. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: December 4, 1998

Friday, December 4, 1998
Kumasi, Ghana
Ghana's Flag

Kumasi, Ghana:
Latitude: 6° 40' 26" North
Longitude: 1° 37' 24" West
From Seattle: 8033 miles
Lodging: Camp - Rose's Guest House

Today's Travel:
Country: Ghana
Region: Ashanti
Weather: Sunny

Click on map to Zoom in...
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 603
Linear Dist: 130354
Countries Visited: 42
Regions Visited: 170
More stats...
Hotels: 187
Friends / Family: 155
Camping: 55
Hostels: 144
Transit: 55
Other Lodging: 6
Beers: 2091

Journal Entry:
The real big excitement was a proper shower! With hot water! The hotel opened a room to let us use the bathroom. We were so impressed with diner last night that we decided to have a huge proper breakfast at the hotel restaurant. After breakfast Dean, Stu, and I headed for town. We had asked at the hotel how much a Taxi to town should cost and were told 300 cedis each. When we asked a taxi driver he said 1,000 each so we walked away from him and flagged another taxi told him we'd pay 300 each and he said ok, meanwhile the original taxi driver comes over and jabbers at him and he drives off. The original driver then says 500 each. Obviously we want nothing to do with him - no matter what he charges us. No big deal to catch another cab but it was just annoying - and the first time something like that had happened in Ghana.

Walked around central Kumasi - it's a neat town. A very relaxed atmosphere and the people are very friendly. There's a lot of colonial buildings, and while the atmosphere is similar Kumasi isn't decaying like Grand Bassam (at least not quite as rapidly). Stu and Dean each bought a 25 pack of bagged gin shots (6,000 cedi a pack - about 10 cents a shot). The plastic bags make it easy to smuggle into bars and restaurants resulting in very cheap drinks.

Kumasi's market is supposed to be the largest in West Africa (the guide book says more than 10 square kilometers). It sits at the bottom of a depression overflowing the edges. As you look down it stretches off like a sea of rusting tin roofs. The market is as chaotic and varied as most markets in West Africa, but like almost everything else in Ghana, it's more relaxed and less stressful. People seem to joke more nd we were given several things to try (a couple of which were truly disgusting, a couple that were absolutely delicious) and people actually accept "No thankyou" as an answer. Lunch was a new street food - deep fried mini burrito type things - excellent. After many hours of wandering around it was time for a break. On the way out of the market I found a radio repair stall and had one of the guys solder a cable for me - I way overpaid but I still thought it was worth the $.80 (I actually got lectured by one of the other workers that I shouldn't have paid him that much as he didn't have a wife and kids).

We stopped at a sidewalk pub and just hung out absorbing the atmosphere joking with whatever locals stopped to stare and basically enjoyed the evening. Eventually we got up and wandered off to eat dinner (maybe the best springrolls I've ever had). Back at the camp hung out and had another beer. Stayed up late finishing Tom Robbins' Skinny Legs and All - excellent, but once again I'm out of reading material.

Related Sites:
US State Department ConsularInformation Sheets: Ghana
CIA World Fact Book: Ghana

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