Five hours, a taxi, four tro tros, and a boat – Getting from Accra to Ada Foah

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“A journey is like a marriage.  A certain way to get it wrong is to think you control it”- John Steinbeck

I was really looking forward to Ada Foah, everyone raved on about what a great place it is and how relaxing the Manaratha resort is.  Furthermore, my hosts in Accra told me that it was not full of tourists and that I would prefer it to Kokrobite my previously intended final weekend destination.  I had high hopes.  I set off late Saturday afternoon all excited and looking forward to a nice relaxing and enjoyable extended weekend.  I was advised to take a tro tro to Tema and then get on another heading to Ada Foah from there.  What these really “helpful” people neglected to tell me is that there are several tro tro stations in Tema and that the one I was taking was not going to take me to the stop that I needed for Ada Foah.  So I ended up walking around for forty five minutes in Tema looking for the correct stop to get the tro tro to Ada Foah.  I must have asked fifteen different people for help, some did not speak English so they just pointed in a direction, some sent me to the wrong place, one man just said no and walked off.  All this was a warning sign for the things to come and I really should have just turned around and gone back home but I refused to listen to the warning signs, still hoping for a great final weekend in Ghana.

I eventually found a guy who could speak English and give coherent directions, and half an hour later, but almost three hours after I first set off, I was on my way to Ada Foah. The driver did not have a mate so every time he needed to drop someone off, he would stop the vehicle, go open the doors and take the luggage out of the back for those not travelling light. This slowed the journey down considerably.  After about one and a half hours and with about ten minutes left of the journey he just stopped completely jumped out and walked away.  After what felt like forever of not knowing what was happening, he came back, told the few remaining passengers to get out and go into the tro tro parked behind us.  At least he was kind enough to explain to the scary looking driver of the next tro tro where to drop me off. 

At my stop I called the Manaratha and asked the manager to send someone to pick me up as we had discussed, he promised someone would be with me in ten minutes.  It was totally dark by now and I was pretty much in the middle of nowhere.  There were a few houses nearby but no street lights. I must have looked lost and scared as I waited because Ghana (who is called so because he was born on Independence Day) came and introduced himself and waited with me for a while.  In the ten minutes he told me about his past as a sailor and of the different countries he had visited.  As he was leaving his friend OT just happened to be walking by on hearing that I was a foreigner and a stranger to Ada Foah, he decided to replace Ghana as my waiting companion.  OT had just as colourful a life story, he had travelled extensively across Africa and Europe and had lived in several countries on both continents.  He told me about his businesses and his family and children and grandchildren abroad.  He was another really interesting guy and also very kind.  He waited with me the entire thirty minutes, at one point he even offered to get his brother to give me a lift to the resort. 

Not what I was expecting to be picked up in

When the guy finally arrived to pick me up, he said he had been wondering around looking for me for about five minutes as he has been told to look for a white person.  Just typical!  Anyway, I said goodnight to the kind OT and headed towards the boat.  When I was told me that I would be picked up by boat to my final destination, I did not have in mind what stood before me as we approached the waterside.  Not only was it dark, but I suffer from seasickness so was very apprehensive as I approached what in my opinion was a motorised canoe.  Luckily, the ride turned out not to be as bad as I had feared.  I felt good being the only passenger, the water was calm and there was a nice breeze as we sped along in the dark on the eight-minute journey.  I would even go as far as saying that I enjoyed the ride.  As we docked, I could hear loud music and could see people dancing near a fire in a distance.  Great, I thought to myself, finally time to party.