PawelK    Podróże    Across Africa by all means. Mainly cycling....    ¨Paris of West Africa¨
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¨Paris of West Africa¨

Togo, Lome
Przejechano 12932 km

The Paris of West Africa??? Well probably a long time ago and not without white people. Black people made it into just another big market. Like all of the other African cities I have seen.
But lets start from the beginning.

For the last four consecutive days I have been cycling into monsoonal winds blowing down on my from the south. I approached Lome with only one thought in my mind... to have a beer on the beach under the shade of an umbrella or something of that kind. I was also looking forward to enjoying the sight of beautiful African girls and getting out and chatting and dancing in one of the local night clubs.
As usually, in Africa nothing is as you would hope it to be!!

So, I was getting closer and closer to Lome, the traffic was getting heavier and heavier as each kilometer passed. Markets, traffic jams and all the normal ruckus!!!
As it was quite early in the day I decided to head straight to the beach and from over there get in contact with my CS host to sort out a meeting place.
Before I got to the beach I had to pass stinky sewage ponds, a lot of garbage, and the main market with everybody going in every direction through the small streets. Finally when I got to the waterfront it was a big disapointment.
To my surprise I found a highway running along the beach and nothing beyond that. No pubs, no restaurants, nothing. Just sand and a old Germans pear.
Far out!!!!!! A big city centre, the capital, with about 2-3 million people. People who I assume would like to sit and drink a beer at the beach!!!! I couldn't believe it!!!! Nothing on the beach??!!!! The nice cooling wind was blowing straight from the sea and there was no place to sit and enjoy it!! I cycled up and down the road and found nothing!!!!!!!
Finally I sat in the shade of a palm and just drank an orange juice. Damn!!!!!!!

Oh well, it is just Africa!! After contacting with my CS host I got all the details of her place and started searching for it.
It was another hour after I met Estelle, a fairly relaxed girl trying to make her living and study in Africa if possible.
I stayed with her and her sister for about 4 days in their one room flat. A bit hot, a bit crouded, full african style. "This is Africa" some might say.
After enjoing a bit of a dance in the nightclub on Saturday, I had a lazy Sunday with a short visit to the beach with my host. Again, it was nothing like I was hoping it to be.
As soon as Monday arrived I came back to reality, meaning getting some money from my travellers cheques which was finally possible in this city, and trying to get a Ghanian visa.
The visa thing appeared to be a bit more complicated than expected as the Ghanian regulations changed on January 1st this year. Only residents of Togo can apply in Lome but I had a short chat with one really nice worker at the embassy and it turned out that if there is some kind of reason that didn't allow you to apply in your home country they will give one to you.
So, on the third visit to the Ghanian embassy I got the visa without too much hassle, and it wasn't as expensive (40 USD) as in west Africa.
Close to the place I was staying was a big market with secondhand things brought in from Europe. I was lucky and found a "Karimorr" Camelback, so I now have a a new toy!!
I was nearly ready to leave for Ghana but I still had one thing to do in Togo, to find some decent coffee. I had read in a guide book that they have coffee plantations here. As I like it very much and haven't had a good one since Abuja (thanks to my german friend) I decided to find some local coffee while I could. In the meantime the weather changed a bit, and it started to rain constantly. It felt a little like Lome was crying as I slowly cycled out of town. With rain drops falling from the sky and mud flinging out from my tyres straight onto my face. I started cycling back north again.
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Komentarze (1)
mirka66 - 2011-11-22 19:56
Pawel Kilen
zwiedził 21% świata (42 państwa)
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