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A good traveller is one who knows how to travel with the mind. - Michael Bassey Johnson

12 October 2019, Tiébélé, BURKINA FASO to Tamale, GHANA
Clinton Lodge 70GHC (R195)

Flying foxes, with wing spans that can reach over a metre, roost in trees on the streets of Tamale, and we were lucky to see thousands of these fruit bats flying the late-afternoon skies as we made our way to KFC after nine hours on the road.
We travelled only around 250km today, using public transport, but it was a long, slow day, though good. As it passed the auberge at 07:10, Pierre flagged down a tro-tro (mini-bus) which drove us the 31km to the intersection where you turn right to Pô and left to Ghana. One hundred metres or so along this road brought us to a taxi stand, the collective car variety. This we took to the border, passing four vultures on a rooftop. Later we saw another three vultures eating roadkill on the verge. The tro-tro was in such a state of disrepair we were amazed it held together on the very rough dirt road to the intersection. Passing through one village, it was flagged down by a guy on a bicycle who arranged for the driver to load and transport a large sack of something or other to somewhere or other. A brief discussion, and the deal was done with no need for complex forms and bills of lading. On the dirt road, distances were counted down, not on expensive markers, but painted every two hundred metres on houses and trees. Gotta love Africa.
Knowing we would be in Burkina Faso for a couple of days only, we had applied in Cotonou, Benin, for the considerably cheaper transit visa. At the border post, where we had been stamped into the country with barely a glance, a vigilant woman manning the station there, pointed out that a transit visa is one that allows, and expects, you to enter and exit at different points, not to do a tour circuit. Two or three people got involved in the discussion and for an anxious while we thought they might turn us away, but in the end they allowed us to pass. We unfairly blamed the Cotonou consul entirely for the “misunderstanding”…
Once through the Ghana border, we found another collective taxi to Navrongo. While waiting for it to fill with other passengers, we fell into, admittedly limited, conversation with a group of boys, each carrying a large, empty, tomato tin. When I asked what the tins were for, one boy said: “We use it for begging”. Another tro-tro delivered us to Bolga and there we boarded the final tro-tro for the three-hour journey to Tamale. The tro-tro is not a comfortable ride, and is a potential death trap, but it sure gets you from A to B.
Ghanaian stalls are named: Anointed Angel Fast Food, God is Great Electric Works, Prayer is the Key Enterprises.
We really enjoyed our meal at KFC; the taste and smell of “home”, of the familiar.

For Ghana (previous and next country), click HERE
For Africa overview, click HERE

Leaving Tiébélé
Leaving Tiébélé
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