car when a dog run over the busy and narrow street of the village. We only heard a muffled hit and then a loud howl of the dog. Skippy started to cry, I was all in shock and started yelling at the driver who did not get at all why I was yelling at him. A little bit later I told him to stop the car as we got out to walk the rest to our hotel.
It seemed so schizophrenic to hear the “Hallelujah” chants from the radios, to see nearly every 20 meters a sign of religious assembly and yet people show a lot of greed (we hear typically on every walk “give me your dog” and on every ride “give me your bike”) and no compassion for other creatures around them!!! Noah's struggle came into my mind whether mankind was worth it and should be allowed to continue to destruct this planet.

That accident made me really sad and I became more pissed at myself that I did not react instantly to tell the driver to stop and check on the dog to see whether something can be done. If there will be a next time, which I really hope there will not be, I will try my best to act more responsible in future!
Nice looking flower besides the road.
I started to browse a little bit through the Southern Africa travel guide which was in my “birthday” package and came to realize by reading that Southern Africa appears to be similar to West-Africa when it comes to trash, services, availability of water, electricity, internet etc. So I try to find some more positive aspects in life in order to survive our remaining days in Ghana. Lets start a few “if's” to look at the bright sides ...
  • If we would have traveled first to South America, we might have been in Chile experiencing the earthquake or the great fire and we avoided the milk poisonings in Brazil – well, ok we don't drink milk :D
  • If we would have traveled through Guinea, Sierre Leone we might have become infected with the Ebola virus.
It was always good to remember that we were here on our free will (still did not help that much).

Another positive thing was the non-existence of traffic rules. It made the driving itself very many times fun.

A typical dialogue while waiting at the red traffic lights when a guy approched me.
Guy: I want money.
Me: I want money too.
Guy: Give me money.
Me: Give ME money.
Guy: I need to buy food.
Me: I also need to buy food.
He started to look a bit puzzled, the lights went to green and off I went :)

The hotel issues were in fact not our biggest worries. Hertta stayed hot and we measured her temperature - it was over 40C which meant she had fever and it did not come down. She also stopped drinking and eating, and started to have troubles with walking and standing.

The manager informed us two days before Easter, that the hotel management increased the room rates some days ago. The new room rate was 110 GHS instead of 85 GHS - that was an increase of 29%! The reason were the high water and electricity costs (of course, nothing to do with the fact that things did not work i.e. constant water leakage and the large amount of lousy staff. I would have loved to offer my business coaching services here!). When we checked in we agreed on a rate of 85 GHS for our stay, informed that we will stay 4 weeks (+/-) and paid always one week ahead.

The shy receptionist told me blank to my face that the room rates have not increased! They are still 36 USD, it is only the exchange rate which has changed! WTF - HELLOOOOOO -  anybody at home??? During the negotiations I could not hold myself anymore back and had to give my negative feelings some air, so I went outside the reception and made my loudest ur-yell I could do (it was that loud that other workers came to look what happened). It really helped (try it out yourself!). My old boss and several work colleagues remember for sure :)

When we went to the vet that day, he diagnosed Hertta with tick bite fever (similar to Malaria for humans with death most certain). Hertta got 1000ml of IV sugar/salt liquid as well as three shots, and antibiotics for 14 days. Her temperature was back to normal in the evening. We were relieved and Hertta started to wave her tail again. MEGA SMILE :)

We did two rounds of negotiations with the manager and 100 GHS was the hotel's last offer which we kindly refused and informed that we will leave the next day. Next morning at 6:30, the night guard was still on duty and I paid him for our last three nights - 85 GHS per night, we left the hotel as we had to go to the vet again to check on Hertta. We used the coolness of the early morning and the low traffic to ride to Accra before we came back to Weija to settle in our third hotel in Accra area.
Full moon in Ghana.
Enjoy two more travelogues made by Skippy - number 14 and number 15.

Links related to the travelogues:
The Surprising Health Benefits Of Going Barefoot
Why walking barefoot is good for your health
Learn the skill of barefoot movement 
FREE web application for tracking your nutrition and health data

~ Wolfi

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ghana - part one

Entering Ghana was another easy border-crossings or maybe I got used to the procedures already? For the first time we were asked to show our yellow-fever cards to a nurse at the health check. A “friendly” helper approached and showed me which building to go next (well that was clear even without him). Anyway he advised to go straight to the big boss. He pointed at the person and stayed suddenly clearly back like he would be in the room with me by accident. Big boss is always a good advise, so I went to the boss and the boss started to fill out the carnets. When I told him that we also have dogs he instantly asked whether I import a gun. WTF? Well it took me a moment to think and realize that other people might have come here with guns and hunting dogs.

Suddenly my new friend appeared again and he was so eager to call the Vet! Yes, for the first time on our travels a Vet was called to see the dogs and read their papers. Ok – West African style. I took out one dog at the time from the sidecar and presented her to the Vet. He looked at each girl with a respectful distance of about 1 meter, nodded and was obviously happy to see our dogs. After that we went inside his office on the opposite side of the street from the customs building and he looked at the three passports. Some minutes later he said “thank you” and I could go on with the customs issues. I think he was a muslim due to the praying carpet on the floor. I really would like to know what went through his head that moment. Customs was done, carnets stamped and my friend was hoping that I change some money – sorry my friend, I had already done that and I started my bike.

We stayed in the first bigger village after the border-crossing. We found a nice looking and cheap lodge – only 20 GHS (about 6 EUR). It was quite comfortable and lucky us the electricity came back when it got dark. Water was from the big barrel in the room and drinking water from another dwell some 50m away from the hotel. The owner was nice and we had a small talk until he asked that we give him one dog. “F*** OFF GUY” I thought! There were at least 3 stray dogs around the house. Take on of them and provide that dog with love and care. After that I simply ignored him and his blablabla...
A typical boutique - just like that - in the village.
It was Saturday we were in Tamale and the clock showed it was 1300. We rode only about 200km but we were ready to escape from the heat. We headed towards a lodge with free Wifi which advertisement signs we had seen at the main street. The room had air-conditioning and costed already 20 EUR, but seemed like a fair price for one night to cool down. Once more when we asked about the dogs, they said no problem, they can sleep inside the yard. We answered “No, they come with us inside the room”. He was not very pleased but accepted us anyway. When I took girls out for their evening business, he sat there and here are the highlights of our following dialogue:

Manager: Now you take them out for shit?
  Me: Yes.
Manager: And now they will not poo or pee in the room until morning.
  Me: No, they won't.
Manager: Aaaaahhh ... and they have eaten?
  Me: Yes, they have.

Discussion went on about Ulpu's age and where is her mother and so on, then I had enough and said friendly goodnight. I could not say for sure, but it appeared that none of the locals had their dogs inside the house and the plain idea of letting dogs inside sounded like an alien idea. They also seemed to be astonished that we took our dogs for a walk several times a day.   This is of course also the case in many homes in Europe, dogs are only kept outside, never inside and kept as guardian dogs. Even then dog owners walk their dogs at least once in a while.

The road to Kintampo was boring as the days before and with the usual potholes. I noticed that up to now, we had trouble to find “what-I-call-nice” streets. The majority of the roads we rode in Africa so far were either major roads (red in “Reise-know-how” map) with the corresponding traffic in sometimes good and sometimes bad conditions or the roads are more like trials (white or dashed grey) and by far not enjoyable for us at all. Those trial roads are maybe fun with a lightweight solo bike (like the Chinese Super-K or so) but not for my rather heavy sidecar and Skippy with her Suzi. The “golden middle” has been missing (yellow roads) most of the time.

We stayed two nights in St. Michael's hotel. It was a sweet set-up of rooms, our room had air-conditioning and things were working most of the time. Since I had enough of those internet problems, I finally bought me a USB modem. Yeah – internet, here we come back :D
What an enjoyment to browse internet when I want and with speed!
Parking in front of the room.
Chicken everywhere!
The place also had its own plantain tree...
as well as cocoa tree.
Where there are chicken there are roosters.
A typical truck with a lot of pollution. The downside of using very old vehicles and no inspections.

Please charge my battery too :)
Shopping street with boutiques for oils and car parts,
and grills.
 Between Kintampo and Kumasi was the Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary. I felt like seeing some monkeys and we decided to visit this place on our way to Kumasi. The road towards the sanctuary was rather ok (white road) with one really bad spot. I made it, Skippy fell. The mirror came off from the gas-handle (not where it should come off!), the helmet-camera holder was breaking the plastic cover on its fixing point and such. Skippy was pissed because it was my fault since I wanted to go to the sanctuary – I rest my case.

The sanctuary was ok-ish. First they were very keen on getting our money. The guided tour takes 45+ minutes and takes you through some very nice pieces of forest and most likely the village. The guide picked me up from the registration office and he told me the story as we walked along. They had two kinds of monkeys there. They were both very cute and the one kind was coming closer to us whereas the other stayed away in the trees. We were lucky to see the latter one at all as it might be that they hide very well from the tourists. The guide dragged me to a souvenir shop in the village – sorry no souvenirs for me. It was nice to see those little fellows bouncing around without cages around them. According to the story, the monkeys come every day in the morning and evening to the village to feast and you better hide your food or it will be gone ;)

Cute little monkey - not shy at all.
White man in the forest.
Amazing ficus - it surrounds the host tree until...
the host tree is dead, and once it rotted away it looks like this.
Those were the shy monkeys with a super-long tail.
After the sanctuary we rode to the northern suburbs of Kumasi and found a decent hotel. On the next day Kumasi city became a ride of hell. My GPS guided me straight through the central city and whether it was a special or a normal market day, the traffic in this street did not move anywhere. It took us almost two hours to move a few hundreds meters forward. It was +38C in shade my bike was running hot and so did Skippy's. The Suzi has developed this feature that when the engine runs hot it stalls due to low battery. For some unknown-to-me reason the Lithium battery in the Suzi does not like heat and seems to loose its capacity. Or the generator does not charge enough when riding stop-and-go traffic compared to the consumption of the bike with lights on, fan running etc.

In the middle of this crowd and surrounded by dozens of nosy people, we jumpstarted Skippy's bike and were able to move 10 meters. Finally one of the major trouble spots was passed and then I saw in the mirror that Skippy's bike was off again. I left the sidecar where it was now in addition to the peoples cars surrounded the bike honking wildly. On my way to Skippy three policemen showed up and told me I could not park my bike there. I told them that I did not park there, but stop in order to help my wife.

I just left them thinking about whatever they wanted to think about and walked away (I really could not care less at that moment). Now the stalling bikes, the heat and ALL those people around us staring, talking, yelling “hey white man”, poking, leaning and annoying Hertta. I do not like Zoo-life and especially when I am “inside the cage”. My nerves started to surface as my stress tolerance level reached its critical point. We pushed Skippy's bike forward and needed to let my bike a bit down the hill so we could jumpstart Skippy's bike again.

Some 20 meters later, finally I saw an opportunity to make a U-turn over the lane divider. We did that and got the hell out of there!
Zoo time again ...
We arrived at Lake Bosumtwi– the only natural lake in Ghana, which was formed by a meteor some millions of years ago. We almost found paradise when we settled at the Lake Point Guest house for a decent price of 15 EUR/night. Plenty of green grass as well as mango, palm and other trees providing plenty of shade. The room was big, clean and had own WC and shower. The only negative issue was that the tap water was feeling slimy and instead of a fresh feeling after shower, we both got a slimy and sticky feeling. Drinking water was not available in near distance and the lake water was really hot and looked rather dirty. Yet, we all enjoyed our short stay there and girls could play a little bit before the heat calmed them down :)
Parking at the reception.
Beautiful garden
Skippy is thinking, searching and not happy at all.
Ant in a flower.
If that water would have been drinkable (when we left I saw that there was a pump for water where the gravel roads starts – tough luck), I guess we would have stayed for longer at that place. Lately we started to wake up at 6 o'clock in the morning and be on the road latest by 8. At least the first two hours provided some kind of only-warm air instead of the hot-air fan blowing into our faces after midday. It was a longer riding day and we made it all the way to Accra. We headed towards Kokrobite and started our search for an accommodation.

Water, electricity and petrol.
Ever since we set foot onto African soil we realized that supply on water and electricity was often interrupted. Ghana had been the worst of all the countries we had been so far. Electricity cut-offs of up to 12 hours, day after a day were normal. Typically water was pumped from the supply tanks into our room and the electricity cut also meant no water. If there came water from the city, this service also had heavy interruptions. Then we heard people complaining about significant price increases in order to build up service quality.

Electricity and water tariffs went up 79 and 52 percent by Oct 1st 2013 (source at VibeGhana.com). Now that is heavy for people and businesses!

I asked myself why am I complaining so much about that, where I claim I feel like being a Finn? I remembered some summer-cottage 4 weeks holiday period where there was no running water and no electricity at all. We had lake water in buckets to wash and needed to carry drinking water from the mainland. Well it's quite ok for some time and it's even fun to escape the modern world. It's just not fun to be in a hotel that isn't prepared with bucket water! So when there is no electricity there is also no water at all! You have to remember yourself to fill all possible water bottles in case of emergency. Maintaining girls' cleanlinesses is also much more difficult.

Getting things like flights, shipping, visa and dog papers organized in the modern world without the tools of a modern world is on the other hand cumbersome and not fun anymore!

The filling stations indicated whatever prices from 1.79 to 2.55 GHS and wherever we went the price was the same 2.55GHS (0.72EUR/l). When riding this post, the price has risen again now to 2.73GHS and the signs are still the same. I guess the filling station owners gave up to maintain a correct price level at the street sign as the prices seems to go up so frequently.

I also saw many people in Ghana cooking on wooden-coal stoves (see picture above). We need a stove mostly to make food for girls since we eat mostly fruits and salads. For our next cooker we will try this one BioLite campstove and then we avoid the trouble of gas or petrol!

Enjoy another travelogue “Made by Skippy” :)

~ Wolfi