Pages

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Accra, Ghana: First Day in 149th Country

Arrived in Accra, capital of Ghana, West Africa this afternoon after a long flight via Dubai. Very hot weather here. Went straight to Togo Embassy where Gordon had earlier lodged my visa application. Very lucky – we got the 5-country visa by 3:20pm. So we are set for Togo, Benin, Niger, Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso. Also lodged passport with Sierra Leone High Commission and would collect the visa on Monday.
Ghana is hosting the African Nations Cup and the hotels downtown have not only doubled their prices but were completely full. So we have to stay at a hostel in the far suburbs, which is not ideal due to the very bad traffic jams here. But the situation may ease next few days as Ghana has lost to Cameroon yesterday and would not be competing in the finals…some hotel rooms may be vacated as a result of disappointed fans going home.
Found the local accent similar to that of the Caribbean. Interesting but not surprising, as most Afro-Caribbean people are descendants of slaves originally from West Africa.
People here are friendly but are quite poor. Quite a few people had asked for tips albeit in a friendly, subdued manner. In fact, the immigration officer at the airport was the first one, when he asked for "something to buy a coca cola." I gave him US$1.
For tomorrow, we are renting a car/driver to explore the UNESCO listed castles of the Ghana coast.

No comments: