The coast kept on going, but it was time for me to head North. I would have liked to keep riding along the coast, but with elections in The Ivory Coast becoming as volatile as expected it just wasn’t in the cards. Mind you, this wasn’t all bad…
After one more night on the stunning coast,
where I had the dubious pleasure of watching nature in action as vultures waited for turtles to hatch so they could feed on them,
I was off into the interior.
Once I left the main coastal road I really wasn’t sure what expect from the riding. The flooding that had originally sent me away from the coast was still a problem with over 700,000 people still displaced in Ghana alone. As well, in my experience, once you got away from the main coastal roads things quickly fell apart. So expecting the worst, and hoping for the graveled best, I set out. And into a land of decent roads that were barely potholed. A land where even secondary roads were in good condition! A land of…. Well, I’m sure you get the idea, though I still get a bit emotional when I think about it… Even better, this almost surreal experience of riding on good roads through the jungle was topped off with a stay at the kind of place you can only get in less developed nations.
It wasn’t the weaver birds that you could sit and watch for hours as the males tried to build a nest that would be acceptable to a mate;
Don’t get me wrong- the were cool. No, it was the free roaming alligators. Liability laws are a bit different in developing nations. The alligators were well fed and you could even pet them, but if you got close and something happened, well that was your choice and most likely your fault for having such tasty looking appendages.
The reason I was taking this particular road was that it would lead me to a gold mine where a riding couple I had met in Namibia lived and worked. They had invited me to visit on my way by and the thought of some good company was better than a carrot to keep me riding in their direction. After a few false starts down the less than well posted jungle tracks, I arrived at… Well, it felt more like arriving in… the 1950’s. Past the well guarded gate (you should have seen all the signatures on my entry authorization form!) was a well manicured little village of well spaced bungalows of a couple of different designs with well tended little gardens around them. To one end was the social area with bar, restaurant, entertainment space, and pool; further away an 18 hole golf course carved out of the jungle awaited. The unreality of it kept me half expecting to see Edward Scissorhands showing off his skills with the shrubbery…
A warm welcome, good food, and great company were the order of the day and it was a wonderful treat to just sit in someones living room and chat like a normal person. While I could certainly be accused of being solitary, I’m most certainly not a hermit and I’d missed the simple warmth of spending time with friends- be they old or new. So, obviously, I had to leave the next day! The feeling of security and comfort in that little enclave was terribly tempting, but the longer I stayed the harder it would to get going and longer it would take to get back into the groove- Circe would not have me!
Before I forget- thanks again guys!!