ARE YOU PACKED? YOU TOOK YOUR SHOTS? LET’S GO GHANA! AND THE BEST PART IS… YOU DO NOT NEED TO GET A PASSPORT!
Day 21 – The gold mile (part 2)
After warding off unwanted sale pitches from at least 20 sellers, we escaped the centre and found a woman selling traditional food at the side of the road not too far from the centre. Yannick and Alina bought rice and stew with the assistance of the art sellers that followed us, they got their take away for a lesser price than what was charged by the lady. However, Marie and Nida feared of cooked rice in the heat and opted to wait for somewhere else to eat. I summoned the group to start walking and eat because the sellers were gathering around and I could not be bothered to fend them all off. I was drained from talking and constant complaining from the group.
We came up to Nkrumah Memorial park which was so immaculate in maintenance and beautifully decorated with trees planted by politicians that paid tribute to the 1st president, Dr Kwame Nkrumah; as well as the fountains, seating areas, the famous golden statue of the president and the impressively designed memorial where laid the tomb of the president and his wife. They took pictures of the park, the art installation of sculptures of decapitated heads on the lawn, and inside of the museum.
Next to the park, there were ladies selling roasted plantains and cold drinks. Nida and Marie grabbed food and we started walking towards the Independence Square. All of a sudden rain poured from the heavens but we kept walking until the rain got heavier and found shelter nearby. I thought the rain would stop after a few minutes but as time passed and the streets quickly became flooded we realised that we could not walk any further as it was hard to see ahead of us and there were now strong winds. I decided to brave the weather and find a trotro but they would speed by us filled with passengers and did not stop for us so we agreed on a taxi. All of us were soaked to the bone. We saw a small taxi approaching us so we ran out from the shelter and flagged it down and all of us crammed in.
The taxi dropped us off outside Labadi Beach. The entrance was flooded and we were covered in rainwater with our clothes and hair were stuck to our skin. There was a queue and people huddled under some sheltering near the entrance. I walked head trying not to get my flip flops lost in the flooded areas. The staff wanted to charge 20 cedis each (£4) and refused as he was trying to rip me off. He beckoned me to come back and agreed on the usual weekend price of 10 cedis each. I called the group over and we paid our entrance fee and walked to the nearest bar on the beach. We asked for a table upstairs and for lots of tissues to dry ourselves with. We had a friendly young waiter who was so helpful. He took our orders and came back with pizzas for the girls and two chicken sandwiches for me and Yannick. We all ate in silence as we devoured our meals and satisfied our hunger.
As the evening drew closer, the DJ played high tempo tunes and got us into the party mood. Some locals were still outside swimming in the stormy weather and walking around the beach. I was grateful to be indoors. As we were reflecting on our hectic day, I learnt a lot about my new German friends, especially Nida who was such an open book with a broken heart. I comforted her as tears fell from her eyes about her recent breakup. I reminded her that she was strong and filled with resilience and she will move on eventually. She smiled and ordered some more drinks for the table. All of a sudden, I noticed a crowd forming in the restaurant. There was a group of 7 young beautiful girls dancing their routines to afrobeats like something out of ‘Coyote Ugly’. We joined the crowd of admirers to clap and cheer the girls on with their performances.
We felt like joining the party and headed downstairs. After a few more drinks, I asked the dance group if we could join them. They were so welcoming and was eager to show us their moves. All of us mimicked the girls and got into the spirit of letting go and having fun. After such a long day, we mingled and danced the night away at Labadi Beach.
Stay tuned for my last week in Accra for more good times and adventures in the motherland.