I just finished reading Travels with Charley, John Steinbeck's memoir of his 1960 circumnavigation of the United States in his truck with his poodle Charley by his side. Steinbeck had a great deal to say about travel in general in this book, and one paragraph in particular seems relevant to our drive from Coconut Grove Resort in Elmina to Axim.
Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. . . . [A] journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.
Every day of our Ghana journey was full of surprises. Every day was dripping with its own personality, temperament, individuality, and uniqueness (and perspiration). A good example was our 160-mile round-trip drive from our lodgings in Elmina to Fort St. Anthony in Axim. That distance in the United States might take one-and-a-half hours one way and contain a few things of interest, but in Ghana every trip takes much longer than expected, which is just fine because there is something new and fun to see around every bend in the road. For example:
As in Kenya and Tanzania, there is a thriving microfarming industry in Ghana. We would drive past six or seven stands like this at a time, all selling the very same thing. Someone needs to teach these farmers about diversification.