Western Region Road Trip Part 1

     This is your classic road trip. Three dudes in a car. Two Fulbrighters and one local Ghanaian IT guy on a journey to the Western Region of Ghana. Our ultimate destination is the stilt village Nzulezu near Beyin close to the border with Ivory Coast. Of course a road trip is about the journey as much as the destination. Our trip started like any other trip in Ghana. We hit traffic heading out of Accra and it took us 2hrs just to get out of the city limits. It shouldn't have been a surprise, but we thought leaving by 7am would be early enough but not so.


From left are Alex Ocampo, Wisdom Paa Kwesi Brew and me Sung Park.

     You see some interesting things in traffic. The tro-tros are always entertaining to see with all of the religious and personal ornamentation and sayings. I think Ghana is the only place where you'll see a stickers of Jesus, Whoopi Goldberg, a local TV station and Marijuana on the same car. It made for some interesting conversation on what the owner of the vehicle might have been thinking. The hawkers who sell everything from food to toys on their heads always come in handy on road trips when you start to get a bit hungry. We got the hard boiled eggs with pepper sauce. Very tasty.

     Our journey, once we got out of Accra, took us by Cape Coast and Elmina where we stopped for a nice bowl of Fufu before venturing on to Takoradi, the capitol of the Western Region. From Takoradi, we too a right turn at the airport which took us to the road to Busua, a small village on the coast with several resorts, hotels and guest houses. Lots of Obruni hangin' out in the area when we drove into town. There are even a couple of places where you can get surfing lessons.  

    We took a look around and opted for two nights stay at the African Rainbow Hotel right next to the beach. It's a cool little village with several options for lodging. You can stay in a hostel type place really cheap or stay at the Busua Beach Resort for what you would pay in the states for a comparable resort. We picked something in the middle.

     After checking in we took a quick dip in the ocean right across the street from our hotel. The water was nice as well as the beer. It was a very pleasant way to slow down the pace after the long drive from Accra.

     It was time to find some food so we got cleaned up and ventured into the darkness to see what the locals had to offer. We explored a good variety. Alex and Wisdom opted for the Fufu with light soup and tuna prepared by a local in front of her house. It was lit by a very dim light bulb which was more light than most people had along the main drag. There was no real place to sit since she was selling the food just off the main street. Most people take the food home and then return the bowl after they're done or eat right there on the spot. She offered us a bench in just outside her front door where we ate by light of our iPhones.

     Fufu was a great choice. I had a taste myself and at the end of the evening wish I had eaten a bowl myself. I opted for the avocado salad and grilled lobster at Busua Inn. It was significantly more than the fufu but it was also very satisfying to get fresh seafood and avocado on the beach. There was a lot going on in this small coastal village. We came across a great little stand that sold kelewele, which is fried plantain with spices. It's one of my favorites snacks that's also a favorite to a lot of Ghanaian kids.

     After dinner we caught the last few moments of the soccer game between Libya and Ghana in the African Nations Championship game. Ghana ended up losing in end when it came down to penalty kicks. Most of the boys in the town were huddled together in front of every available TV in the neighborhood to watch the game. We caught a bit of the game outside a bar called "Swingers Spot" but later ended up looking in the window of someone's house along with a handful of other Ghanaians. It was unfortunate that Ghana lost to Libya but we felt like we were part of the collective as we join half the town in the collective groan when they lost the match. It felt good to be a part of that.

     From there we strolled backed to our hotel rooftop bar for a drink or two. We had to check out the bar because when we checked in to the hotel our porter, who was also the bartender, promised us that it was going to get "crazy" tonight at the bar. It was a pretty good crowd with a good mix of Germans, Canadians and Americans. Nothing too "crazy." We needed some rest for our adventure in days ahead so we didn't stay out too late. I went to bed fairly early but Alex and Wisdom stuck it out long enough to meet the guy from "Tan-zany-ah." I wasn't there, but apparently he introduced himself as being from "Tan-Zany-ah."  They didn't spend much time with him but were curious to know what happened later that evening. We were all hoping that he was going to be there the second night we were there but we weren't so lucky. We just might have missed our only opportunity for a "crazy" evening at the rooftop bar at the African Rainbow Hotel. We'll never know.

     Regardless of that, I was happy to get some rest after our first day. The next day we made a journey to Cape Three Points to a functioning lighthouse on the rocky shore and then a visit to the Eco-Lodge. Stay tuned......