Hey. Not sure if anyone is still reading (or if anyone was reading in the first place) since it's been a while. But I figured I better finish these things up before I forget all the random, boring things I had to say.
After visiting Bui NP, I headed back to Accra. I spent the night in a cheap hostel, and had hoped to find some tortilla chips and salsa for the night. Some of the people I met while staying at the Mountain Paradise Lodge near Amedzofe had a big bag of Tostitos and some salsa, which I've absolutely been dying for. Of course, the supermarket I visited didn't have what I was looking for. Accra has only a few large supermarkets, and apparently I chose the wrong one. Ok…fine…whatever. It was a bit of a letdown, but I dealt with not having some comfort food for a few more days.
From Accra I headed east to the town of Cape Coast. I've since discarded my guidebook, and am not very good at paying attention during tours, so some of the information I give about the Cape Coast area is made up. At the twin towns of Cape Coast and Elmina stand two forts that are some of the only remaining buildings from the slave trade era. Built by the Dutch a long time ago, the fort at Cape Coast has been used by various countries for various things. Most recently, it was held by the British (until 1957), but it's main attraction is that it is the main physical piece of evidence of the slave trade in Africa. I took the tour, and saw all the dungeons and all that stuff. I think I've stated before that I'm generally not all that interested in history and all, but I figured that it would be somewhat interesting to see the impact of the slave trade from the African side of things. Maybe it's just me, but it seems like we never really think about the huge impact that the slave trade had on not just the slaves, but the African continent as a whole. A pretty significant percentage of the population of Africa was removed.
After visiting all the sights in and around Cape Coast, I returned to Accra to wait the two days until my flight to Casablanca. I walked around the whole city and visited all the markets and internet cafes and restaurants. Accra doesn't really have a whole lot to offer, but it was nice to have reliable running water and cold drinks. My flight to Casablanca left at 3:30 am, so I spent the night in the airport and pretty much passed out the moment I sat down on the plane. I woke up just as we landed and followed the passengers off the plane. I noticed that a number of people stayed on, and started asking people around me why not everyone got off. No one spoke English, and after a few minutes of trying to figure out what the hell was going on, I finally found a stewardess who knew enough English to tell me that I was in Benin, not Morocco. I wasn't aware that the plane would stop in Benin, and in my still groggy state, it didn't even occur to me that I could be in the wrong country.
I got back on the plane just in time and passed out once again and woke up in Casablanca. After making sure that I was in the correct country, I caught a train/taxi to the city center and walked around for a few hours. Casablanca was fine. Not too much to see or do, and a little too French for me. I wandered the markets and ate a few restaurants before returning to the airport for the night. I found a good spot in a semi dark corner and used my trusty hammock as a blanket.
One long flight later, my trip had come to an end. I've been back in the states for around a month now, and am doing all those terrible things that have been waiting for me like looking for a job and studying for the FE exam. I'm not going to do some long sentimental blog on my feelings about everywhere I visited, but I do have a few things to say.
The Philippines: Probably the place I'd most like to return to. Amazing beaches, friendly people, terrible food, and some loud music. With the way people treat the environment over there, it probably won't stay nice for too much longer, so if you're considering going there, do it now.
Thailand: Another place I'd like to come back to, but probably not until I'm older. Thailand is just too easy. It's a little too well manicured, if that makes any sense. The national parks are perfectly preserved, which I can't really complain about, but it does make it hard to feel like you're really exploring some previously unknown jungle. The food is the best I've ever had, and for the most part, Thailand was the cheapest country I visited.
India: Not as bad as I probably made it sound from my later posts. India was definitely an experience. Be prepared for a quite a bit of hassle and bargaining, but also know that there are a lot of beautiful things to see in India as well. The people were quite friendly and the food was good, but I think it will be a few years before I consider going back.
Ghana: Apparently Ghana is THE place to go if you want to do some volunteering in Africa, and it's pretty easy to see why. The people are friendly, and you get a good introduction to African culture without too much of the crime and trouble that many other parts of the continent are known for. If nothing else, at least go for the pineapples, which were the best I've ever had.
I guess that's about all I have to say about that. I hope that someone out there enjoyed reading what I had to say about these places (other than my parents, that is). Take care out there.