Day 17: 15 February 2006
Bamako - Accra

This night I didn't sleep well. It was my last night in Mali and this day I had to fly to Accra in Ghana. I woke up at 6.30 am and packed my last clothes into my backpack. I had breakfast with some French bread and coffee. I was not really hungry. After breakfast I checked out from hotel Les Colibris and waited for my driver (the guide who took me to Siby), who arrived later than agreed on. Around 8.15 am we left for the airport, where we arrived around 8.30 am. I paid 5000 CFA (the normal tariff) for the transport and walked into the main building, which looked much more convenient than the arrival hall. I had to wait till 9 am before I could check in, but since I was the first one, I got every assistance I needed. I don't know if it was for security reasons or for money (I expect the last). I ended up at the first floor where I had some coffee and bought some cd's. Amazingly enough the plane left 10 minutes prior to its schedule.

For the last time I could look down to Bamako and to the country where cows, goats and sheep walk freely on the roads, the women wear beautiful clothing, the people are in general friendly and the only hassle were the salesmen who were sometimes to intruding. I had a good time here and this chapter can be closed.

After 90 minutes of flying the plane landed in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast. Since there is no direct flight from Bamako to Accra, I had to take this detour. The transfer was strange. A security officer took me around the customs into the departure hall, collected my luggage, which had to be checked in again. After this I had to pass again around the customs, back to the transfer place. There I had to pay him money for his service. Although all this was strange, I paid him, because I didn't want any troubles. Of course all this service was unnecessary, since my luggage should have been in transfer automatically.

Although I only had 90 minutes to get to the other plane, I had to wait quit long. The plane of Ethiopian Airlines was late and finally left with a delay of 25 minutes. The plane landed around 3.30 pm in Accra and after I passed customs I changed US$ 50 and collected my luggage.

Of course there were a lot of taxi drivers who wanted to take me to my hotel. I arranged a hotel ahead on the internet. The taxi driver explained the hotel was far away from the city center and it would cost met US$ 20. Although I knew it was a rip deal, I took it. The drive took more than an hour. The taxi driver wanted more money and on the way he asked me to write a letter of recommendation so he could come to the Netherlands. I explained that this wouldn't help and it was not really nice to ask all this from a tourist who just arrived. After I checked into hotel Hansonic for a simple room with a bed, shower and a fan, I went out to buy some cigarettes, which was not to easy, since there are only sold ’under the counter’. Actually I wanted to quit smoking and did so in Segou, be I felt a little bit lonely after 2 weeks of nice company and a new chapter of my travel had started. I had a Star beer (as I found out later, the best beer you can get in Ghana) and took a shower. I just relaxed. Around 7.30 pm I went to an internet cafe across the street. For the first time in 2½ weeks I checked my mail. There was not really much to worry about. I also send some mail and went back to my hotel and had some dinner (chicken and some French fries).

After some reading and listening to some music, I went to sleep around midnight.

First published: 14 August 2008
Last update: 31 March 2010
© A. Heeroma

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