May 8 – May 14
By the time we reached Ghana, we had decided that we would be selling the Cruiser sooner rather than later. It had been a good nearly five-month run, but not always an easy one; with increasingly violent Nigeria and the West African rainy season approaching, with different desires, agendas, and traveling styles among us, and with plenty of time in the Cruiser already logged, we decided that we would soon sell the vehicle. Meanwhile, I had been using a backpack and not a duffel bag because I figured at some point my African adventure would turn into a backpacking trip.
And now the time had come to strike out on my own, as I’ve done so many times before. After Accra, I took a week at a somewhat legendary beach hostel in Kokobrite Beach called Big Millie’s Backyard, just a few kilometers away – yet a world apart – from Ghana’s capital. There, I met lots of great people, locals and travelers – an Australian named Roger and two Ghanians, Belinda and Michael in particular who helped make the time at Big Millie’s special.
Roger had been all through Southern and Eastern Africa, for much of the time on an organized overland tour – one of those giant buses. He made a compelling case that such is a fun, efficient, and cost effective way to see those regions, and though ultimately that type of trip just isn’t my style, I enjoyed hearing his stories and remember some of his favorite spots. I also spent considerable time on the internet, intensively trying to figure out where I’d go. I think I’ve got some ideas.
After Big Millie’s, I rejoined the squad in Accra; we then headed towards Togo, stopping in Eastern Ghana, highlighted by a great night camping on the beach at Keta. During this time, I started to reflect on the bigger picture: Overlanding in West Africa has been an unforgettable adventure, allowing us to get constantly off the beaten track because essentially the entire region is off the beaten track. It’s an opportunity few have the chance to experience. Yet the way we have been traveling lately – and to an extent on the whole for the last five months – has not been as conducive as I’d like to establishing the kind of relationships that come from solo travel.
The Cruiser is a barrier in many ways. I hope to change this in the second half of the trip, while continuing to make the African experience as epic as possible. After spending much of the last 15 years on the road, I think this may be my last big trip, or is it??? 🙂 Anyway, I’m throwing a lot at it.