Hey shugars, howdy? I think this month is a fast one. It’s day 10 already!
I will be continuing from where I stopped in the last post, about my trip.
Years ago, There used to be this song which was often played on the local stations ( NTA and RSTV Port harcourt ), Landlord travel and See by Stonecold. The back story was about a landlord who always disturbed /frustrsted his tenant and said tenant telling the landlord to travel and see how things are outside his environment.
My trip was a Travel and See moment.
On the move
The journey started with setting off to Lagos from Port harcourt ( thete are no direct Accra flights from Ph). I did a road trip to Lagos using God is good (GiG) motors.
I got to GiG park a few mins to 6am and met a mammoth crowd. Nna I shock! Meanwhile, nearby transport company GUO was empty and their marketers out hustling passengers. I survived the crowd and got tickets for the 3rd bus, and a window seat. 😆
We left around past 8am (bus was originally scheduled for 7.30am) and arrived lagos 6pmish. I was staying at a friend’s place which is along Lekki – epe road. She had given me the heads up, that it is a long way from the airport so we would be waking up at 4am, so we can leave the house at 5am and make the airport on time. My Flight was for 9am.
An aside: Dear lagosians, I greet oh. Waking up by 4am!!
I’m not a fan of lagos, sincerely the city scares me. The hustle and bustle of that city is real mehn.
Anyway, so despite gisting till around midnight, by 5am we were on the road. And the road was alive!! with some so many people, I was just amazed mehn.
I got to the airport , checked in. By 8:30am we had started boarding, by 9am we were airborne. The AWA carrier was a pretty small one. There was some light refreshments on board. Flight was said to be 1hr , but by 45 mins we were landing at Kokota International Airport Accra (9am GH time- there’s a one hour time difference)
I texted my host and she booked an Uber which arrived shortly and took me to her place.
For the return trip, the flight was delayed for an hour. No reason was given, we just kept waiting. When we finally boarded, the captain apologized and explained they lost an hour in the morning due to some technical problems and it affected all their flights for the day hence the delay. Aside that, the AWA experience wasn’t bad.
She booked an uber to pick me from the airport. She wasn’t home when I arrived but had sent details of where to pickup the key, had a local breakfast –Waakye– waiting for me, and promised to be back later in the day so we could hang out.
Her place was a one bedroom room apartment. Super comfortable.
I spent my days in Accra with her. I later went to Takoradi for a few days to visit my friend Mavis and her family, and came back to Barbara’s for a day, before leaving.
This was my first time Couchsurfing and I’m glad it was a lovely experience. I was initially nervous about staying with a complete stranger but that all eased up once I met my host. After settling in I sent the address to my loved ones so whereabouts is known.
Travel and See moments.
■ Years ago, I used to hear stories of how Nigerians go to Ghana and ball, cos when they change their naira they get millions in cedis. I know our naira isn’t smiling at all now but still didn’t expect the rude exchange shock I got. Especially the airport rates. Those people are rogues. Thankfully I didn’t change much there. Just changed some to pay cabs and get airtime.
Changed later at the Accra mall and in makola market. Rates are better at the land borders.
Generally I just felt myself muttering “Ghana is expensive jooor” a lot.
1 cedi = 85-100 Naira [Depending on where you change]
■ I was amazed at the availability of electric power 24/7. I didn’t understand it. It felt foreign mehn. I wanted to pack some electricity in my bag to come back with!! The only day the power was cut during my stay was a day it rained very heavily ,and the power outage was for just 20mins and it was restored. I didn’t hear the sound of any generator. I was envious oh, seriously. I started thinking of how life would be if we had such constant electricity. The effect it would have on business, economy, health , life etc.
It was almost the same thing in Takoradi. There was power outage when I arrived but it was restored and was available throughout my stay.
■ Another interesting thing was the relative security in GH. That stood out for me maybe because I live in a city with high insecurity.
Barbara’s compound had no space for parking cars but had a very spacious lot just in front of the gate. The lot is just right on the road. So their cars are parked just out there. Heeeee! If I try that where I live, by morning it’s either I won’t find my battery or the `whole` car itself. Something would have been moved!
In Taadi, it was same. My friends second car was always parked outside the compound cos the parking slots inside the compound were full. And there was no stories by morning.
I’m not saying it’s 100% safe (Barbara had told me some experiences ), but these relative security I experienced meant a lot to me.
■ Sometimes I had to remind myself I wasn’t in Nigeria. This was because I constantly kept hearing Nigerian songs. Constantly.
One day we went to hangout in Osu, there was karaoke going on and I was just amused listening to people sing some Nigerians songs.
One song was national anthem[ Mad over you – Runtown] I heard it daily!
■ What’s travel without food!!
I came ready (like those before me, I’m sure) to settle the GH – NG jollof war. Lol. I’m not even a real jollof rice fan sef. Did I succeed?
My first exposure to local cuisine was my arrival breakfast Waakye.. it’s a beans and rice combo, with fried plantain,spaghetti, boiled eggs and fried fish. It’s a full meal.
>>I came to realize fried fish is very common part of the average local meal. Stew too. And shito!! [ shito is pepper fried with little oil and spices]. I love love shito, especially the green one.
I also had Kenkey , which is a cornmeal eaten with pepper sauce, stew,fried fish and other protiens – shrimps,gizzard, octopus.
Other dishes I had were Banku and Okra soup. Banku is a corn and cassava dough.
Fufu and palm nut soup. Their Fufu is cassava and plantain dough (unlike the Nigerian version which is just cassava)
Rice with Palaver sauce. Key ingredients of the sauce included cocoyam leaves and egusi. Was initially worried I wouldn’t enjoy it ,but ended up loving it.
Also had some fried cassava snack, eaten with coconut (cant remember the name), and rockies (kinda like buns).
I nearly left Ghana without trying their jollof rice! Finally had it a day before leaving. My verdict?? GH jollof rice was lovely( maybe cos Barbara made sure to get from somewhere she says makes the best jollof). Buttttt NG jollof is still bae! GH jollof lacked that smoky ,spicy taste..also felt dry(I guess the dryness was cos of the thin grained perfumed rice commonly used). I enjoyed the GH Jollof I had. PS : I’m not a Jollof rice Nazi
■ I loved their road networks and how traffic lights worked at almost every corner! Very sane drivers. I remember asking Barbara if Ghanaian drivers use their horns. Because I didn’t hear incessant honking. For someone to horn, I guess it’s really needed.
Sincerely wanted to wrap this all up in this post , but it’s gerrin too long. Will wrap up places I visited / things to do in Accra / lessons learned in the next post.
Have you been to Ghana.. what was your experience like? What were your travel and See moments? Would you like to go again? Do share.
Till next post ,
Bubbles of love 💕❤💕❤