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Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria

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Keyword: I spent a sad Christmas in an orphan home; stayed over in a Norwegian Danish slave fort in Ghana, voodoo in Benin and a surprising friendly welcome in Nigeria. Read also about my new Wife Frya.

Ghana
I stayed a while in Ghana working in an orphanage where I also spent Christmas. I was expecting to see and take part in some of the Christmas and New Years traditions of Ghana but as time passed it turned out that there wasnt really any celebrations to be had so I spent Christmas alone in my room, very depressed and wishing so much to be with my family. When I finally received a message from them I couldnt help but shed a few tears. This has to be the saddest Christmas I've had in a very long time.
I eventually thanked everyone for their hospitality and continued on my journey.


GhanaI rode for many miles along the coast, with its beautiful beaches and scenery. I also came across a Danish / Norwegian slave-fort which is now in ruins. I went and checked it out, and it was difficult not to imagine all the cruelties which might have taken place there. The slave trade created a spiral of wars across Africa. Whether they had to capture people and enslave them or become slaves themselves.
I told the guide about my small travel budget and he said that he would allow me to stay inside the fort.
At first I was excited, but then I started to think... It wasn't that I was afraid of the dark or anything like that, but thought that perhaps the old buildings could make my imagination run wild and make me see images of some of the things that occurred there some 150 years ago. Nevertheless, I accepted the offer and the night went smoothly without any visits from ghosts or other weird things.... Somehow it was a very special feeling to lie there under a mosquito net and to think about all those sad times of many a year ago.

Keta Castle.
You know, there is still Danish and Norwegian spoken here, with words such as "saks, gaffel, kniv osv" which mean "scissors, fork, knife, etc.". Many people also have Scandinavian surnames like Quist, Hansen ............. Some even have lighter skin most probably as a result of mixed relations of Ghana, slave castle on right.Scandinavians co-inhabiting. Of course, that is only my belief.

Togo
As usual, it is very hot and so I bike mostly in the mornings and afternoons but not in the middle of the day as it is far too hot then.
I have now arrived in Togo which is a very small French speaking Country.
The border authorities granted me a 7 days visa without any problems as well as often being invited to their homes' for overnight stays, which is naturally always nice for me.

Benin
Benin is another small African country. No problems with the visa at the border. They only gave me a 2-day visa, which I had to renew as soon as I arrived in the capital.
Benin and Togo are all voodoo homes and I saw many different voodoo-symbols and sacrificial sites. Normally they offer chicken, etc. as around 40% of the population completely believe in this method of worship.
I participated with a bit of sacrifice, wishing for a safe and happy ride for the rest of my trip.
I have been told many times that there are many people in Africa praying for me.This is my niece and nephew who I left Norway for 3 years ago and I do miss them so.



Nigeria
In Benin, I had to arrange my Nigerian visa and I must confess that I was expecting many problems as I had previously read in the Lonely Planet magazine that in order to enter Nigeria you must have a written invitation, a pre-booked hotel, the documentation to prove that you have money and an airfare ticket out of the country etc. I walked into the Nigerian Embassy without any of these things hoping that everything would go well. I explained my mission and showed them a newspaper with some reports about my trip. Amazingly it only took me 10 min and I received a 1-month visa without any more questions asked.

Whilst here, I spent one night on the streets sleeping with some homeless people and alcoholics. I couldnt find a good place for my tent so I asked if I could stay with them. They enjoyed hearing stories about my trip. Surprisingly, I felt very safe the whole night, and for sure they all kept an eye on me that night. This is something I've noticed several times before, people looking out for me. It's in these sort of places where I feel the safest. To tell you the truth, I have come to feel really safe in most places.


Castle
Bush meat Nigeria
When I arrived at the border there were an unusual amount of control posts along the way. Everything went without any problems, and everyone were very curious about my journey. I think I was stopped at least 20 times that day. The reason for there being so many control posts along the whole Nigeria border is because of the large amount of crime.
But I must say that Nigerians impressed me with their happy nature. People smile all the time. So much in fact, that I found myself smiling a lot and always in a good mood. They love to hear what I do and they thought how nice it is to be able to make friends with a white travelling man on his travels around the world. Ive been here a week now and I have been given free accomodation in a hotel, food every day and actually some people actually supported me by giving some money. The police also gave me bananas, oranges and water.

Police give me orange
One day I heard a noise from the rear wheel of my bike and discovered that 7 spokes had broken. The wheel was twisted and I couldnt ride my bike any more. I didnt have spare spokes and I was a long distance from the nearest city so I spoke to a policeman about my problem and told him that I My bed in the castle.needed some help. That a biker should have problems in their country was unusual. He stopped a truck and told the driver to take me to the nearest village. There, the citys town Chief offered me accommodation.
I couldnt find spokes or an ATM in that place and I was just as far as I had been before. One of the guys from the village kindly gave me $20 so that I could take a taxi to the nearest town. I rode in the taxi with the rear wheel and finally got it repaired and returned to the country town. Some families invited me in to share some good food and palm wine.
Sure, all this has made such a good impression on me. The humility and happy disposition of the Nigerians. Now, to me, it seems strange to hear of all of those warnings about crimes and things. Nigeria is one of the countries which I had been warned many times not to go to. Naturally, they have their problems, but I think they are on track for the better. So, when I got there, expecting all those warnings to come to pass, it turns out that Nigeria is actually one of the friendliest countries I have visited so far.

My "new" wife
I called my bike Frya. She is my wife; she is not especially beautiful, in fact, a

bit heavy-set and chubby. But she is strong and resistant. I have been very Slavesfond of her up to now. We had a little turbulent start in Africa and needed constant breaks from each other. But now, we have found the tone and things are going better. Africans are very respectful towards my wife and there is such a full meaningful understanding between us that I want her next to me all the time specially when I sleep.

Yours Frya and Rune.

Get problem with my skins, to hot and humid.

Woodoo doctor. He offers things on the right side .

Police give me orange.My 'new' wife