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Ghana, Togo, & Côte d'Ivoire

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Sideoff, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. Sideoff

    Sideoff Long timer

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    Location:
    Hood River, OR
    From Nkwanta I headed south toward Accra to meetup with Josh, who was arriving in 2 days. Because I had a specific destination and a specific date I had to be there, I stuck mostly to the main roads, with just a few little detours, and I split the trip up over two days, making some interesting stops along the way.

    The dust you see in the air in a lot of these pics is the "harmattan," which is a big dust cloud that blows off the sahara in the winter and covers all of west africa.

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    Stopped in this nice little town called Amedzofe, which is the highest town in Ghana. Cool little guest house - no power or water tho - but it's just a short hike from town up to the top of Mt Gemi. A worthy detour.

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    Never have any problems getting navigation help in Ghana. Everyone is so out-of-this-world friendly.

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    This sign kinda cracked me up :)

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    Charles and I met for dinner and got caught up. I was so stoked on my first week of riding in Ghana and the overall potential for moto exploring in this area, that I encouraged Charles to consider creating a business helping other people like us buy bikes in Accra. The next morning we headed out to the airport early to pickup Josh, and while we were waiting, we got him started building a website using the free website builder you get when you buy a domain from godaddy. Here's a pic of Charles' new business "Ghana Motorbike Tours" being birthed... on a mini laptop in the outdoor seats at the Accra airport ha! http://www.ghanamotorbiketours.com/

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    I was also extremely excited for Josh to arrive, and for us to get started on the bigger loop through Togo and Ivory Coast.
    #41
  2. sparkingdogg

    sparkingdogg Prisoner In Disguise

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    If I heeded every warning label, I would never leave the house.

    Speaking of such, one thing about Ghana really amazed me. At Lake Bosumtwi (google it, this isn't my RR, it's a really kool meteor crater turned lake) there was a power sub station with a big transformer. No fence. The high voltage, assuming it was maybe 13,800 volts (or their ~equivalent) was maybe 2 meters in the air, at the terminations. No warning signs. You see, someone one time, probably climbed up and fucked with the transformer, and got killed. There was no lawsuit. There was no cash award paid to family. So, everyone else said "Hey don't go fuck around with those wires or you will get killed'. And guess what, no one fucks with the high voltage wires. I really like how things are understood there, and really despise how we ourselves try and make our whole country idiot proof. We could learn a lot from them, in that respect.
    #42
  3. Sideoff

    Sideoff Long timer

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    #43
  4. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Outstanding thus far, such a cool report to read and 'experience' :thumb :thumb

    Awesome that you helped Charles with the idea of bike rentals and touring and got him going with a site. With his contacts and this report as the base marketing - pretty sweet.

    Looking forward to reading about the adventures through Togo and Ivory Coast :D
    #44
    Sideoff likes this.
  5. micko01

    micko01 another DR650 rider

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Back to reality.... WestOz
    cool pics and cool trip! you're making miss the adventure of africa!
    #45
    Sideoff likes this.
  6. Sideoff

    Sideoff Long timer

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    Josh is a dirt biker but he's never ridden on pavement and never with traffic. His very first time riding on the road was about an hour after landing in Accra, still dazed from the long-ass flight. He rode from the place we had the bike stored to our hotel. Riding dirt bikes is good practice for Accra. No rules, plenty of distractions. Here's Josh's first time riding with cars. By the time we got to the hotel he was hooked. Lane splitting, curb hopping, and ripping around the city is pretty fun.

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    Took my bike back to the dealer for an oil change & service.

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    Got Josh's bike all setup for the trip.

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    We had some chores to deal with, but ended up blowing them off and going to the beach for beer and fish. Watched this dude eat glass, which can't be healthy.

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    Next morning we were up & ready to ride. Charles snapped this 'before' picture.

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    We decided to head toward Togo, but to see if we could get there along the coast instead of taking the main road. After touring around the interior, it was cool to be back on the beach. Ghana has a really stunning coastline. Took us a little while to get out of the city craziness.

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    #46
  7. BSTT

    BSTT Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Braunschweig, Germany
    Hi,
    thanks for telling your story and showing us the pics. That is for sure different to the normal stories.
    Go on it's fantastic :clap:clap:clap
    #47
    scyfull likes this.
  8. Riel

    Riel Explorer

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    Its great to read and share in your adventures from a broken leg on the mosquito coast to live tests in foreign countries of your own production motorcycle gear...and helping others along the way.

    Congrats and continued success :ricky
    #48
  9. CREER

    CREER n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2016
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    Location:
    Abengourou, Cote d'Ivoire & Aude, France
    According to your map, you went through Abengourou CI ...

    I saw a biker coming through town one day, with all the gear, couldn't see the country the bike came from, going down the hill in rush - very rare we get to see any overlanders in town!

    Next time, do get in touch!

    :clap
    #49
    Sideoff likes this.
  10. Emgo

    Emgo Started on a CT70 almost 52 years ago

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    Josh's arms and shoulders look more like a professional boxer. I'm glad he's one of us, I would not want be an adversary.

    Ken
    #50
    Sideoff likes this.
  11. nateberkopec

    nateberkopec Been here awhile

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    Taos, NM
    Heh, palm wine in Ghana is harvested differently. They basically chop down a palm tree, let it sit (and rot/ferment), and then light a fire at one end to get the sap running. I don't think they use the bucket method.
    #51
    Sideoff and jonz like this.
  12. atomizer

    atomizer Be here now Supporter

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    Dixon, New Mexico
    Fantastic looking trip. I'm in...
    #52
    Sideoff likes this.
  13. EvilClown

    EvilClown Standing by to standby for a possible disregard Super Moderator

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    In the shadow of the Uncanoonucs...
    :clap:clap:clap:clap:clap



    :lurk
    #53
    Sideoff likes this.
  14. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

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    CA dez (it's a dry heat)/West Yellowstone,MT
    :hmmmmm :ear :lurk
    #54
    Sideoff likes this.
  15. Sideoff

    Sideoff Long timer

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    Once we got away from Accra the coast was some nice riding. The roads started getting smaller.

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    Spot the white guy :)

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    Eventually the road braided and dead-ended on this beach. We could get over the soft sand to the wet stuff but the tide was high and there was a shoulder high beach break, no way to continue by moto. Worth a shot. We backtracked a little bit and took a different road around this section.

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    Stopped for beers, so nice. Chilled out for a bit. Decided to find a place to stay on the beach and get dinner. Found a cool little beach hotel, completely empty except for us.

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    The road kind of dead-ended at a bay in this town (Ada Foah) so before we shut down for the night we went along the water and found a boat that could take us further along in the morning. Next morning we met him at the beach and got the bikes loaded up.

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    The boat took us up the river a bit then from there we had a straight shot along the coast to the Togo border.

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    The Ghana/Togo border is a friggin chore man. Touts, currency changers, chaos. 8 stops at different offices. Customs officials, soldiers. Couple bribes. Hours of waiting. Fending off touts. You're not supposed to take pictures but I was bored so I did. These don't capture the craziness tho.

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    The dude in the purple shirt with the white hat, a nigerian guy, had like 20-30 touts working for him and they were all over us.

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    8 officials and a couple bribes later, we got some new passport stamps. We got 7-day visa on arrivals. Which was a little dicey since we had a lot of ground to cover in Togo but at least as were in. They're pretty proud of their stamps in Togo, apparently.

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    Lome, Togo's big city, is directly up against the border, so once you cross, you're basically in Lome.

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    We were hunting around for a small hotel but couldn't find anything and it was getting late so we spotted a big hotel off in the distance and figured we'd style ourselves out for the night, it had been a long day, why not?

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    After dinner we were still kind of wired and it was like 11pm so we decided to take the bikes out and rip around Lome in the dark and maybe find a bar or something. A lot of the streets in Lome are dirt with big whoops and little traffic at night. It was SO FUN ripping around on the motos at night. I probably wouldn't walk around Lome at night, a bit dodgy. But on the bikes no problem. Good luck catching us. Stopped at a few bars and clubs, not much happening because it was a weeknight, but it looks like this town has a pretty lively nightlife if you hit it on right night. Returned to hotel around 1am and called it.

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    #55
  16. Sideoff

    Sideoff Long timer

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    you & me both
    #56
  17. Sideoff

    Sideoff Long timer

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    ya we went right through there! our bikes were ghana registered.
    #57
  18. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Damn man, the entry into Togo looks/sounds like a pia. I'd never heard the term tout before, just looked it up (lol). Not sure how I would deal with that, not overly fond of people trying to aggressively sell stuff or pester me - especially when there's the additional stress of attempting to get a visa stamped.

    Crazy pics Sideoff, looks like such a cool frickin' trip :thumb
    #58
    NumberCruncher likes this.
  19. venus44

    venus44 n00b

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    subscribe
    #59
  20. adixxon

    adixxon Adventurer

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    awesome
    #60