maandag 19 maart 2012

Togo & Benin

Our last days in Ghana were spent with my motorbike friends in Roots Yard near the border of Togo in the mountainous region of Ho. The day before, Heidi en Jens (Enfield diesels), Tony & Charlie, Max & Marjane and Hubert (Ural sidecar) put their bikes in Tema into a container to be shipped to Walvisbaai, Namibia.
 As a result they where now bikeless and took a tro-tro (minibus) to Roots Yard to meet up with us and Matt, who we met in Bamako and who was celebrating his 30th birhtday. Before me and Anita were leaving for Togo, we decided to visit a waterfall. As we decended without guide ( I took a sneaky picture of the guide's map) and only 15 minutes into the walk, the path narrowed and wasn't clear annymore leading into the cascades. I told Anita to wait, while I took a look at where to go, but although standing on dry rock with my climbing boots, I slipped and fell. I recovered, only to slip again, and again, and again, now on the slippery green wet rocks sliding deeper into the cascades on my belly to arrive in the waterpool at the end with a splash. Luckily I didn't hurt myself too bad and with wet sigarettes and money (camera is waterproof, yes!) we arrived at the waterfall a bit later with the rest of the group.
Slid some 20 meters before ending here!

This wasn't the only mishapp of the day, Anita spotted a cashew tree full of fruits, with the cashew nut in a protective shell under the fruit.

The fruit was edible, she knew, but when she tried to get to the cashew nut by biting the shell, a strong acid burnt her tongue and lip.  As we went back to Roots Yard, a real tropical thunderstorm forced the group of 7 into Anita's car for the ride back.

Matt, Tony, Parisa & Bahar

Next morning we left our friends to take on the rest of Africa. First was Togo, we crossed the easy border and after taking refuge for a 2 hour downpoor which left the car and my bike luggage wet, we arrived in the dark at the Benedict monestary of Dzobegan.

Just as we were in the shower, the bell for diner went, exactly 7u25, everybody was expected in the dining hall. While we were still eating, a servant took the rest of the food that was still on the table and served desert. It was clear that we needed to eat faster and as soon the desert was finished we were summoned to help with the dishes. In the morning we attended the morning mass, after which I left Anita to take on the rough mountain track towards Atakpamé, all in all a fantastic experience.

By now, I noticed the rear tourance tire, that was still on since I left home more than 3 months and 12000 km ago, had a strange bulge on the side, so it was quickly changed for one of the spare tires that I now keep on the roof of the landy (handy, having a girl with a landy). Togo is just a small country and so the border of Benin was soon reached using a bumpy track that at one place was  blocked by a broken down truck, I squeased through while Anita took a detour through the village.

In Benin we made our way to Savé that night to meet up with Thomas, a 21 year old Swiss mechanic, traveling in a 4x4 mercedes van and on his way to Tanzania to work as a 'bush mechanic'. We met with Thomas in Bamako where he already had to work on Anita's clutch.
Drawing a crowd as we come into Benin

 As we arrived at Savé, and got Thomas on the phone, we saw another overlander in a Toyota landcruiser. Regis, a French national, stepped out and asked: 'are you also looking for Thomas?'
The organised chaos in Anita's car

So now we were 4, and after making  bushcamp, we decided to spend one more day in Togo to get to the more safe entry North to Nigeria at Niki .

1 opmerking:

  1. hebben die broekscheiters nu toch een container tot in walvisbaai gearrangeerd.
    Ben benieuwd hoe Cameroon en lager gaan zijn in het regenseizoen :-)