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Holiday in Ghana December '00

See also the Ghana photo album.

8 Dec 00 Flying from Brussels via London to Accra
distance   asphalt  cycling time   average speed   time 
hotel Crown Prince Hotel  price  33.750 cedis climbing
At the airport in Accra we are harassed by many luggage boys. They are upset if we won't use their service. A good start of our holiday. We hope we can handle this the rest of our holiday. After some bargaining, we share a cab with a guy (from Ghana) we have met in the airplane. Of course we are still cheated. We pay the cab and the guy pays nothing. 
9 Dec 00 Rest day in Accra
distance  asphalt  cycling time   average speed  time 
hotel Crown Prince Hotel  price  33.750 cedis climbing 
We walk around in Accra and look calm to all the chaos around us. We try some local food and stroll around on the market. Accra has turned itself away from the sea, what means that the beach side is not used for swimming. It is quite relaxed to move around in the capital of Ghana. The people look colorful and we really feel that we are in Africa.

 

10 Dec 00 Cycling from Accra to Atimpoku
distance  94.18 km asphalt 94 km cycling time  8h:04m average speed 18.5 km/h  time 6:30h-14:00h (7:30h)
hotel Benkum Hotel  price  25.000 cedis climbing 394 m

Waiting
The asphalt road is smooth, but the temperature is high, 35 degrees in the shadow. We have to stop a lot and drink liters of water and Coke. A few kilometers from our destination Atimpoku, lays Akosombo where the Volta lake Power Dam is situated. We visit the dam in the afternoon. In the evening we eat our first meal from the local rice women. Many girls walk around the bus station with food on their head.

 

11 Dec 00 Cycling from Atimpoku to Ho
distance  66.86 km asphalt 15 km cycling time  4h:49m average speed 13.8 km/h  time 7:45h-15:45h (8:00h)
hotel EP Church Social Centre  price  25.000 cedis climbing 507 m
Cycling from Atimpoku to Ho we take a parallel road to avoid the main road. Although the road becomes more difficult to ride, we now have the pleasure of visiting small villages. Tore has his first flat tire and brakes of his front rack. We reload the luggage and are able to continue. In the villages people come to see us. A little girl is brought to use, she is afraid of our white skin. People  encourage her to touch us. After a while the school children are aware of us, and leaving the classroom to show us their school slates . 

 

12 Dec 00 Cycling from Ho to Amedzofe
distance  37.51  km asphalt 5 km cycling time  3h:50m average speed 9.7 km/h  time 9:30h-15:30h (6:00h)
hotel Resthouse  price  35.000 cedis climbing 801  m
We are now driving into the mountain region in the east of Ghana. People on the road are pointing out the route we have to take. The road is good except the 3 km to the village Vane. Here we have to push the bike up to a rocky steep road. Amedzofe is beautiful situated on top of a mountain range. We get our own 'country-house', with streaming water, electricity and even a television. The scenery is beautiful, although we can not see very far. This is because the wind takes the sand from the Sahara all the way up to here, which gives a hazy view.
Road to Amedzofe

 

13 Dec 00 Rest day in Amedzofe
distance    asphalt   cycling time    average speed  time  
hotel Resthouse  price  35.000 cedis climbing  
In the morning we wash our clothes and take care of our bikes. Everything is covered with the characteristic red sand and dust. A guide from the village is visiting us. We chat with him and drink tea together on our veranda. In the afternoon he takes us to the Amedzofe waterfall and up on mount Gami. He also takes care that a family in the village will cook us our dinner. We get chicken with rice in the bedroom of a child.

 

14 Dec 00 Cycling from Amedzofe to Wli
distance  64.25 km asphalt 54 km cycling time 4h:05m average speed 9.7 km/h time  7:15h-13:00h (5:45h)
hotel Guesthouse  price  10.000 cedis climbing  421 m
We take some back roads first, but are directed to the main road to Hohoe in the afternoon. Via Hohoe we cycle through a rainforest to Wli. We are directed to the tourist office and their we get a guide. He brings us to the guest house and after that to the Wli waterfall for a swim. Before he drops us of, he brings us to a women. Here we get palm wine out of a calabash. We are a bit worried because we forgot to ask the price on for hand. But it is un offer from the guide. Wouw, welcome in Ghana. 

 

15 Dec 00 Cycling from Wli to Kadjebi
distance  70.91 km asphalt 25 km cycling time 5h:21m average speed 13.2 km/h time  7:15h-15:30h (8:15h)
hotel Guesthouse  price  20.000 cedis climbing  734 m
The whole morning we are directed by the local people. In this way we are avoiding the main roads and experience the real Ghana. Our map doesn't show the roads we are on. We are now in the 'orange' and buy many of them. Many people ask for our address. But from our travelers guide, we know they want to use this as a reference as they come to Europe. We don't give our address.

 

16 Dec 00 Cycling from Kadjebi to Dambai
distance  118.31 km asphalt 35 km cycling time 7h:41m average speed 15.3 km/h time  7:30h-18:15h (10:45h)
hotel Peace and Love Guesthouse  price  10.000 cedis climbing  888 m
Because a road on our map does not exist, we have to turn back for 20 km. The road starts of very good, but degrades to a rocky path in the afternoon. At a village a guy is shouting that our brothers are already their. Our brothers??? In front of a shop a white boy and girl are trying to buy something. And just around the shop two bikes are parked. They are Americans working for the American Peace Corp and having a holiday. We exchange a lot of information, watched by the whole village. On their advise we change our plans a bit and will head to Dambai in stead of to the North. It becomes late but luckily the last 30 km are good again and just before dark we arrive in Dambai. 

 

17 Dec 00 Rest day in Dambai
distance   asphalt   cycling time   average speed    time  
hotel Peace and Love Guesthouse  price  10.000 cedis climbing  
We wash again our clothes and clean our bikes. A boy brings us to the local water pomp for some fresh water. The people in the village are nice and very open. 

 

18 Dec 00 Cycling from Dambai to Salaga
distance  112.63 km asphalt 0 km cycling time 6h:16m average speed 17.9 km/h time 8:00h-17:30h (9:30h)
hotel Guesthouse  price  25.000 cedis climbing  476 m
We take the passengers boat over an arm of the Volta lake. The ferry over the next Volta lake arm has run out of gasoline and does not go. But no worry, somebody is send to get some gasoline and he will be back tomorrow. But if we are not afraid we can also cross in a small canoe. The opposite side can't be seen, but we take a try. With two other boys with their bike and the skipper we load the canoe. The 3 bikes are positioned perpendicular on top of the canoe. We take of. The skipper and 1 boy are paddling, the other boy has a hard job to avoid the leaking canoe from sinking. and we are watching afraid our bikes. And of course we are paying. But we make it.
Villages in the North

 

19 Dec 00 Cycling from Salaga to Tamale
distance  124.5 km asphalt 100 km cycling time 6h:58m average speed 17.8 km/h time 8:00h-18:15h (10:15h)
hotel Alhassan Hotel  price  25.000 cedis climbing  403 m
The landscape becomes more and more a savanna. The asphalt road is full of potholes. Only the last part is excellent. This is the dry season and most of the area is burned or still burning. Tore has a flat tire again. In Tamale most of the guesthouses are full. Finely a boy brings us to a guesthouse close to the central market. 

 

20 Dec 00 Rest day in Tamale
distance   asphalt  cycling time average speed  time 
hotel Alhassan Hotel  price  25.000 cedis climbing  
We wash our clothes again and are sick of the meat we had the evening before. We become vegetarian straight away. We stroll around on the central market. But the people here don't want to be taken on a picture. It doesn't feel relax. We buy some local peanuts and get some grease for our bikes at a bike store. 

 

21 Dec 00 Cycling Tamale to Damongo
distance   km asphalt  km cycling time  h: m average speed   km/h time    h-  h ( h)
hotel   price   cedis climbing    m
The first part is over a nice asphalt road. At 11 o'clock we arrive already at our end place. But their is no hotel. We decide to continue to Damongo, 80 km further. But the road becomes bas, worse, worst. The whole width of the road has washbord. Ribs which are made by the wheels and springs of the passing cars. The sides of the road exists of loose sand. Tears are rolling and in the dark we arrive at the hotel.      
  Passing car on the road to Damongo

 

22 Dec 00 Cycling from Damongo to Mole National Park
distance  27.01 km asphalt 0 km cycling time 2h:09m average speed 12.5 km/h time 11:00h-14:15h (3:15h)
hotel camping at Mole Hotel  price  23.000 cedis climbing  185 m
In Larabanga we visit the old Muslim church. The people here are more used to tourist, so we are harassed and leave with an angry feeling.  

 

23 Dec 00 Rest day in Mole National Park
distance    asphalt  cycling time   average speed   time  
hotel camping at Mole Hotel  price  23.000 cedis climbing   
We do a safari in the morning and just rest in the afternoon. The Hotel service western foot and has a small swimming pool. The hotel is situated on a hill and we are standing in the gardens on it. Below a small water hole is situated full of crocodiles, who make a lot of noise during the night.

 

24 Dec 00 Rest day in Mole National Park
distance    asphalt  cycling time   average speed   time  
hotel camping at Mole Hotel  price  23.000 cedis climbing   

Camping in Mole National Park
Again we do just nothing, besides eating and relaxing. In the afternoon a group of elephants are taken a bath in the water hole. Wouw, live is good.

 

25 Dec 00 Cycling from Mole National Park to Buipe.
distance 92.57 km    asphalt 3 km  cycling time  6h:18m average speed  14.6 km/h time  7:30h-16:15h (8:45h)
hotel Guesthouse  price  10.000 cedis climbing   527 m
On the map we see a short-cut to Buipe. The whole day we are directed by the local people. Go to Village number 1 and ask the road to Village number 2. In Village number 3 they know the road to Buipe. Besides a sandy piece of 45 minutes pushing the bike and an partly away rained road for 1 hour, the road is good. In Buipe we get a sip of the local drank. It is full of pepper!!  In the evening a Japanese cyclist also drops in.    

 

26 Dec 00 Cycling from Buipe to Kintampo.
distance 91.39 km    asphalt 91 km  cycling time  4h:57m average speed  18.4 km/h time  7:30h-13:45h (6:15h)
hotel Midway Hotel  price  10.000 cedis climbing   370 m
Together with a Japanese cyclist, Daisuke, we follow the main road. The landscape changes again. Termitary are appearing again and more vegetation. 

We still have contact with Daisuke. He cycled from Alaska to Peru, from Norwegian to South Africa and will continue in South-America in 2002. Maybe we will meet him there again.  

 

27 Dec 00 Rest day in Kintampo.
distance    asphalt   cycling time   average speed  time  
hotel Midway Hotel  price  10.000 cedis climbing   
We do the wash again. The water has to be pulled up from a very deep well. In the afternoon we visit the Kintampo waterfalls. But also the local youth is celebrating Christmas. And are all hanging around the waterfalls. In the afternoon a  procession for the political opposition is passing the hotel. The first elections didn't give a majority of one of the parties, so a next election will be held tomorrow. 

 

28 Dec 00 Cycling from Kintampo to Nkoranza.
distance 59.32 km    asphalt 25 km  cycling time  4h:00m average speed  13.9 km/h time  7:15h-13:30h (6:15h)
hotel Benocum  price  16.000 cedis climbing   612 m

African trees !!
To avoid the main road we take a d-tour of 3-days. The surrounding is changing slowly back to rain forest. It is beautiful here. We take a nice hotel and ask twice to be sure the price is really that low. At the local bus station we eat as most of the evenings our rice with an egg and some tomato sauce. 

 

29 Dec 00 Rest day in Nkoranza
distance     asphalt   cycling time    average speed    time   
hotelBenocum  price  16.000 cedis climbing    
Tore has a fever, so we take a rest day. Some girls at a sewing shop, makes our sleeping bag for free. When I go into town, to take some pictures from people, a large group of children follow me. They take me by the hand and bring me to their parents. Who all want to be on a photo too. At one moment I am even brought to a funeral party. I feel to ashamed to take many pictures. Everybody thanks me for taken their picture, but nobody asks me my address or the picture itself. Strange.
To Nkoranza

 

30 Dec 00 Cap from Nkoranza to Kumasi
distance     asphalt   cycling time    average speed    time   
hotelCottage hotel  price  35.000 cedis climbing    
Tore still doesn't feel good enough to cycle. We decide to take a cap to Kumasi. We do not want to force our self and in this way we are suddenly in 2 hours, 2 day's further. The last part in town we decide to cycle again. This day the outcome of the elections are announced. The opposition has won. Their leader is from Kumasi and this is overloaded with happy people. A bit to much for us. They are all around us and shouting to us, but nobody has time to help us finding a hotel. At the end we are still tiered as we arrive at the hotel. And of course, the hotel has no running water, which means that there is no water at all . So a good shower is out of the question. 

 

31 Dec 00 Rest day in Kumasi
distance     asphalt   cycling time    average speed    time   
hotelCottage hotel  price  35.000 cedis climbing    
In the morning we visit the huge central market. And go to a western restaurant. Western prices, but pizza and a real milkshake. Sometimes we just need familiar food to keep going. People are still celebrating the victory, but New-Year's eve is unknown. We go to the cinema and watch an American movie.

 

1 Jan 01 Cycling from Kumasi to Abonu.
distance 35.59 km    asphalt 35 km  cycling time  2h:20m average speed  15.1 km/h time  8:00h-12:00h (4:00h)
hotel Private home  price 30.000 cedis climbing   361 m

Lake Bosumtwi
It is only a short distance to Abonu, situated at the lake Bosumtwi, and surrounded by hills. The lake is arise from a meteor impact. The local youth is having a party and many people from the surrounding are invading the small village. In the afternoon we take a bath in the very warm lake. Iris has here first and last flat tire.

 

02 Jan 01 Cycling from Abonu to Dunkwa Ofin.
distance 108 km    asphalt 108 km  cycling time  6h:47m average speed  15.8 km/h time  7:45h-17:30h (9:45h)
hotel Guesthouse  price  27.500 cedis climbing   912 m
The road is good, but the village is wrong situated on our map. So it becomes a long day. 

 

03 Jan 01 Cycling from Dunkwa Ofin to Twifo-Praso.
distance 79.70 km    asphalt 10 km  cycling time  5h:43m average speed  13.9 km/h time  8:45h-16:45h (8:00h)
hotel Guesthouse  price  27.500 cedis climbing   671 m
The road is a dirt road in spite of what our map says. The first part is hilly, 100 meters 14% up and 100 meters 14% down and so on. Then in the end it becomes flatter. The plan is to go on to Kakum, but we decide to stop. The map is fooling us again. We stay at a nice guesthouse and walk around in the evening.  
  Back in the tropical forest

 

04 Jan 01 Cycling from Twifo-Praso to Kakum National Park.
distance 42.65 km    asphalt 42 km  cycling time  2h:36m average speed  16.4 km/h time  8:30h-11:30h (3:00h)
hotel camping in Kakum  price  20.000 cedis climbing   352 m
We are back in the tropical rain forest. In the park special camp places are made. In the afternoon we walk on the canopy-bridge. Staying a bit behind gives the opportunity to really see some monkeys in the top op the trees. For most of the visitors it is only a amusement attraction. When the park closes, everybody , including the park guides, leaves the park and we stay completely alone behind.  
Canopy walk in Kakum National Park

 

05 Jan 01 Cycling from Kakum National Park to Elmina.
distance 48.67 km    asphalt 48 km  cycling time  2h:29m average speed  19.5 km/h time  10:15h-14:15h (4:00h)
hotel Nyansapow Hotel  price  40.000 cedis climbing   139 m
In the morning we first take a breakfast at the park restaurant. Western prices again. On the way to Elmina we have a lunch at the Hans Cottage Botel, which is situated above a crocodile pond. Then we cycle along the coast to Elmina. Here we visit the Dutch slave fort of Elmina. We are run out of money, but it is impossible to get some money today. We have to eat very low budget.

 

06 Jan 01 Cycling from Elmina to Winneba.
distance 100.96 km    asphalt 100 km  cycling time  5h:43 m average speed  17.6 km/h time  6:15h-15:15h (9:00h)
hotel Charles tourist center  price  22.000 cedis climbing   337 m
First we have to change some money in Cape Coast. Then we can buy some food for breakfast. We have to follow the coast now back to Accra. The main road is awfully crowed, but there is no alternative. In the evening we watch the fishermen on the beach and take a bath ourselves. We walk around in the village, where everything turns on fish.
  Dutch fort in Elmina

 

07 Jan 01 Cycling from Winneba to Accra.
distance 88.57 km    asphalt 40 km  cycling time  5h:52 m average speed  15.0 km/h time  10:15h-18:00h (9:45h)
hotel Seth (an old colleague of me  price   climbing   412 m
There is an alternative road now parallel on the main road. It is more a path then a road, but the surrounding is nice. We drive through a so called wet-land and have nice views over the ocean. When we arrive in Accra we call Seth. He picks us up and brings us to his house.

 

08 Jan 01 Flying from Accra to Brussels.
distance     asphalt   cycling time    average speed    time   
hotel   price   climbing    
We pick up our bike boxes at the hotel in Accra and repack our luggage again. We fly in the evening and spend the day at Seth's house.  

 

09 Jan 01 Drive from Brussels to Eindhoven.
distance     asphalt   cycling time    average speed    time   
hotel   price   climbing    
The bikes didn't arrive and are traced back in London. They will arrive at home in a couple days. We rent a small car and drive straight back to a grocery store, before heading home.  

 

Summary
Overall distance: 1588 km (1640 km, inclusive cycled kilometers on rest days, without gear)
Amount of holidays: 32
Amount of cycling days: 20
Amount of rest / site seeing days: 10
Total time on the bike: 100:29h

Average speed without rest periods: 15.80 km.h-1 (10.84 km.h-1,with rest periods)

6.000 cedis = 1 Euro

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This page was last updated on Friday July 29, 2011
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