As you may already know we are still in Ghana, and not in Namibia as expected! On our last post we had dropped Colonel K off at the Portside yard in Tema, and in four days time it was to be loaded onto the vehicle carrier, the Glovis Sunrise. The Customs here had other ideas, and at the “eleventh hour” decided that the truck needed to be put through a scanner. This was no problem apart from the operator didn’t arrive for work until 6.00am the next morning, and the Sunrise was due to depart at Midnight. Despite the best efforts of Portside, they would not budge from this, and so the Daf was returned to their yard. The first we knew about this was an email from the Managing Director, who said there was a problem and would come to our hotel to explain all. Despite being very upset and quite angry (this had cost us a lot of money in lost flights, and hotel booked in Namibia), we really appreciated Bas coming to see us and indeed buying us a few beers to calm us down.
So next morning we got a taxi to their yard and collected the truck, Carnet de Passage, and all the keys (we also filled our water tank, which we had run right down to reduce the weight), and then discussed with Bas our best plan of action. At this point we had 3 choices, 1) we go back to our original plan and drive all the way down, 2) we wait in Ghana for another vehicle carrier, or 3) we turn around and slowly come home, possibly via Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, etc. The first option was now not an option, we have heard too many seriously bad stories about travelling through Nigeria for us to consider this. The third option of heading towards home brought us out in a cold sweat! So this meant we needed to contact the guy who organised the shipping who is based in the UK. The next Vehicle Carrier coming into Tema, Ghana is the Glovis Cougar with an ETA of 25th September, and despite looking at other options from maybe Togo, Ivory Coast, or Benin this was our best option. This means we have about three and half weeks to wait before returning to Tema.
After a quick call to Thomas at Big Milly’s Back Yard to confirm they had room to take the truck we headed there, on the way stopping at the very modern West Hill Shopping Centre to restock with food and drink. Shortly after arriving at Big Milly’s we met a German couple, Andreas, and Mareike who are overlanding through North and West Africa in a Toyota Hilux Camper, and following virtually the same route as us. They were also considering using a Ro-Ro Vehicle carrier and shipping to Namibia, so we explained the problems that we had endured, and discussed costs etc. They are now also booked on the Glovis Cougar. These are the the first Overland travellers on 4 wheels that we have seen since Agadir, over a hundred days ago!
This time at Big Milly’s we stayed over a weekend, and the place is famous for its Saturday night Reggae Night. It didn’t disappoint, it was loud, busy and involved lots of drinking and dancing. The clientele was mostly made up of locals, and many of them were Rastafarians, all very friendly and quite chatty (there was also a strange smell in the air, which seems to come from what they were smoking ha). The evening started with some local drummers and dancers, and then from about 11.00pm until about 4.00am the live Reggae band started, these guys never once stopped for a break!
This is a great place for people watching, both on the beach (it is right on the beach), and in the bar area, the place including the staff is full of characters, the kids on the beach are great fun, and as usual are quite inquisitive about tourists. And of course there are the fishing boats fighting their way through the surf daily.
So we have been back at Big Milly’s for nearly a week, licked our wounds, literally in my case, having fallen over and put a deep gash in my foot on the edge of a concrete gulley (with nurse Jac doing a wonderful job of keeping it clean so far), and working out what to do with the remainder of our time here in Ghana. With the lost money on the flights, staying at Big Milly’s is helping our finances somewhat with the cost for camping, evening meal (tasty food), and a few beers, its about £8.00 for each of us a night. But we have decided to move West down the coast for a week or so, probably back to Ko-Sa, near Elmina, as we really like the relaxed atmosphere there, even though it is a little more expensive, at maybe £12.00 each a night (its all relative)!!! Anyway, lesson learnt, don’t book flights until the truck has been loaded onto the ship.
We have been away from the UK for 165 days now, and despite a few ups and downs, we are having a great time, and enjoying almost every moment! And even with the not so enjoyable times, we still manage to laugh about them afterwards.
I’d also like to thank all those that are viewing our blog, we have now had over 10,000 hits on the site, and its great to receive the (mostly) positive comments from you guys.
Thanks for reading