Once in Benin, we went to Daniel's home in Porto Novo, the capital of Benin, where I met his mother (95 years old), his wife and two of their four children (David, 19, and Samuel, 17). We did not stay long as we had a long day of driving ahead of us.
Picture of Daniel and me in his village.
The road through Togo was right along the coast with nice views.
At the Togo-Ghana border the border process was smooth but time consuming (1.5 hours). The car registration process was computerized but we had to go from building to building to get everything taken care of. Once on the road in Ghana, it was about 6PM, the roads were not so great as we made our way to our destination just west of the capital Accra. We arrived at Big Milly's Backyard in Kokrobite at about 10:30PM. We had hoped to arrive sooner to have time to take in more of the coastal scenery and local activities (in particular a drumming lesson). The place was nice, located right on Ghana's Gold Coast, but definitely had a hippy dippy sort of feel about it. We ate breakfast around 8AM and were headed on our way to our next destination, near Busua / Dixcove. If we go back, we will make sure it is when the giant leatherback sea turtles are nesting on the beach.
Picture below: One of the huts that can be rented with tents set up nearby to accomodate a group of overlanders travelling across Africa in a large truck.
Picture below: Big Milly's is situated right on the beach and this is the view along the coast with many large fishing boats.On the drive to Green Turtle Lodge (GTL), we stopped in Abandze to see Fort Amsterdam (occupied 1665-1868), one of the many forts on Ghana's coast, which overlooks a very active fishing village. This fort was restored but it was not white washed like many of the forts are. The forts were originally built by Europeans to protect their goods for export (they changed hands often, typically between the Dutch and British) but they were later (17th Century) used in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. We were shown the rooms, or dungeons, the slaves were held in until they were taken out of the "Door of No Return" to board a ship destined for Europe, North or South America.
On Monday our drivers departed Ghana for the trip back to Lagos. They had some difficulty at the Ghana - Togo border and were held up for 4 hours. They found that Nigerians driving nice SUV's (Toyota Prado) are often thought to be either thieves with stolen cars or drivers for white folks with lots of money. They made their way through Togo to Benin, where they were supposed to pick up Daniel, but due to poor communication they never picked him up and came to Lagos without him. Boy was I mad!!! I am sure that will never happen again! Anyway... the issue has been resolved and everyone is on talking terms again.