In the evening on October 4th, I met up with Dave and Sophie for a short catch up. The last time I saw them was in London back in February, right after I left South Sudan. Once it was time to settle our restaurant bill and the two of them had to head back to their guesthouse, I asked the waiter if he knew of any bus company other than STC, which might have overnight buses to any place at all. Following his advice, I caught a taxi to the VIP bus company office where I managed to get a ticket to Kumasi, the only destination available. “Better than nothing,” I thought, and hopped on.
At 3:30AM, after a six hour ride, I was told to get off; I’d arrived at the last stop, on a dark deserted side street somewhere in Kumasi, with no plans or ideas for what to do next. So, I found a taxi driver who took me to the local bus station where I then waited three hours to get on an old orange public transit bus for the six hour ride to Tamale.
Once at the Tamale bus station, I met a trio of German girls who were waiting for a bus to Mole National Park, so I bought my ticket and sat down to wait with them in the hot sun. Soon another pair of German girls showed up and it wasn’t long before the six of us were all chatting away and complaining to each other about the ridiculous heat and the lateness of the bus. I also spent quite a while talking with a king (true story), who was very friendly and an excellent conversationalist. In the end, the bus was only 3 hours late showing up, which meant we’d only been waiting outside in the sun for about five hours. We soon saw the sun set as we sat in our seats on the bus when it stopped at the side of the street for a few seconds:
By the time we arrived at Mole National Park, the bus had been driving on the dirt road in the pouring rain in pitch black darkness with lightning flashing all around for a good two hours. It was only just after 9PM on October 5th, but we were exhausted and went to sleep almost immediately. It had taken me just over 24 hours to get from central Accra to Mole National Park.
To be continued…