All was going well the first hour on the roads. The tro-tros didn't run us off the road. A Ghanaian rode along with us for a mile or so chatting away about Aburi and his bike...I think. Eventually the pavement ended at a barricade and a small kiosk. Out pops a Ghana Police to ask where we're headed. Aburi we assure him. By bike? Yes, by bike. Why? Because. He pointed out that the road ahead was under construction. A moment later a construction type guy ( I can spot them) appeared. Same two questions/answers... He says we can ride through if we're careful. We nod to each other to be careful and proceed around the barricade and up the gravel switchbacks. The road climb offered nice valley views and a good workout.
Fast forward a few miles to the top in Ketase where we stop for a quick drink. The kiosk owner pulls out two plastic chairs for us. Very nice. A knock on the adjacent kiosk window produces two bottles of Coke from an eight year old girl. We quite the object of attention of the local kids. At one point, a little guy appears from around the corner. He stops dead in his tracks seeing SJD and me in bike helmets and garish (SJD disputes the use of garish to describe her tasteful lavender jersey) shirts. He retreats quickly to his friends.
Back on our bikes we finish the final 5km to Aburi for our turn around point. A small tour company www.ghanabike.com operates out of the end of town. We'll be sure to return.
Heading back south through Ketase to Accra we near the same construction zone from the north end. Construction workers have gathered, and we assume it must be the end of the day. SJD snaps this picture.
Just your average road sign warning of "unpredictable inconveniences." That could mean a lot of things in Ghana, but in this case it seemed to mean "blasting". Luckily a more diligent Ghana Police officer stops us from proceeding further. The options appear to be wait until blasting stops, or take a bypass. We bypass not entirely certain where or how we'll get back into Accra. The road is full of pot holes and rolls along the ridge a while before dropping back into the valley. Our map does not agree with the towns we're passing through. Names are spelled differently. Roads connect differently. Villages are not even mentioned. In the end the bypass is somewhat unpredictable, but conveniently funnels us back to a familiar intersection near home. We arrive at our house tired, thirsty and dusty.
I stopped by the Mapping and Surveying Bureau today to pick up a more accurate map. It is really amazing the misinformation provided by the tourist maps. Someone could ignore all warning signs and bypasses and simply wander into a blasting zone.