How to turn a 5-hour ride into 9 hours.

There are days in life, when everything seems to be going wrong. Last Saturday was such a day. Laura and me planned to visit Lake Bosumtwe, a lake close to Kumasi in the Ashanti region, to do horse riding and relax for a long weekend. Google maps predicted a 5-hourr ride and we thought that would be alright.

We started early in the morning and took the VIP Bus to Kumasi. The bus was really comfortable, even though the air condition was a bit too cold. On our way to Kumasi it  started to rain and we got stuck in traffic as coming closer to the city. Kumasi is the second biggest city in Ghana and therefore the traffic is as bad as in Accra. In the end we already needed 6-hours to arrive at the bus station. In a next step we were supposed to take a TroTro from Kumasi to Kuntanase and then change to a taxi that would take us to Abono (the small town at the lakeside). Seeing that we were a bit lost, we asked someone to help us to find the right TroTro. We met five other German volunteers and entered the TroTro the guy showed us. It turned out that the TroTro was not supposed to go to Kuntanase, but seeing that we were already 7 people with the same destination they offered us to charter  it for 7 cedis each. That was a fair price so we accepted the offer. It turned out to be not the best decision. Bad luck was chasing us, seeing that it started to rain even heavier, the road was terrible and the wipers stopped working after ten minutes. Therefore, our driver was not able to see anything. Anyway, he carried on and did not think about to drive more slowly. It was a quite dangerous situation and we almost had an accident, because the driver missed a big whole in the streets.

We were very happy, when we arrived at the entrance of the tourist office two hours later, even though we had to face our next challenge there. The guy at the office wanted to charge each person 10 cedis, meaning 70 cedis in total, to preserve the lake. We already paid 5 Cedi at the entrance of the UNESCO-Biosphere reserve and weren’t sure about his intentions. Therefore we refused to pay and had to discuss half an hour. In the end I called the accommodation, that reassured us that the guy has no permission to take money from us and that he would probably not spend it for anything, but his own. Therefore, we fled from the office and had to find a taxi that would take us to the accommodation. The discussions started once again. The taxi drivers wanted 50 Cedi (8 euro) for a 10-minutes ride. Even though it was a short way only, walking was not an option, because it was still raining and it close to becoming dark. In the end we found a driver who agreed on 25 cedi. Unfortunately he was not listening to the discussions closely. Therefore, he drove us to the wrong accommodation – the one the other Germans stayed in – and we had to go all the way back.

After 9 hours we finally arrived our accommodation. The Green Ranch is a lovely hotel run by a French woman and her Ghanaian husband. The ranch consist of 3 accommodations and a lot of horses and a donkey, running around all free just in front of the dormitories. Also the owner is very concerned about the nature and therefore keeps the ranch ecofriendly, meaning no plastic, filtered water and a small amount of guests. We were very tired and after having dinner at the lovely terrace and a quick chat with the other guests we went to bed.

The next day, we planned to go horse riding – a passion from my childhood I still can’t resist. It was raining in the morning, but we were lucky to catch one hour without rain. My horse was called Galaxy and I really enjoyed riding next to the beautiful lake. After arriving back to the ranch, I wanted to go swimming and found this very beautiful private beach on the lakeside. Unfortunately I could not stay that long, because it started raining again. Anyway it was also really nice to relax on the terrace and read a book.

On Monday we had to head back to Accra. Therefore, we wanted to take a boat to Abono and then a shared taxi to Kuntanase and Ejitsu. As it happens in Ghana this plan did not work out as well. The boat was not coming – even after waiting for an hour. For this reason, we ordered a taxi instead. As a result the boat was coming around the corner – it was just too funny to be frustrated. Arriving in Ejitsu we took a minibus to Accra, because we thought it would be faster to avoid Kumasi this time. This assumption turned out to be wrong, seeing that we had to wait for 1,5 hours until the bus was full. Moreover, the driver stopped a lot of time – alighting and collecting people. When we arrived Accra in the evening and it would have been just 10 minutes to the station, the bus stopped and the driver asked all the people to alight. We protested, because he was supposed to stop at circle station. He did not care, but paid another TroTro for us that would bring us there.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  All in all, Lake Bosumtwe was very nice, even though the journey might be too long for a weekend only.

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