TogoMarch 28, 2017 in Togo
Togo has been treating me well. It is a long thin country stretching from dusty savannah to a humid coast with riptides that will take you away never to be seen again.
I have spent a couple of long riding days in the north where I saw Somba houses. This is a group of people who fled from various chiefdoms and protected themselves in fortified homes to resist the chiefs'efforts to round up people to sell to the colonial powers as slaves. In the north I also get my luggage rack welded for the 4th time. If only they made dirt bikes that could actually deal with bouncing up and down on the dirt, while carrying more than a bag of feathers!!!
As I head south the views open up as the surroundings get greener and hills start to come into view. I turn off and start chasing these hills and after lots of fun riding reach the top of a mountain ridge to find a massive Swiss(ish) style chalet nearly completed with the most amazing views. Though I'm not quite sure where they expect to get the tourists from....and neither do they it seems.
Anyway, I continue on with the aim of reaching a village in the coffee growing region that has a mountain where my 1999 guide book promises me stunning views. Wow though do I have fun getting here, riding single track paths across the mountains.
I arrive and deploy my new camping solution. My tent is so unsuitable for the heat that I've been avoiding camping, but now I have the perfect answer. I just hang up my mosquito net, weight it down at the edges and let the wind blow on through. Perfect, if slightly lacking in privacy.
Afterwards I arrive in Lomé and the humidity really cranks up, which means I spend as much time in my room as possible with a fan positioned about 50cm from me twirling in overdrive. This also has the added benefit of limiting the mosquitoes ability to latch onto their favourite meal.
Being here allows me to sacrifice more of my wallet to the visa gods and means I can also get proper work done on the bike from a competent European standard bike mechanic. Well that's what I thought, but it turns out that I can't get a new rear tyre here like I was relying on... this will make the wet clay roads of Cameroon and the Congos interesting! Oh, and the mechanic forgot to tighten the bolts on my front brake caliper, luckily a fellow rider behind me saw them bounce down the road and flagged me down, otherwise I'd have come up to the next set of lights only to have no brakes!
At least the time here has meant I've caught up with Ferry, Gulcin, Nicholas, Patrick, Cemil and Laura that I met in Bamako, as well as meeting a new biker Olaf.
1) My new 'tent'
2) Somba house
3) View from the Swiss chalet
4) One of the tracks that day
5) The view my guide book promised
6) Just an everyday sightRead more