The trip so far has been amazing starting with the hour and a half wait in New York. It seems that one of the deportees who had boarded the plane before the rest of us had gotten combative, and security had to be called to remove him from the plane. The remaining deportees were then guarded by security.
I am finding that this trip is a bit different than the last two in 2011 and 2012. Ghana is far more familiar. I know it so well now. It is not that being here is commonplace, but it is that I recognize far more as day to day life in Ghana. I see the women carrying boxes, enamel bowls or fruit for sale on their heads. They stand at red lights or tolls selling their wares. I just shake my head, and they move on. The scurrying goats on the roadside are part of the ride. My sweaty hair is as usual for the humidity and heat. Last I night I did relish the kelewele before dinner and gave thanks to the chef. Tonight he is making Indian food.
We arrived in Accra on Wednesday and were met at Kotoka Airport. Accra is huge now, and we didn’t drive by any place familiar on our way to the Triple Crown Lodge where I stayed before. It is on a dirt road so the noise of Accra is elsewhere. We went shopping at Global Mamas, a fair trade shop. I bought just because gifts for my friends (just because I went somewhere gifts) and some Christmas presents. We had Lebanese food for dinner. On Thursday we also did some shopping then had Turkish food for a late lunch/early dinner. Friday we got to the airport for our flight to Tamale.
We boarded the bus to the plane, sat for a while then went back to the hanger, got off the bus then back on and then we went back to the plane, and we finally boarded. It seems there was weather in Tamale. The landing is by sight, not instruments, we had to wait until it was all clear. That will change as international flights will soon land there. They are building a long runway to accommodate the large planes. The driver f on Zania Lodge was there so off we went. It was rained which continued for almost the entire nearly three hour trip (no Minnow though).
The lodge is extraordinary. It is built of many natural wood pieces and is decorated with Ghanaian handicrafts. The rooms are in chalets which look like safari tents. The walls are covered in cloth as is the ceiling. The shower is huge but hot water is at a premium. There is a cold chest of drinks. Local soaps and local lotions ar stored in small calabashes. We are currently the only guests. The back of the lodge overlooks a watering hole but no animals there yet as water is plentiful. W e went on our first safari yesterday and saw monkeys, Kob deer and, get ready for this, three bull elephants. Lunch and dinner were beyond delicious. The chef is Indian. I told him how much I like Indian food so it will be dinner tonight.
This morning we left for another safari at 6:30. We saw water and Kob deer, monkeys, a warthog and three more elephants. The driver turned the car so the back end was facing the elephants in case they charget and we needed a quick getaway. We stopped for a light repast packed be the chef. We had coffee, French press real, with real milk and also an egg, tomato and lettuce sandwich to tide us over until breakfast. The safari was for three hours. We got back to the lodge to find the elephants were there, four of them. Guides kept move by us back when the elephants moved.
We watched for a long time. It was amazing standing there watching those amazing animals eat. We finally went inside for breakfast. We told the chef no lunch though he insisted on making salads. Nope!
I took a nap after which seemed like a whole day, but it was only after 11. At 3 we are taking a tour of the area as it has a famous mosque among other sites.
Before dinner we sit at the bar and enjoy a couple of drinks. I am very much looking forward to the ride and to dinner.
This place is amazing. The builders and owners include a former Peace Corps volunteer who was posted near mmany yea s after us. Here is just so
lovely and so quiet. The staff is attentive and fills needs we didn’t know we had. Everything is inclusive. It is a treat we are giving ourselves.
Tomorrow we head to Bolga, and I’ll try to write again.