So it was time to set off again – almost to the day that we arrived back in the UK on the tandem. We are both hugely excited about cycling in Africa and we hope Ghana will be a good introduction to a brand new continent for us!
Now we are back in the real world after our long trip we could only spare 18 days, but we were keen to explore as much of the country as we can in that time. No route planned yet, we will see how we get on with the conditions, which promise to be extremely hot and humid with a decent amount of rain and a lot of unpaved road ahead.
It was slightly surreal preparing all the gear again – annoyingly (but not surprisingly for us) quite a few bits and pieces have gone missing. Amazing that we were able to travel through 26 countries without losing hardly anything but as soon as we move into a house our carefully constructed, finely tuned, touring system completely collapses.The biggest loss has been our red pen knife (Dirk) which has been with us since Cambodia after a fellow traveller gifted it to us. We’ve also lost our steripen – another bit of kit which would have been really useful in Ghana. We’ll now be forced to buy and drink mostly bottled water (our life straw gravity filter and water purification tablets acting as emergency back up.)
The rest of the gear remains in tact – a re-waterproofing and re-seaming session on the tent and rain gear should keep us dry in the inevitable downpours and we’ve replenished our spare parts box and given a full service to the Optimus stove. We’ve made a few small upgrades too, largely in the form or a solar panel charger instead of a battery pack. We’ll see how this goes.
We fly from Heathrow direct to Accra with BA. No custom bike box this time – experience now tells us that the bike is pretty solid. We have simply dismantled it (to get it down to the 190cm length limit) and wrapped it in a lot of cardboard and gaffa tape before slinging it in the back of our van along with the other five bags of luggage we’re allowed. We travelled up from Cornwall late last night to give us plenty of time at the airport. We slept in the van in one of the suburb villages nearby and have had plenty of time to clear everything through the oversized baggage department. We have time for two well deserved beers.