A chronicle of Alison and Ron's trip around the world in 2009-2010.

"Not all those who wander are lost"
- Tolkien

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Lake Bosumtwi

We arrived at Lake Point which really was a lovely guest house, well constructed huts dotting the gardens, near a private beach on the lake. Our traditional hut was very cute with all the little details and finishing touches, but a bit more than we wanted to pay at 34 cedi ($25) a night. I loved all the bamboo furniture, especially the spacious bed and built-in hat rack, perfect for drying loads of laundry, that extended floor to ceiling. However, having AC for the last week and going back to a room with only a fan was a bit of a shocker. After having said all that, I DO NOT RECOMMEND this hotel and would direct anyone in the area to Rainbow Garden Village instead, more on that later.

The first night, I had some crackbrained thought that I needed some omega 3’s so I ordered the grilled barracuda and rice, and proceeded to spend several hours in the bathroom and then the next 24 hours in bed. It was bound to happen, my first food bourne illness, but I surely didn’t think it would be at a “nice” restaurant.

Since then, in an effort to save money, we’ve been eating omelettes and toast for breakfast (5 cedi/$3.50), some local snacks for lunch (like fried yam, sweet rolls, oranges) and sharing one dinner plate (10 cedi/$7) due to the generous proportions of pasta or rice served with the chicken marsala and beef goulash.

On our second night there were fabulous thunderstorms. Lighting up the sky every couple seconds like a disco strobe light. The rains were so torrential that they swept away two deep sections of the road to the hotel that took a dozen men two days to repair.

There are lots of little critters about: every kind of winged insect you can imagine, huge spiders to keep us company in our hut along with the quick and shifty orange headed lizards, snails slithering slowly along the walls, and birds sheltered from the rain in upside-down nests.

I couldn’t purchase our flight on Ethiopian Airlines to Delhi online so I had to borrow the hotel phone. It amazes me that some people here live in total squalor but they all seem to have cellphones. Everyone in the country it seems, yet Ron and I go around begging for a call, averting questioning eyes. Its even more confounding how much we overpay for minutes back home, do you know that they get 90 minutes for 2 cedi ($1.50)? Our phone bills should be $8 not $80! At any rate, I called the airline and was told that I couldn’t purchase the ticket over the phone either and had to come into the office in Accra. Strike one for technology. Luckily, she agreed to hold our ticket (another leap of faith) until the day before the flight when we could get to Accra to pick it up. We’ll see…

Our plan at the moment is to fly to Delhi for a week, staying in India for Diwali, then heading to Kashmir region for a week and off to Nepal for the remainder of the great trekking weather in November. With the thought of steep hills and alpine heights in our very near future, we’ve had to crank things up a notch. We have been doing a lot of walking, just by the very nature of traveling, but not really sustained cardiovascular exercise. I was still feeling week from the damn fish, but we did a slow 6km walk into the town Abono and back.

The next day we were more ambitious and walked about 14km to Rainbow Village for breakfast and back. Now if we can just do that everyday for 3 weeks, carrying our packs up the Himalayas we’ll be golden. Although the walk was relatively flat, I think the heat and humidity added an extra challenge, in addition to the constant onslaught of children yelling obruni and asking for pens, or worse money, every step of the way. At first what was cute and endearing is now old and annoying - you can tell I‘m getting a little jaded. Wishing I could wear a disguise so I’m left alone.

The day after we rented a pedal boat and went out on the lake for a few hours, navigating between all the bamboo fish traps and trying to make it to the other side of the 10.5k wide lake. The largest natural lake in West Aftrica, it was made by a meteorite smashing into the earth about a million years ago, and is holy to the Ashanti people. It was a most perfect overcast day for being on the cool glassy water, although we skipped the sunscreen and both got burnt. Pedaling around for so long is deceptively hard work and we leapt off the back for a break and a quick dip.

The last morning, as we settled the bill, the weirdest thing happened. Naturally, I asked for a refund on the bad fish that layed me up for two days. The owner Stephen wandered over, who was not there during the episode, and asked for an explanation. Then he proceeded to yell at me and call me a liar, that no one has ever got sick off his food, and that I had to pay. Now this is one big man towering angrily over me, it was a pretty intimidating situation, so I just paid it to make it (or more precisely him) go away.

He had offered us a ride to the bus station but now refused, storming off like a real professional business owner who cares about his customers. We were looking at an 8km hike uphill during midday with all of our luggage. On top of this the bastard passes us twice on the road, probably laughing at us. Luckily we hitched a taxi about halfway there and took it all the way back to Kumasi. At this point I was livid. I can’t believe I was made to feel bad, literally shaking, over a dinner that made me so sick, a stupid seven dollar fish.

You can join me in my campaign against this jerk. Please post hate mail and general unpleasantries at: http://www.ghana-hotel.com/index_en.php?page=email

Or here’s a form letter you can copy and send:

I heard about the bad barracuda. Shame on you.

(your name, your city, your state)
United Americans Against Lake Point


vinesh October 21, 2009 at 2:38 PM  

Your blog is very nice... i like your blog ....
Madurai Hotels, Pollachi Hotels

Eben October 21, 2009 at 3:16 PM  

Brilliant retaliation strategy, guys!
message sent.
Hope you're better received in Dehli.

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