It was a long drive from Busua Beach to Accra and we stopped just after passing Cape Coast at the Anomabo Beach resort for lunch. For someone wanting a quiet, away-from-it all location, Anomabo Beach is perfect. We only experienced the restaurant overlooking the beach which was great and the beach goes on forever with hardly anyone on it. There was the odd person swimming so it must be safe (you have to always ask in Ghana if the beaches are safe according to the Bradt guide as there are some nasty currents). It was more up-market than Busua.
We invited our driver to join us for lunch and he was chuffed. Sharan and he order the Tilapia and banku, I had to have the Red Red beans, fried plantain and chicken. The portions were enormous and really one could have fed two of us. An embarrassing thing happened which reminded me of the HSBC add. After ordering, they only brought two sets of knives and forks and plonked a large bottle of some kind of detergent on the table. I naturally thought it was that dry hand wash that I buy all the time so squeezed a huge amount into my hands and massaged it in. It smelt delicious of strawberries but I soon realised to my horror that it wasn’t what I thought it was. Just before the meal arrived, they bought a bowl of water and our driver used the detergent and water to wash his hands! He then ate the food using his right hand only. Sharan decided to follow suit and ate her fish a la Ghanaian. I visited the loo several times to try and get rid of the stickiness on my hands and I have to say that the next day, my hands were the cleanest they have ever been!
Our last night we spent at the Afia Beach Hotel in Accra which was lovely. We did not feel like having a proper dinner after our huge lunch which was a shame since their restaurant has a fine reputation. They are building a new restaurant overlooking the beach which was deserted although when my Uncle John went there he said the beach was very disappointing because it was very dirty (used as a public toilet).
The next day we visited the Labadi Beach Hotel and paid 25 cedis to sit by their pool, swim and chill. It was good to see the top end of the market but a whole world away from the Ghana that we had seen. I needed to print out some documents and the business centre was very helpful, even though it was a Sunday. We went down onto the beach which had an amazing atmosphere – horses to hire, drumming, dancing, lots of people there. Sadly, when we went in the sea, we were surrounded by rubbish floating in the water so didn’t manage to have a swim. I have seen some beautiful beaches in Ghana but this theme of using them as public toilets and throwing rubbish in the sea seams to be a common one that the new President Mills needs to address since it must be the only thing holding back the tourists.
On that note, I feel that Ghana is bound to take off as an emerging travel destination – which on the one hand could be very good for Ghanaians giving them jobs and a better standard of living but on the other may contaminate a beautiful people and way of life with our Western values which would be a terrible shame. I would really recommend the Bradt Guide on Ghana – that is where we found the information about accommodation, transport, interesting things to do. The only disapppointment is that we didn’t get any marriage proprosals although one taxi driver did tell me that he loved me (and I had only been in the car for 5 minutes! I think that he meant that “he liked me”)
(www.volunteervacations.co.uk has voluntary placements in both Accra and Cape Coast for netball and rugby coaching placements. Details are on website, contact firstname.lastname@example.org/01483 331551/07833 208158 for more info)