Ghana 2004
Page 3


Busua, a backpacker hang-out since the '60s.

Cape Coast Castle, the largest of the slave dungeons from the British Gold Coast. It was chilling. And dark, and dank, and not a place where you would want to spend any time, let alone being crammed in with no light, no place to use the toilet, no place to do anything except wish you were somewhere else.

Over 60 of these stone forts dot the Ghanaian coastline, lasting evidence of the largest involuntary diaspora ever experienced by mankind.

This is one of the cells of Cape Coast where slaves were kept until the slave ships came to whisk them to the Americas.

There was no light, no bathrooms, simply 200 people crammed into a small stone room and left to wonder what went wrong.

A doorway leading to the slave ships that would take them to the Americas, called The Door Of No Return by slaves.

The tunnel has been blocked off to represent the end of the slave trade in Ghana, and a sign has been placed on the outside of the door that says, "The Door of Return".

For more information on modern-day slavery, please visit

Above the trees in the wood-and-rope canopy walkway in Kakum National Park, offering a rare opportunity to look into the forest canopy at 40 meters above the jungle floor.

I'm above the trees on the wood-and-rope canopy walkway in Kakum National Park, 40 meters above the jungle floor.

A delivery truck with jillions of plastic bags of water.

Sack Lunches in Ghana
I've had a sack lunch before, but never quite like this. In Ghana, I went to  chop bars ("chop" is slang for "eat") in Kintampo and elsewhere.  Sometimes the vendor would give me rice, beans, noodles, hot sauce, some sort of spicing powder, and a hardboiled egg, all mushed together in a black plastic bag!!  I believe this particular rice-and-bean dish is called wenchii.

Accompanying this meal would sometimes be purified water in a clear plastic bag. Here in Ghana, the locals drink purified water out of plastic bags. You chew off a little corner of the bag, and then suck the water out of the bag.

One of the slave cells for the female slaves in St. George's Castle in Elmina, along the Ghanaian Coast.

Above St. George's Castle in Elmina, Cape Coast.

Slaves awaiting their long boat ride to the Americas would have had a lovely view of the ocean if they had been able to see the views from their cells.

The fish market in Elmina.

My New Job as the Interior Decorator for the Savoy Hotel

At St. George's Castle, I was approached by a boy named Michael.  When I came out of the Castle, he had written From Michael, Have a nice day, To Ken on a seashell and gave it to me as a "gift", asking money afterwards.

I tried to give him back the shell, but he refused, pointing out that he could not erase my name. So Michael's lovely gift now seamlessly adorns the very top of the shell boat sculpture at the Savoy Hotel, where I was staying in Cape Coast.

Anomabu Beach. Hauling the ship to dry land after a day of fishing.

The villagers danced and drummed down
The streets of Anomabu in anticipation of the Bontiku Festival, a religious festival. Some of the participants cleared a path so I could photograph the dancers more easily.

Fort Leydsaansheid (this Dutch word translates to something resembling "patience" in English) in the town of Apam.

Curiously, this former fort and slave dungeon has been converted to a budget guesthouse for travelers.

Not entirely convinced that staying in a dungeon by myself would be fun, I instead decided to take the tour and keep traveling to Kokrobite Beach instead. 



Kokrobite Beach Resort, near Accra.

I had heard differing reports about this beach resort, either hearing that it was not terribly relaxing because of the noise and that there was a lot of thievery on the beach (the solution, I was told, was simple: don't bring anything valuable to the beach!), or that it was a very nice place to meet other backpackers and relax.

While understanding how it could be the former, I fortunately found it to be much more of the latter. I met some interesting people, ate lots of their yummy food, read lots of books, and did little of anything else for three days.

After a month in Ghana, I flew to Frankfurt, Germany for several days > > >.

Ghana 2004


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