I guess this is a real special thing but maybe you could give me a second opinion on some plans I've been having lately.
So, my girfrliend don't hate me... went to Ghana for a year about one month ago. She really wants me to visit her and I've never been to Africa before, so I'll go for it.
My plan is to fly to accra and rent a motorcycle to reach her village/town and maybe explore the surroundings a little bit. I plan a 1 - 2 Week trip and have about 2000-3000€ (roughly 800€ will be for the flight). Is this even realistic?
What kind of inucolations do I need for such a short stay? The whole stuff? Amarillic Typhus is important, but tetanus, diptheria, pertussis, polio, MMR, hepatitis, meningitis, typhus and rabies?
Has anyone on here ever been to Africa or did an exotic trip with his bike?
When I went to Africa, I had to have a number of shots before going over there and recorded in a little card. On returning to Australia, customs checked the card and apparently they'd give you an injection there and then if it wasn't filled out.
I can't remember exactly which injections I had, but yellow fever was one I had a bad reaction to it and I had to take malaria medication.
Ghana takes awhile with visas from what I've heard.
Also you might be best to try organising a local driver/guide to drive you to the village.
I thought about getting a GPS Navigation system and go by myself. Bad idea?
>went to Ghana
bad news, bro… she's taking the BBC hard and deep
(KEBAB HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM PREMISES)
I wouldn't be in a relationship with her anymore if I had the feeling that I couldn't trust her. But that shouldn't be the topic of this thread...
here you will find all the infos you need: http://forum.motorradkarawane.de
Thanks! :) Quite helpful.
I made good progress concerning the shots. I had a talk with someone from my health insurance and they actually pay 70% of travel inoculations and malaria medication. I'll make an appointement with my doctor to talk the whole thing trough and I think I'll start it as soon as possible.
On the weekend I will write some mails to hiring companys in Accra and try to get an impression of the prices and types of bikes (I'm hoping for an older GS or Africa Twin). I will also ask for 2 boxes (or 1 box plus an extra gas can) and a tank bag because my own Elefantenboy would need a lot of space. I can bring another bag (the black thingie behind the guy with the AK) from Germany. I think that should be enough space. I will invest roughly 500€ in light gear (an Offroad Helmet, light textile combination, offroad boots and light gloves) and try to find thin long sleeved shirts (linen/cotton mix). I'm also looking for a GPS (and maybe a GoPro with helmet mounting?) for hire.
Her village is actually pretty much a "city" (Tafo) and is about 250-300km away from Accra. I will stay in Accra for the first night and then I should be able to do the ride in one step. I've done >1000km in one day here in Germany but I guess I won't go much faster then 50kmh most of the time there and when going slow the heat will really be a problem. Now that I think of it, I should probably get some good sunglasses...
I'll carry my old DSLR with me,upgrade the CF card to something bigger and get a simple phone with multisim (german contract and ghana prepaid) and a long battery life.
I'm not sure driving yourself in Africa would be a smart idea. I'm sure you're aware that people in these countries drive like maniacs. And of course don't drive at night because lots of people don't use lights etc.
I would go visit a travel doctor about that. That's what I did before I went to south east Asia in May. They'll tell you and give you all the shots you'll need.
However, I've heard that Ghana is one of the nicer countries in Africa, and one of the safest to travel in. I've also read that Burkina Faso is very safe for African standards (even better than Ghana), it might be cool to take a trip up there while you're in Ghana.
Ok fellow Bernds, a short update:
I booked the flight one month ago. I will leave Germany on 11.04.2014 and return on 27.04.2014 after rougly 2 weeks. I got the yellowfever shot and boostrix (polio, tetanus, pertussis, diptherie) plus a prescription for malarone. Soon I'll receive hepatitis and menningitis innoculations and should be good to go. My passwort was printed and is ready to pick up in the local citizens office and I can apply for a visa now. I kinda dropped the motorcycle idea because it would simply make the whole thing a lot more complicated.
I payed 750€ for the flight with KLM Royal Dutch including premium service and a travel cancellation insurance. 10€ for a travel health insurance.
1x main luggage, 23kg, maximum 158cm (lenght+width+height)
1x cabin luggage, 12kg, maximum 55cm x 25cm x 35cm + 1 acessoire (in my case: DSLR camera)
- a backpack as main luggage
- a good pair of shoes/boots
- a two person tent with low pack size and low weight (+mosquito defense system ;_;)
- low weight/very basic camping equipment
(- tips for clothing)
For the first few days we will have a hotel room in Accra to execute acts of reproduction. Then I'll visit her hosts and the school she works at. On the following weekend, we will travel in the area around her home. On Monday we will go for a cruise on Lake Volta and visit the Mole National park. Then we will slowly return to Accra, continue with acts of reproduction and shed a lot of tears when I leave.
So, Bernd (especially Deutschbernd):
Can you recommend me a good backpack, some decent boots, a leightweight tent and/or other stuff?
What about military surplus stuff? The backpacks seem quite cheap and should be good quality, right? Army-/Heerbernd pls respond!
>Then I'll visit her hosts and the school she works at.
Does she work as a teacher there? How did she get the job?
t. Bernd der das Lotterleben satt hat
She's a volunteer, went there right after finishing her Abitur.
I did exotic trips by motorbike, but only in South- and Southeast Asia. It's totally awesome. Also, renting a bike is quite cheap there. I hope you have a license, yes?
Yes, I have the license.
So, another update on my situation:
I got all innoculations, I got my visa, I bought a backpack, Malarone (even though I'm not sure wether to take it or not...) and some small things.
I've spent roughly 1200€ for travel preparations now. 1000€ - 2000€ for phone bills, letters and packages/presents for her from September - now.
She broke up with me one month ago. Lots of shit happenend, I tried to fight for us. It didn't work and I got hurt & have hurt myself... Yeah, should have seen it coming. But well, now I'm here - I don't really know wether I want to see her again and do the "lets be friends" thingie for the time or just go there and spend two weeks on my own... Both things seem rather depressing but I can't cancel my plans. I can't let that opportunity pass. And I can't let all the fucking money be for nothing.
I'm going to Africa! :3
Pic&link related: my backpack!
>She broke up with me one month ago.
Oh wow. Just wow.
>She broke up with me one month ago.
What a surprise. Why did you even spend the money? It was obvious, that she's going to like the big black cock over there and doesn't want you to find out.
Some day you might experience this thing called love. It makes you do insanely stupid things. I regret nothing. I'm glad I tried and did what I could, but some things can't be changed.
And btw, afaik she doesn't take the BBC yet but is kissing another german volunteer there.
Tut mir leid das ich deinen Faden erst so spät entdecke.
Was Schuhe angeht: du brauchst leicht, nicht zu dicke, aber knöchelhohe Stiefel.
Die Vielfalt ist da extrem. Ich rate dir DRINGEND! einen Outdoor-Shop mit Auswahl auszusuchen und NICHT den örtlichen Schuhladen.
Ich hab meine HanWag Tatra auch so gefunden. Die Auswahl war nicht sehr berauschend (4 andere Modelle, alle in der selben Preisklasse) aber ich bin zufrieden. Kann aber noch keine längere Wanderung verbuchen.
In meinem Lowa konnte ich bepackt gut 5-6 Stunden am Stück gehen, meine Mutter ging auf dem Campo knapp 8 Stunden am Tag in Haglöfs, ich konnte sie keine 5 Minuten anlassen im Geschäft.
Anzuraten wären hier die Filialen von globetrotter die einen Besuch wert sind. (Die gesamte Ausrüstung betreffend)
Meine Schuhe sollten 220NG kosten, ich hab sie in der Bucht für knapp 90 geschossen, wurden zwar schon 3 Mal getragen, Profil ist aber neuwertig und das Leder hat keine großartigen Laufspuren.
Sieh zu, das du einen leichten Stock bekommst, damit geht sichs viel angenehmer.
Basics wie Kopfbedeckung und Microfaserhandtücher sollten klar sein. Hosen aus irgend einem Aktiv-Stoff der schnell trocknet.
Wichtig an Mitnahmedingen ist noch: Micropur (zur Wasserentkeimung) und Rei in der Tube (wenn du nicht anders waschen kannst). Lass dir von einem Apotheker eine Reiseapotheke zusammenstellen. Das Geld wird es wert sein wenn du dir die Seele ausscheisst und dt. Medikamente zur Hilfe hast.
How did you decide on that certain backpack?
Did you go to store to let it filled with weight and tested through all models?
Are there models for men with narrow shoulders?
>Did you go to store to let it filled with weight and tested through all models?
This. Not all models though, I tried low-cost, medium and high-end models. They were all packed with roughly the same weight (~15kg) and I've spent 15 minutes wearing each (running stairs, walking around, looking stupid).
The Kaikkialla is a medium model, but felt very comfortable.
I'll wear my Doc's. May sound stupid to you, but it's the most comfortable pair of shoes I've ever owned.
But that's such a hassle...did you buy it from the store then?
Usually the prices from the store are atleast 20% higher than on the internet.
Yup, I did. You got a Smartphone, right?
1. go to a store
2. try different models, get advice
3. chose a model
4. check online with your smartphone for (user) reviews
5. check online with your smartphone for prices:
a) no cheaper option - buy it in the store
b) less than 10€ cheaper - buy it in the store! You tried all the models, got advice. It's worth it.
c) more than 30€ cheaper - try to beat down the price, show him the online offer.
If thats OK with him, fine! But still go with online price plus 5-10€. If it isn't: say that
you're sorry, thank him for his advice and even tip him some money if the service was good.
d) if the price difference is 10-30€: chose either b) or c), depending on the level of service
6. enjoy your backpack
That's the way I do it when I want to buy more expensive stuff. Sometimes the service is bad, sometimes it is good. If it's good, pay for it! That way it will stay good. I know, you might be a student, maybe you don't have much money - but 5€ more or less doesn't make a big difference, right? You can easily save it somewhere else. And regarding the hassle: Picking your package up at DHL, maybe returning it, repeat... Quite a hassle as well.
I never get into this board, like never, ever. Are you still going to Ghana? Anywhere else in Africa?
I was in Ethiopia once, it will suit you in case you are interested in old stuff, ancient cultures and the like also early christianism. You can find some UNESCO sites there and I'd say it's the most peaceful area in Africa right now (as long as you don't get close to Somalia).
You don't want to get all them boots, hats and extensive "travel clothes". You're not Indiana Jones. If you do, you'll end up wasting a lot of money and look like some complete idiot walking around like that. Locals will also think you're an idiot and treat you like that. If you get problems, it will be problems with locals and not with lions or snakes - no need to get top--notch GPS ping beams and desert survival kits.
Bring some medicaments, a backpack and a mastercard. Decent sneakers or boots. You'll be fine, I promise.
You'll also ruin your trip for yourself if you visit that bitch, don't do it.
t. edgy travelbernd
Good luck and I would love to read updates on here!
HAHAHAHA he was right.
tbf it could have many reasons, OP didn't detail it.
He wrote above it was another German volunteer
Bernd, in case you're in an internet cafe somewhere out there, please consider sending me a postcard. :3
I'll repay you in beer once you're back.
>lets his gf go alone to africa for 1 year
You are SO cheated by her and numerous black men.
Hey Bernd, Sorry I kept you waiting for such a long time. I really didn't want to disappoint you, but I had a lot of stuff to do during the last half year.
First thing first: We sorted out our problems before I flew to Ghana.
After our breakup I was in a minor depression because of this shit and at one point realised it was the time to man up. We still talked regularly on the phone and at one point we had a fight about something. I knew it was time to turn the tables. I told her it would be better if we both get some time to think about this and talk again in exactly one week. Days passed and at some point she texted me: She knew the weak wasn't over yet but she misses me. She was worried and hoping I was fine. I didn't answer, she texted me everyday. I got out of the hole which I think was a depression, went out with my friends, had fun and thought about all of it. I loved her and despite the things that have happened I wished for nothing more than getting her back.
Then (it might be the whole week or just 6 days, i don't remember anymore) I called her. She seemed sad and relieved, she was really waiting for this call. She was happy to hear my voice but I told her she should liste now: I Told her what a bitch she was, how much I trusted her, how much she disappointed me, etc.pp. My grand final was "And no thanks about your offer of 'still being friends'. If you really think you can pull it of that way you are once and for all not the type of person I'd like to socialize with in any form."
I've never seen her being so submissive. She started crying, went totally mental and defensive. I told her she made a fucking mistake and shouldn't blame me for her being such a weak person. I knew a long distance relationship isn't easy but I always tried to give 100% of what I could. And she just threw it away. She then went from being defensive to being destroyed. It was hurting me quite a bit. I loved her and surely didn't want her to suffer, but on the other hand it felt good to finally be in the position of power again. I told her she should think about it and then went to sleep. It was the worst night of my life. She called me the next morning and sobbingly said sorry for all of it. Not just a simple "hey, I'm sorry" but definetely something that pleased me and convinced me. We then sorted the problems out and slowly had more contact. We kept it plain until April.
Pic related was the Christmas package I sent her in december. It arrived after we broke up. The frame had a photo of us two (which she almost forgot about) and the package was stuffed with additional candy.
The evening before my flight went of my dad suprised me after I got home from work. He had a 300km car ride and got a day off work just to drive me to the airport. We had a nice evening, went out for dinner and drank a few beers. The next morning he drove me to the airport and I finally went on my first real journey.
Schiphol was nice. I had roughly 6 hours of time to spend. I ate sushi, broke my fasting with some white wine and Fernet Branca. I had a seat at the gate and then waited, listening to music and reading the papers. Suddenly it was full of black people. I knew it was about to happen.
I got onto the plane and was seated at the window next to a ghanain Doctor from Bremen. We had quite an interesting talk, drank some wine and enjoyed the dinner (which was quite good, thanks KLM!). Flying over the Sahara was quite impressive and there was a minor thunderstorm somewhere around Ouagadougu. We landed in Accra, some child threw up and I couldn't wait to get out of the plane. The doors were opened and as I stepped on the runway I felt like putting my head into a fishtank. I was sweating like fuck and it took 2 hours till I passed the entry officers, collected my luggage and stepped out of the airport. My now-again girlfriend fell into my arms, we were both crying and after months of pain kissed again. At the hotel I took my first of a few hundred showers, showed her the stuff I packed for her and her family gave me.
I arrived on Friday evening, this is what happened the following days:
Saturday: We went out to a local market, she showed me some local fabrics and I bought some so I could get a few shirts tailored. We had lunch on the streets (basically scrambled eggs with lots of spice and vegetables) and ate dinner (at an italian restaurant because she wished for it. I would have prefered something local but well, I thought I'd get enough local food the next days)
Sunday: I found my first cockroach. Breakfast on the streets, another market and then we packed our things and went for a ride with a Tro (small buslike share taxi) to reach her village.
I'll take break and continue later. I don't want the days to be oneliners. To keep the tension up: I got malaria. Fuck you malarone.
The taxi drivers were quite aggressive, seeing you just as a big walking bag of money. But that was the only negative experience I made with the people down there. I don't even blame them, they just want to make a living and feed their children. Anyways, on Sunday evening we arrived at the village she was working at and I met her host family. They were very nice people and I got dinner called "Fufu" - basically mashed Yam roots and Plantains which form a chewy dough served with a spicy soup. Of course I ate it with my fingers as expected - I bet it was a great show for everyone.
During that night I experienced my first tropical thunderstorm - an amazing experience :3 So much rain, cozy thunder...
On Monday we went to the next big town, Koforidua, bought some fruits (mango, papaya, pineapple and oranges) and then went for a hike in the mountains/jungle. We reached a popular yet lonely waterfall and decided to have a rest. We swom naked, had sex on the rock in the middle of the water and then had the incredible tasty fruits while drying in the sunlight. I was a bit worried about parasites but it was a once in a lifetime moment. It was late afternoon when we decided to leave and luckily we quickly got picked up by another Tro at the next main road. I learned that tropical nights come very very fast. In roughly 30 minutes it turned from daylight to pitch black.
On Tuesday we visited the school she was working at, I got to know her colleagues and played a bit with the children. Nothing special so far. We then went to Koforidua again to pay a visit to a tailor a male teacher recommended to me. I had him take my measurements, bargained about the price and then gave him the cloth I already bought.
Got more updates?
Tuesday evening I had Red-Red as dinner, which is black eyed peas cooked in palm oil and served with fried plantains. It was very tasty and I already tried to cook it myself back in good old Germany.
Wednesday - we wanted to visit another market in a town named Tafo and then go to some agricultural research facility with very nice cacao fields. On the market we wanted to have breakfast. While waiting for another egg-sandwich I suddenly started to feel very weak and thought it must have been because I didn't eat anything yet and the sun was shing very strong that day. I felt dizzy and had to take a seat in the shadow. The women serving the food seemed a bit worried, I drank some water, ate and then already felt a bit better. She gave me some candied nuts which pushed my blood sugar and I was feeling alright again. We then left the market and went to the cacao facility, tricked the guards by saying we wanted to visit our uncle and then had a walk under the cacao plants. The shadow felt good but soon my joints started to hurt and my legs became really heavy. We made a rest and then walked back to the town, stopping every 50m because I felt dizzy again. I drank a coke which got me working again. We then had a seat in a taxi and drove home, still blaming it all on the sun.
>> Coke (as almost any other drink) was served in a plastic bag. The shop owners didn't want to give you the bottles, either because they were worth money or they could use them thereselves. Water could be bought in plastic bottles (Nestlé ofc) and plastic bags. Those bags were sealed and had a government stamp which stated the pureness of the water. One bag, roughly containing 0.5L was about 20 pesewas (0.20GHS - Ghana Cedi)which is equivalent to 0.05EUR or 0.06USD
Back in her village we could convince a shop owner to sell me some beer (Star from Nigeria and Club from Ghana) in bottles. We then had dinner (Jollof Rice / Benachin - rice with tomatoes, cassava (ground maniok) and spices served with an hard boiled egg). I handed the host family some presents I brought with me:
~ a bottle of German wine which was worth the equivalent of a monthly salary of a ghanaian teacher - felt a bit awkward after I found out how much a teacher earned, but well I didn't brag about the price
~ some "european quality" leggins, made in china - because the host mother wished for them
~ some candy for the maid - who definetely didn't expect to get anything. seems like a hard life...
~ 4 waterpistols for the children
We filled the waterpistols in advance at the well and then handed two of them over to the two kids. They looked at them a bit helpless. We then suprised them by starting to shoot - they quickly figured the toys out and we really had some fun together. They were like 7 and 5 years old. I felt better at that time and we decided to watch a movie and then go to sleep. I drank a beer and just as I finished it I started to shiver massively and turned really cold. At that point I knew something was wrong. I then put on pyjama pants, tshirt, pullover, socks and even got a second blanket because it felt so damn cold. After half an hour I feel asleep because of exhaustion. I woke up at 4am, my belly hurting like fuck and soaked with sweat. I went to the toilet, had diarrhea and then took a cold shower. I threw some charcoal because I thought I might have eaten something spoiled and then went back to sleep.
On the picture there are some of the shirts I ordered. Obviously during the following days I wasn't in the mood to take pictures, so you maybe will get some in the next post, depending on how much I will write.
Keep us posted m8. West Africa and especially Ghana seem interesting to travel
Also thanks for them feels.
Hey Ghana-Bernd, we're waiting. More please!
Sorry guys, I got my appendix removed this week. I'll continue on sunday :3
Sunday was a few days ago, m8.
I'm sorry, I had to do some work to make up for the week I was ill.
But here we go:
During the day, I didn't feel any better and we decided to take a cab to the next hospital which was the private hospital in the Cocoa Research Institute in Tafo. We waited quite a bit, nurses measured my weight and blood pressure and then I had a talk with the doctor. He was quite a nice guy who had studied medicine in the netherlands. He quickly decided that it's either Malaria or I ate something wrong - just like I thought in the morning. Some lab guy took a blood sample from me and they made a Malaria-test. Well, suprise suprise - I had Malaria! :3 I then had a nice talk with the doc, he told me not to worry, prescribed me some medicaments and wished me good luck!
My fever almost instantly disappeared after I started the medication but my stomach problems continued. I still felt very weak and so we spent thursday at home. On thursday evening (remember, It was the week before Easter) the host family killed and butchered a big pig. They offered me some and I thought it would be kinda rude to totally refuse the meat since it seemed to be something special. But I told them I only wanted a little bit because my stomach isn't feeling very well. I got a huge plate full of rice and pig in a spicy tomato-chili-fish sauce. It was really tasty and when I had the first bite of the meat I realized it was liver. What an honor :3 Sadly I threw up again later.
On Friday I decided I was feeling well enough to start traveling and so we packed our things and hopped a Tro - next stop: Cape Coast.
During the ride, every tiny bump felt like a punch in my sick stomach - I somehow managed not to throw up on the ride but had to use a public toilet when we stopped in Koforidua for the first time. We arrived in Cape Coast in the early evening, quickly went to our hotel which actually was quite nice. It had a roof-top restaurant from which you could see the ocean :3 We first got into a room without a working fan and lots of mosquitos, complained and then got another room. This room was on the second floor in an auxiliary building. We decided to have dinner in the hotel restaurant which was in the primary building, 4th floor. I didn't really feel very hungry and ordered a salad to get my stomach some rest. But my stomach, the asshole, decided even salad was too much and made me feel sick. I knew I was going to throw up, left the restaurant, threw up on the way down the stairs but managed to keep it in my mouth and hands - yummy! I made it down and threw up into the dirt somewhere between the two buildings. I cleaned myself, got a pullover and returned to the restaurant. I decided to stay with tea that evening.
Pics are the view from our room and the view from the restaurant.
The next morning I had plain toast, some juice and a cup of tea as breakfast. We went to the beach, tried to swim (really hard because of massive waves) and spent the day relaxing in the sun and hanging around in a beach club. I had plain rice as dinner. Nothing special happened!
On Sunday we visited an old British fortress at the coast of the atlantic ocean. Cape coast was the capital of the British posessions in the Gold Coast Region and Cape Coast Castle was the place where the govenor did his work. It was build by the Dutch, conquered be the Swedish, conquered again by the local Fetu, conquered by the Dances and finally conquered by the British in 1665. First it was used as a trading outpost and government building, later its main purpose was to gather slaves and prepare them for shipping to America. We had a guided tour trough the castle, saw the dungeon where they kept the slaves, a nice museum with lots of colonial era stuff and the goveners quarters. It was quite romantic. A big room, white walls, nice wooden floor. Warm but the steady breeze of the sea made it comfortable and the white curtains looked so great in the wind. I chose not to take pictures during the tour (especially inside the dungeon) because of respect towards those who had suffered in the dungeon and on the slaveship. There were a lot of Asian and Afro-American tourists who didn't care about it and filled the dungeon with the light of flashs and selfie-screen-glowing.
I never sweated as much as I did on that day. We visited a local tourist market and I bartered quite a bit over some presents for my grand parents :3 The stores where owned by a bunch of rastafarians who smoked weed all the time. Everything smelled like weed and I even saw a guy selling it from a cooking pot hidden under some wood. We ate some fried yam, In the evening a ate plain rice again and tried to drink a beer. It went well and so I spent the evening drinking beer in the rooftop restaurant, watching the sun set and a massive tropical thunderstorm approach. It turned quite stormy, the power went off and after the second beer it started to rain. We went to bed.
Same here, Update please, OP!
Ask your questions...
OP is a cuck!
It's officially ogre, OP is ne schuchtel.
Please come back OP, is it over?
Great story OP, I really enjoyed reading your posts but i wanted to take the opportunity to pitch in about your malaria-problem, since I think that this might be something of everyone planning to go to a country where malaria is an issue.
Malarone and all other similar drugs do not give you a care-free 100% protection against malaria, and the doctor who prescribed it should have informed you about that. If you travel to a country with an increased malaria risk it is of utmost importance to not only take your Malarone but also actively prevent getting stung by mosquitos. I recommend using DEET-Repellent during the day and sleeping under an insecticide-impregnated mosquito net at night and do not let you fool yourself by the casualness with which the locals treat these matters, since the local population in those areas usually has at least a half-immunity to the local malaria strains.
I know that this comes to late for you but maybe it is of interest to someone else on here.
Thanks, mate. You're stating the obvious here. Unfortunately, people don't take the risk of Malaria seriously enough.
>Unfortunately, people don't take the risk of Malaria seriously enough.
To be honest, I think people overestimate that risk and often are highly uninformed. I've met people on a 7-day trip to Bangkok and Koh Samui or spending a weekend in Singapore eating two brands Malaria prophylaxe at the same time. Then they complain about the nightmares. As another Bernd pointed out, mosquito protection is much more important for the average traveller, especially considering Dengue and all that nasty stuff.
t. distinguished colonial venturer