Posted tagged ‘seedy hotels’

“Walking is a virtue, tourism is a deadly sin.”

September 15, 2013

Fall weather has settled in for the duration. The days are pleasant, the nights cool, even cold. In the morning, the house is still night cold so we go outside in the sun on the deck to get warm. When I last went outside, Gracie was lying in the sun on the lounge chair.

Last week was busy for me with something every day. I drove over 400 miles. I wasn’t happy. Considering I usually drive between 20 and 40 miles a week you can understand why. I like my sloth days, and I haven’t had one in a while. This coming week four days are already booked so I’m keeping the rest of my week’s dance card empty.

My friends have already landed in Ghana and are probably at their B&B. I wished them a safe and wonderful trip through teeth gritted with envy. Their plans aren’t solidified. Bill said they’d be leaving Accra in three days for parts unknown though I know Bolga will be on the list. He said they hadn’t yet made hotel reservations anywhere. I chuckled to myself. Who makes reservations in Ghana?  Up country has plenty of hotels and not a lot of tourists.

Most people I know who visit other countries do so in places with flush toilets, hot water and air conditioning. The very thought of aiming at a hole in the ground is horrifying to them. Good aim is the difference between a tourist and a traveler. I have stayed in absolutely gorgeous hotels and in some of the seediest places you can imagine. Once I stayed at a brothel. I didn’t know it was until all the knocking on doors and all the men doing the knocking. I didn’t sleep much that night. In a small hotel in Columbia, I swear you came out of the bathroom dirtier than when you went in. The hotel at the Iguazu Falls was pure luxury. It was right at the falls and had huge rooms and amazing food. There was a garden walk with parrots in the trees. There was even a casino. It was not my usual hotel. In Lomé, Togo I spent two nights at a wonderful hotel as a treat for myself  before I moved over the Peace Corps Hostel. The hotel had air-conditioning and hot water and a delicious breakfast. It’s where I ate barbecued lobster on the terrace. The hostel had bunk beds.

On my first trip back to Ghana we stopped at a roadside chop bar (restaurant sort of) for fufu. I had to go the bathroom so I walked around the corner wall to the hole in the ground. My aim wasn’t as good as it used to be, but it got better the longer we traveled. By the time I left, it was perfect.


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