Day 79: Camping by the sea

Soutpiel Safari
John & Jenny
Sun 23 Jan 2011 10:09
Day 79: Saturday 22 January 2011. Green Turtle Lodge N04 45.504 W002 01.357  Distance driven 278 km
It was good to be on the road again after a week in the city but the way out was slow. 25 km in the first hour and only 40 in the second. After that it speeded up but the first few hours west of Accra were very dreary scenery, very drab and scruffy with thousands of unfinished buildings just lying unfinished with no visible signs of work in progress.  Why is this? Does everyone run out of cash or is there some subtle tax or planning reason? Do contractors run away from fixed-price contracts they can't make money on? I'm curious to know the reason.
As we got further west the vegetation became much more prolific, denser and lusher with a predominance of coconut palms, plantains and bananas.  
We went into Cape Coast to visit the castle and see where the British had run a slave shipment centre from 1645 until emancipation. It was pretty depressing to see the foul conditions in which the slaves had been kept for an average 3 months awaiting shipment to the New World. It was also extremely hot and humid and I found I couldn't understand the tour guide's particular brand of English, so I opted out halfway through.
We then drove on to Cape Three Points, the southern most tip of Ghana, through Takoradi to Dix Cove and then an 11 km very rough track along the sea shore to Green Turtle Lodge.  GTL is an amazing eco-lodge on the beach - real camping in paradise stuff. Fortunately, there was a stiff breeze off the sea but the evening was very hot and humid.  We opted for a meal in the restaurant and were amused by the sign over the bar "Jesus loves cocktails - happy hour 5pm to 7pm"! We had a lovely fish supper at a table on the beach under the palms, lit by an oil lamp. Paradise!
Here we met up with two other Land Rovers doing the same trip as us.  Chris and Bridge (both South African) and Tom (Zimbabwean) and Fran (SA) set off from the UK in August and have had a very relaxed schedule so far. However, Tom and Fran have now revised their schedule to much the same as ours so we shall undoubtedly be seeing more of them as we both head for South Africa.