Early start today as the team needs to meet up with Marius to receive their second passports (They were couriered from SA to his office)
Marius and his wife and 2 children live in Akumadan where he is part of a Dutch group (Form) which is involved in planting teak trees in an area of 18.000 hectares.
With the assistance of Marius (by cell phone) the team had no problem reaching his home in early morning and were happy to receive the DHL envelope containing the second set of passports. These travel documents contain the visas for Congo, DRC Congo and Angola which could not have been obtained in time back home in SA.
Marius and Nicki with team Lipstick and Willy playing Nkonki chess with their son
Marius and his family originate from White river close to Nelspruit in SA and it was indeed nice to chat to someone from back home and hear a bit more about the work he is doing. Being in a somehow remote area his wife Nikki is home teaching their 2 children aged 8 and 14. Great pioneer work indeed!
Off towards Cape Coast via the biggest town in the area called Kumasi where the traffic was so heave that it took about an hour to travel the inbound and outbound road of this City.
Broken down cars on way to Cape Coast – with still usable parts nicely displayed
The Garmin navigation showed the road to Cape Coast to be tarred ( This of course does not mean much in this part of the world ) which indeed it started off with but slowly deteriorating into a pothole street with only a few patches of tar left .
After a town called Dunkwa the road became a real gravel road as the team took a wrong turn but were assured by all locals that this would be the road to Cape Coast.
As the bush gets thicker the road gets narrower…
The vegetation on either site of the road became thicker and thicker and the road more and more narrow. Vehicles having been left stranded due to serious breakdowns every now and then were the only signs of civilisation and the Garmin showed the team to be totally off-road but somehow travelling close to the road proposed by the navigation system.
Heavy plant being transported for use in the adjacent gold mines ( Ghana)
The team decided to make it forward on this road and somehow get back on a more suitable track. Lipstick was somehow in the middle of a rain forest with tiny villages appearing every 10km or so.
After about 40km the road widened up and the villages became bigger and signs of Ashanti Gold made it clear that team Lipstick is very close to the gold mining industry in this region. They passed a sizeable “wash plant” where in times gone past gold was washed out from the ground after having been digged up by huge plant and machinery and vehicles with heavy plant passed team Lipstick every now and then – which gave the impression that gold mining is still very active in this area.
With the road now again showing some signs of tar the team drove through a lot of villages were woman could be seen with huge cooking pots and heaps of black charcoal look alike substances next to them.
On stopping to find out more about this activity a friendly woman and man explained that this procedure actually produces palm oil. The pips from the palm tree are firs cooked and boiled and thereafter pressed to obtain palm oil which the locals sell to bigger companies but also use it as cooking oil and to make a palm soup.
Raw material and plant used to produce palm oil ….
A few kilometres further down Lipstick drove through a palm plantation which lasted a good 15 km and in the far distance some factories were visible which process palm oil on an industrial basis…
Off to Cape Coast and a few kilometres before Kumasi the team found a guest house for the night.
On enquiring were to find a place to eat the friendly receptionist made arrangements that we could join a mini bus which would go to a nearby restaurant. The bus driver explained that he and his girlfriend who was also on the bus were actually part of a bigger band which would perform tonight at that restaurant.
Team Lipstick made friends with the band leader and his singing girlfriend:
The restaurant was divided in an open air restaurant and a smaller one inside and there must have been a good 400 people there already listening to music from huge loudspeakers .
Saturday night fever in Cape Coats – Ghana …………….
A nice meal was had inside the restaurant as the music outside was extremely loud and almost reaching pain levels. Back to the guest house by taxi for a good night’s rest.