May 14, 2005 GMT
Where Everybody Knows Your Name.

5th April 2005. Accra.

Having returned to Ghana courtesy of BA's "Upgrade That Idiot To Business Class" service, we have spent 18 nights on the trot in Champs sports bar. Oh boy it's good.

ghanachredbull.jpg

I had a dream last night in which I was Mr Inappropriate. Mr I. travels from school to school, singing songs for the under-10's. He is dressed in a glittery clown costume and his song goes like this:
"At the top of my legs
There's a funny little man
With curly black hair
And a light brown tan."
At this point Mr Inappropriate is dragged away by uniformed officers.

One of the nice things about Champs is that, if you so desire, you can while away an evening playing pool with hookers. And they're always glad you came.


8th April 2005. Accra.

Dennis is the "Norm" of Champs. Micky is the "Cliff". Micky left a bar at 5am on Thursday morning and made it to Champs for 10am. The following conversation took place on Friday night.
-What happened to Wednesday?
-Uh, what happened to March?


9th April 2005. Accra.

1. Ghanaians are seriously into Christianity. They really really love the Lord.
2. Ghanaians tend not to smoke. It's seen as something bad people do.

So! I have invented a Ghana-only brand of cigarettes called "Kingdom". The cover of the pack features a dramatic photo of rays of sunlight bursting through cloud. The slogan for the poster campaign is "What would Jesus have smoked?" There may also be a low-tar version called "Eternal Life".


19th April 2005. Accra.

The Champsathon continues, but now we have visas for Togo and Nigeria and we're feeling the call of a new and unsoiled (by us) country. The Togo elections are days away and the smart money is on some fairly extensive post-ballot rioting, so we're keeping a close eye on the BBC Africa news website while we sit in Champs watching live Arsenal games and playing darts.

Posted by Simon Fitzpatrick at 05:39 PM GMT
Borderline Psychotic.

25th April 2005. Aflao, Ghana/Togo border.

We arrived three days ago to find the border closed. The Togo elections were yesterday and we think the border will open tomorrow.
Quite hungry now as the restaurant in the hotel only serves food in the evening and the only other place to eat in Aflao serves cat. I had some meat on a stick from a roadside stall this afternoon. Couldn't say what it was, but it definitely wasn't chicken, pork or beef.

We had an encounter on the way with Sergeant Amusing of the Ghana Police Service. It didn't seem to be going too well initially, when, on finding out we were British, he said "Ah well, you are our colonial masters."
I could sense a fine, perhaps based on the heinous infraction of Conducting A Motor Vehicle With Top Button Unfastened, but again I was wrong. He followed up with the observation that Germans are "tall and very thick" (he may have meant strong), while British people are "short, like Tony Blair". By the end he was imploring us to come and live in Ghana. Nice!
---

Gin is $2.50 a bottle here. Must leave soon...
---

My front tyre is ready for the knacker's yard, various pieces of the bike are held on with duct tape and cable ties, and the handlebars bend to the left. Mechanically however it's as good as new. As far as I can tell...
---

Unhappily, the default sauce in Ghana is called "Shito".
---


26th April 2005. Aflao.

The border is still closed on the Togo side, apparently to stop Togolese people fleeing violent riots. The election results are out today. It's no big surprise that the son of Africa's longest serving ruler (30+ years) is "elected". We take a stroll to the border in the morning. Lome, Togo's capital, is 2km from the border. A huge column of black smoke is rising from that general direction.


27th April 2005. Aflao.

The border is still closed *sigh*. It may or may not open tomorrow. We are told this every day. Rioting and attacks on people and businesses who seem to be French continue (due to Chirac's friendship with the dodgy dead Prez and his son, the dodgy new Prez.) We can't even find out if the motorbike shop - which has much needed tyres, is open as the phone lines have been cut. The last straw is that Doug's Ghana visa has run out, so we've decided to head back to Accra and wait two weeks to see if the situation improves. Bah! Hate going backwards. But at least we can have a game of darts in Champs...


29th April 2005. Accra.

It'll be no major hardship to stay here a fortnight. I even managed to get a nicer room at the same hotel for the same price (Four and a half quid a night). Thunder rumbles, rain pours, humidity briefly drops. Them rains are coming.
---

It's happy hour at Champs tonight - half price Star from five to eight. It's essential to be at the bar, ordering, at 4.59pm. Wise men take an early night at 8pm. Even wiser men buy a four pint pitcher at 7.59. It doesn't do to feel too ropey on Saturday though, as there's live Premiership football on the big screens from midday.


10th May 2005. Accra.

Perusing the specials board at my favourite lunch spot, I see "Gizzards Provencale" is available today. After careful reflection I opt for the club sandwich.

Posted by Simon Fitzpatrick at 05:43 PM GMT
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!