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Old 01-18-2009, 11:28 AM   #1
Digger Deep OP
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Thumb Sunday run in Ghana

Hi, first ride report for the forum, hope its of interest. The story of a few hours on the roads in Ghana, on a hot dry Sunday.

The day started at work (yep, Sunday too). It didn’t go well because someone didn’t do what they should have and that meant neither could I.

So a day of no achievements, didn’t start well, but improved once I got on the katoom and lit ‘er up.

I took a route that I like, as I didn’t feel like exploring new roads today. Needed ‘to be sure’ I was gonna get a good day after the morning I had so stuck to the roads I know.

Out of town, through the hustle, here’s the ‘start of the road’ about 10 miles from my house.




Its hamattan time, winds from sahara bring masses of fine dust down to sub Saharan Africa. Its dry, but not much direct sunshine. 33C this afternoon. Bone dry roads, little wind, nice conditions for biking.



More to come.

Digger Deep screwed with this post 01-18-2009 at 11:36 AM
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:52 AM   #2
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Looks great, upload more pics!!
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:22 PM   #3
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Heading for the hills

So, I took off heading north for the hills in the direction of Pokoasi where the Presidential Lodge is situated. Great views from up there, and the road up into the hills is a few kms of new asphalt, switchbacks and bends galore. You could ride up and down this all day.



You can see the Presidential Lodge up on the top of the hill. No photo's of that, didnt fancy spending all day explaining to the cops why I was taking photos of that place





This is a new road, recently built by the Chinese. Its in good condition. To pay for road maintenance there are toll booths on most major roads but motorcycles are exempt - happy days


Any place where there is a regular stop on the road, then the 'sales teams' get to work. Its just amazing what you can buy from some of these guys, but today it was mainly water, plantain chips, snacks etc. Nothing wild!!





More to come.
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:25 PM   #4
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More pictures! What did that watch cost you?
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:44 PM   #5
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Part 3

So, I wasnt hungry but I knew I would be. So I calls the kids to see what they got. Well, its impossible to get 'single service', its dog eat dog when your a road side seller. You only can buy from one, but there's about 10 trying to sell. And they're crowding the bike, no probs there but I worry one of them's gonna get pushed against the hot exhaust. Life tough enough for them without a stinker of a burn....

I buy some plantain chips - Ghana's natural equivalent to crisps (or chips for you lot in the US of A). Plantain is like a big greenish banana and is used a lot for various eating purposes, but the chips are a favourite of mine. They cost me about $0.15 per bag. No idea if that was an 'obroni' (whiteman) price or the standard price, but guess what?? I dont care . If I had to stand in that heat all day selling chips I would try to make a few scores myself.




The little girl in the blue sold me these. I tell you, if you have a bummer of a day just take 5, think of the life these kids have, and GET THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE. We that ride about on our motos are blessed.



So, hopefully I helped her reach the daily quota. Kids eh, smiling no matter what.


My dark mood from the morning was lifting. I lite up the big katoom, give her a few revs, the kids scatter with screams of delight then theyre dancing at the side of road shouting for wheelie's, noise, entertainment in general. I take off to scores of smiles, mine as big as any of them.

More to come.
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DominicDomingo
More pictures! What did that watch cost you?
theyre coming mate.

the watch? about $15 on ebay I think.
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:14 PM   #7
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Part 4

Off uphill to Pokoasi. I decided to spoil todays ride a little and get a few pics to share with you all. Normally, this is a road you don’t mess about on, you get into it and really enjoy the bends, switchbacks, road surface (not a pothole in sight yet).







Its not the Rockies, Its not the Alps. But its what we got here in Ghana.





Looking back down to where I started out from







Here’s one of my scooter. It’s a wild animal with a mind of its own (at least that’s how I choose to think of the fueling issues the 990’s have )





Then I hear the unmistakable note of another bike on the way up, changing down into the bends and giving it some stick on the way out. Here he is on the way by. No wave, maybe didn’t like a camera pointed at him………







OK, time to saddle up and get going. More soon.

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Old 01-18-2009, 01:26 PM   #8
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Nice!! This is the first report I've seen posted here from Ghana! Please come back soon with more pics!
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:37 PM   #9
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Gadget Boy, beat me to it. I was going to say the same thing (I guess I just did). Give us all you can from Ghana.
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:03 PM   #10
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Part 5

After cresting at Pokoasi, the terrain is rolling roads in the hills, with sweeping bends and through numerous small towns. Speed limits in the villages and towns is 50kph but they are not enforced. The carnage on the roads means I keep the speed down through any built up areas, I dont want an accident with a kid running out - I've seen that happen.

This sign made me stop and take a pic. Any of you know Africa, you will know the mobile phone companies are battling for a massive market. I swear, if ever an alien was to land in Ghana he could be forgiven for thinking the place was called MTN or Tigo, there are that many adverts, posters, signs for these companies everywhere. Their budgets must be humungous.



Coming into one of the small towns on my toute. Typical Sunday in Ghana. Folks out chillin', meeting friends, going to / coming from church. Socialising in general.



I 'make good progress' past Aburi, through Mamfe. Somewhere between Aburi junction and Mampong, I stop to take a pic of this church. I've seen it plenty of times before but thought I would take a pic today. I'm not overly religious, but I like the standard of the building work, considering its approximately 100 years old. This sort of skill isnt just available 'off the shelf' even in Ghana today.



The pic doesnt do it justice. The stonework is really good, that sort of building technique isnt widely found here, only seen in Christian churches. I guess the missionaries brought the skills with them.

Theres another example a few kms later in Mampong.




I push on via Akropong and get up to Adukrom. This is where I usually hang a right and drop back out of the hills and back down to the low lands. This ride is no exception. I know what I like and I know where to get it.

More soon
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VampyreMP
Gadget Boy, beat me to it. I was going to say the same thing (I guess I just did). Give us all you can from Ghana.
Same here.
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Then all the Jo Momma shit started.
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:16 PM   #12
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Very, very cool bananas, or plantains in this case. I'll check in for more pictures. I never wear a watch in normal life but one of the thermo-alti-compass dealies seems cool as back up on rides.
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:27 PM   #13
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Part 6

Look at the terrain. I was really surprised Ghana was so green when I arrived here some years ago. Can you imagine what the first explorers made of this when they stepped off the boats all those years ago? If I do 2-300kms here i feel like I have done something - and thats on the big katoom, with an engine, roads beneath me etc. Those guys hacking there way through the bush on foot, something else.



I hook right out of Adukrom. The signs lets me know what goes up must come down. Keep 'er Lit!!



I dropping downhill, I spot a guy breaking stones (yep, with a small sledge hammer) at the side of the road. I feel like stopping to 'shoot the breeze'. He busts these stones 7 days a week, to sell to anyone who comes along to buy them to make concrete for building work. We put people in prison in my home country and treat them a whole lot better than the life this guy's got. F**kin legal system is up its own ass in Europe.


While we're chatting I hear some noise, look around and four kids are coming up out of a RAVINE at the side of the road...........with buckets of water on their heads!! Here they are, the stone breaker on the left, kids on the right.




Those buckets in the back arent empty.........

Africa has water problems, thats well known. Where there is no water mains, people use the rivers. Kids and women will be out walking miles to get the days water before heading off to school. I know western kids that would sh*t a brick if asked to make their bed before leaving for school..........

This photo of the ravine these kids came out of really doesnt let you appreciate what its like. Its easy 60' deep, sheer sides, loose stone, hand dug / cut out footholds. All with a 3 gallon bucket on your head.




OK I admit it, the reaons the photo is no good is coz I was too dam afraid to lean out and take a better shot......if you fell in there you'd be a fossil the next time you were seen

My bad mood about the morning was well and truly gone, I had things much better in perspective after meeting these guys.

More soon.
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:58 PM   #14
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Part 7

More watercarriers. I think they just put a hand to the buckets so I wouldnt think they were showing off by carrying it with no hands



I leave the hills behind. Head for Somanya hoping to get some fresh fruit on the road but its not the season and the selection wasnt great, no pics.

Riding though I see this mast going up for more phone / communication hardware. Hats off to the guys that put these up, they sure have a head for heights.



Hey, I'm thirsty. I took the visor off my Arai TourX today, just rode with the goggles I normally use offroad. Didnt appreciate just how much more 'dried out' you get with no visor. I need a coke!!

I find a spot and pull off to see if they have anything thats not TOO warm. No problems, they have cold-ish coke. Good enough.



This is Cecilia, the owner of the establishment, thats my coke in hand.



If you think thats a smile, wait to you see the next one....
BTW, did you notice the tattoo?? Sometimes here, the kids get tattooed early in life with their name so that they cant get stolen - or at least that's what I've been told. Its maybe the modern(ish) version of the facial markings that used to be made on African kids faces to distinguish them from others.

This little gem is Cecilia's five year old daughter.



She's gonna break hearts in a few years.

Mum and daughter at work in the shop.



My coke's going down well.



More soon
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Old 01-18-2009, 03:25 PM   #15
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Final part

OK, coke swallowed, bill paid, time to move on. Cecilias was a cool spot, more coke to be swallowed in due course.

I was close to one of the most impressive bridges in Ghana. This is the bridge over the river Volta. This bridge is a vital link to the eastern corridor in the country, and to inland border crossings between Ghana and Togo. It was built around the time of Ghana's independence. I think it was one of a number of project completed by the British when they relinquished colonial powers in 1957. It is a marvelous structure, and I have been told many times that a past President - Jerry J. Rawlings, who was a pilot in the Ghana Air Force, once flew a jet below the bridge deck..........




I dont know what the gap between the water and bridge is but if thats true, its no mean feat.

Here's a view on the bridge itself.




Riverfront restaurants look out over the bridge. I usually ride on the road above them, hadnt noticed these before. Will be stopping by to check them out next time.




OK, I'm almost done. It was time to pull on the lid and make tracks home. I had about 60 miles to do and time was wearing on.


It was the usual blast home but a big anthill caught my eye and I decided to take a pic. These things can get to the size of a house and they are hard to shift.



When taking this shot, I thought the truck in the distance 'didnt look quite right'.

if you recall I talked about carnage on the roads earlier. Look at this. The truck just disintegrated due to overloading. This is a straight road, very good surface. The cab is really busted up. No idea if anyone hurt but it doesn't look good.




Thats it. Camera packed away. Check the watch.....yes, home before darkness if I get a move on.

I'm off.

Push on from Kpong to Tema, join the Tema - Accra motorway, cut off early (sorry officer..........isnt that a regular exit ), a few kms on dirt (yeehaa) and I'm home.

Hope you enjoyed the report.
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