Day 70: The worst road in Africa

Soutpiel Safari
John & Jenny
Thu 13 Jan 2011 21:22
Day 70: Thursday 13 January 2011. Mountain Paradise Hotel, Fume, Ghana. N06 51.048 E000 25.216  Distance driven 308 km
We left home ten weeks ago today - nearly half way!
This morning we were away from our yam field at 0745 and back on the rough track.  I drove for 3 hours and covered only 95 km, then handed over to  who did about another 70 km before finding the tar surface that we had been expecting all morning. This was good for perhaps 30 km and then became very broken up, before getting slightly better. 
In Ouagadougou we had met a Belgian NGO worker, Benedict, who was based in Accra and it was he who suggested this route.  En route, we both wondered what it had to commend it.  The scenery for the first 200 km was very drab, flat and dusty with sparse vegetation and a series of very poor, scruffy villages along the route.  Once on the tar road the scenery became much greener with much more prolific vegetation and a lot of banana plantations.  As the road rose towards the mountains the scenery became very attractive.
We had been planning another night of bush camping for want of any better alternatives and Jenny was fixed on camping beside the Volta but I doubted that the road we were on was going to give us access to the river.  Almost by accident we noticed a sign for Mountain Paradise, a former Government Rest House in the hills, so we wound our way up there and were delighted to find that they permitted camping in a wonderful setting. We were lucky that tonight a Ghana TV crew were here doing a tourism documentary, so the owner had arranged a traditional Ghanian song and dance group who performed around a bonfire.