I’m sitting in my hotel room in Accra, Ghana and I’m pretty sure I don’t even need the air conditioning that they offer. It is mid-August in equatorial Africa. How is it possible that the weather is actually wonderful? My entire understanding of the world is unraveling in ways I did not think possible.
Initial impressions of Accra are very positive. The airport is decent enough for the amount of traffic it serves. The collection of Gulfstream jets with US registrations was interesting, to be certain, but there is plenty of money here so I’m not all that surprised. And the hotel sent a guy to pick me up at the airport so I didn’t have to negotiate with the taxi touts other than to get them out of my way. Very enjoyable initial experience.
Arrival at the hotel – Afia African Village – was handled very well and within 10 minutes of arrival I had my toes in the ocean, enjoying the sand and water. Lots of locals out on the beach. Some were doing laundry, some commuting and some dancing and exercising and just hanging out with friends. Everyone had a good time.
They say not to drink the water here – some even caution against the local bottled water. Given the options available I’m not really one to argue with such logic. I just pop open a nice cold Star Lager and enjoy what comes along. And then another when it is time for dinner.
Quite a nice dinner it was, too. Local fresh tilapia and banku. The waiter thought I was a bit strange for ordering the local dish but it was quite delicious. The fish was cooked to perfection and the the banku was, well, interesting. Somewhere between grits, polenta and a lead weight, it is definitely a filling grain source. I can understand why it is so popular based on its ability to fill a stomach. And with the local hot sauce drizzled on top it even has a bit of flavor that isn’t horrible. I wouldn’t want to try to live on the stuff, but as a side dish to go with a great fish it is certainly a good option.
And to come full circle from the beginning of the post, the weather. It is wonderful. A bit warm when I arrived but the hotel is right on the beach where a breeze keeps things tolerable. And once the sun went down the temperature dropped with it. Sitting at dinner it was almost cool out. Africa is full of surprises and I’m just getting started. Off to Togo tomorrow and more fun there!
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