Togo a Militant Hotel Search
Togo a Militant Hotel Search
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Hunting for 6 U.S. Dollar per night hotels in Togo.
I read the word militant as used by Joseph Conrad in that article he wrote in National Geographic.http://www.hobotraveler.com/2007/04/militant-geography.html
Fight the Good Fight
To Go Where no man has gone before. - Star Trek
Outside the box
The cutting edge
I do not know, I am trying to explain what happens when you get to the edge of known knowledge of travel. Traveling in France or the USA, most of Southeast Asia is like traveling in a swamp of known knowledge. In South America, every Tom, Dick and Harry is making the soon to be next world travel guide to South America in his or her delusional minds. There is list upon list of hotels collected and placed on internet pages. It is easy to find hotels.
It semi-appears that the velo people, I think that is the word, the people that ride bikes for travel are the explorer of much of West Africa and Africa. I keep thinking of Stellan the man I met on my last trip to Togo.http://www.hobotraveler.com/2006/10/niger-to-burkina-faso-plans.html http://www.sandstorm.se
Search for word Stellan in the google.com search box at the index page of HoboTraveler.com and you will find many references to him.http://www.hobotraveler.com/
And if I can get the crazy blogger system to allow the google.com search on all pages, it would now be at the top of this page.
Richard Trillo the Roughguides.com writer was a bike person also in Africa has written emails, and encouraged me to ride a bike in West Africa.http://www.roughguides.com/website/travel/AuthorPage/author.aspx?authorID=149
I then had a page sent to me about riding bikes in Togo by Eric.http://www.ibike.org/africaguide/togo.htm
There is that really special man on a motorcycle that has traveled many places in Africa.http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/forwood/mytrip.shtml
Riding bikes in West Africa seems to be more common than in Asia or South America. Every Tom, Dick and Harry does it in Europe.
I personally believe the safest way to travel West Africa is with the Peugeot Stations wagons, the best way to see everything would be on a motorcycle dirt bike, not a big macho motorcycle, and off road motorcycle. I have thought about this many times. Then again, a good big Peugeot Van, one of them flat square types would be perfect and an extremely long steel cable winch on the front and back to pull me out of sand would be heaven. Then a machine gun hidden in back… hehehe
Africa is safer than you think or they would not be riding the bikes, this is the measure of safety.
Everyone going overland in cars or 4-wheel drives says safe. The problem is this, I am a one-man operation and one man is easier to take out than two-person operation. Stellan road a bike, and did not have anything to steal to speak of, it is also the temptation to steal or be robbed that is important, and not just me on a bike, what do I offer to steal.
I would like to have a good 400 Yamaha Enduro like I had when I was younger and almost killed me, as I was in a very bad motorcycle accident and spent a year walking on my armpits. (Crutches) A broken Femur in 4 place, sternum and wrist, then a fatty embolism, 10 day in intensive care, and 7 weeks in traction and too much of this.
I am not sure my Mother and Father need the opportunity to put 2 and 2 together. If I get on a bike, or motorcycle and go cruising around Africa for a few months. I would think they would put 2 and 2 together and then remember the motorcycle accident I had when I was 23. I do not remember the terrible part, I was full of morphine, valium, being fed intravenously and in blah blah land. I did not suffer any emotional pain in the intensive care area of the accident, I will forever remember being vulnerable and weak and walking on crutches for a year.
It is like when a person dies with no will or leaves a bunch of children in his or her wake. The person hurts the people and he or she does not think, I am responsible. I suppose in a way, I can see the faces of my parents and do not want them to be afraid. Getting on bike or motorcycle and riding has to make them remember or maybe they just do a block, but the truth is I will remember for them, and try to keep this off the list of blog experiences.
Does not mean I do not do things, I just do not talk as much. The cannot relate to danger in Iraq, like watching TV.
I somewhat feel like I would go hunting for a bazooka also if I rode a bike. I would mount it on the back or front of the bike, and when one of them big trucks rode by, a bunch of idiots played chicken with me, with zero respect for human life; I would remove or erase some bodies from the earth, with no remorse. I also have the remembrance and anger of riding a moped around for 4 years because I lost my drivers license for 10 years because of drinking. People in the USA would come up behind the moped for going slow, honk their horns and try to run me off the road. I wanted a bazooka then and they drive well in the USA.
The world is full of insane drivers; I have experienced 10 years of walking along the roads. I do my best to avoid the fun and games of idiot drivers of the planet, they kill and I can be killed for sure this way easy.
Ok, so much for the idea of searching for hotels on motorcycle or bikes. I will stick with the Peugeot Station wagons or public transportation and the way the world of backpackers or the majority of backpackers travel. Riding bikes, cars, and motorcycles is for normally the insane, rich or people who want to avoid sitting next to a local up close and personal. India is full of motorcycles, I think it is the way for people to dangerously avoid the extremely dirty India culture up close and personal, and in a way, this happens here in Africa with the cars.
Drive a car, avoid the people of Africa…
A bike rider cannot pedal and avoid the people; they must deal in many fashion and ways with the culture. A motorcycle can avoid the people of Africa and just view from the hotel window of some Buvette Bar with Pizza Hotel and call it real.
Ok, the real, the dirty, the mess, and the good fun. I am going to be militant in my search for Hotels and Auberge here in Togo. Do the good fight, I am pulling out the heavy guns, and I am going for target lock.
I think Guidebooks are written to tell you often how to avoid cultures. This hotel has pizza, but that is what the readers want and they must sell books to survive, and there is nothing morally wrong with buying pizza.
I have found a person who is honest, hard to find in West Africa, and speaks Mina and French and English to talk with the Peugeot taxi drivers and find hotels in Togo. We can quiz every one in the car, where the next Auberge or Hotel is located, where are the boom boom hotels. We want cheap; I am assuming the cheap ones are boom boom as is almost 90 percent in West Africa. I need to go into one of he Monastery Catholic Hotels for kicks and see if they are boom boom also.
There is almost zero need for hotels in West Africa, except to take a girls and have a rendezvous. With almost no traveling sales people, close to zero or one half percent of the rooms occupied by tourist, why do you need a hotel. The hotels are for boom boom and drinking. The difference between cheap and expensive is the price. The expensive hotel will force the person to rent the room for the night while the cheaper ones will go for by the hour or two.
West Africa has been an adventure to live in all the various forms of love hotels. However, to really see this in full force, go to Mexico, South America and Central America.
I wonder if the Hilton, Radisson or Sheraton does stats on their clients and know what percentages of room are for love. I say boom boom, I mean love.
You may call it a resort for love; I think of them a place where married men bring their secretaries and fellow workers.
My friend the Ghana Mina Guide likes to listen to my blunt nature. This is good, he like the truth of life, even when he is delusional and vague about the truth of Africa. He will look and believe the most exceptionally crazy ideas told to him by people are true. African leaders have been telling lies for so long, the people consider the lies the truth.
Note we have concrete walls in Africa and in Asia, they can be bamboo or thatch or basket. The hotels are very modern in West Africa compared to Asia or South America.
I am going to hotel hop now around this area between Kpalime and Atakpame or however you spell that city.
Militant hotel search... Well, Africa is smack in the middle of the hobo barefoot travel zone after all!
There is something wrong with this picture in West Africa. The less a country earns, the cheaper the rooms, this is normal in the world. There is no reason in the world the most expensive rooms for backpacker on the planet has to be West Africa. I guess excluding Europe and America.
I am tired of everyone saying, I am traveling cheap, on a budget, on a shoestring, etc and then, the first problem, give up and they are not traveling on a budget.
A person on a real budget, cannot go up in price. I can, thanks to the good Gods, I have the money now. However I traveled for years on less than 5 dollars per day to pay the price.
Africa needs an introduction to the outside world. When people come, they will start businesses. They will discover, oh this place is ok, I think I will start this and that.
Next thing you know, Africa is off the welfare rolls, and their hands are in our pockets in a good way.
I like Africa, and if somewhere, somehow I could discover another Machu Picchu here, I would, no wait, we need a real site, like Tikal in Guatemala, Machu Picchu is just a pretty place with a lot of small rocks.
I guess I may not be able to persuade you to take up bicycle travel! Though I still maintain that it's absolutely the best way of travelling in Africa - you get to go exactly where you want, you're completely independent and can camp out in the bush if you want to, and when you don't like the road, or you feel like moving a bit faster or just arriving somewhere, you can just load your bike onto a passing taxi and away you go. Perfect! (you need a mirror for those crazy truck drivers, and as an alternative to the bazooka idea. . .)
I have an idea about the fact that Africa is so poor and at the same time quite expensive. I'm not an economist, but my guess is that because most people live largely or partly outside the cash economy (ie, they live in the rural areas, grow their own food, milk some goats, rarely have any cash) the hotels and other "tourist" services are really just satellites of the global economy, hence expensive. And because the market is small, there's not much competition to keep prices low. What do people think?
I would agree you that the Hotels and Tourist areas are satellites of the Western Economies. I am not sure I would use the word Global. However, I think I get the gist of your idea. And I agree since the market is small there is no competition. They are trying to give us rooms like Europe and make us pay the same, and everyone wants to pretend they are Europe. Reminds me of Argentina before the money crash.
Difficult to get my finger on this, as I am in the process of trying to crack this nut. I think there are maybe four levels of Hotels.
1. Owned by French, Swiss, Dutch or Rich Man - Tourist - NGO - ONG level, they drive the white land rovers.
2. Wanna Be Western - Owned by African - Take My Girls - with a business meeting, call it work, call if boom boom hotel on the out-skirts of towns that sell privacy. There is always parking and normally get the Africans as 95-98 percent of the client, have their own car and are the ruling class, tell people what to do, drive a Mercedes groups.
3. Owned by a Rich Guy and does ot stay around to see the place - Service the City boom boom and if you are not paying attention a relative normal hotel. People tend to come by moto or ZimiJans half the time or a friend has a car, very few Toyota Land Rovers - Cruiser, Pajeros or Mercedes, but they can be there. Often find these guy going to these places when they are supposed to be working, but are goofing. I have photos….
4. Chambre de Passage - Pas Chers, Extra Room, Boarding Homes, Chez or Buvette Bars. There is this sub-group that arrive by mini van, moto, walk in, or Peugeot station wagon. There is no real good parking, and the signs on the establishments are not so good, the music can be too loud, and fringe living.
Half Beer, and Fufu
- Bike Riders, Campers, and others can live in a variety of places.
There seems to be no concentration on the group number four and this is where I normally sleep as a backpacker. I do not have a car, an this non-car element is out of fashion in Africa. This does not mean, I cannot find them though, I am starting to do very good at finding them, and truth is, they do no want to be found. They are the places where a man takes his girl that nobody should know is not his girl, but is his girl today.
All have 85 percent of clients that focus on drinking and romance.
I just know you are not going to get the tons of backpacker to come here unless the rooms in the cheapest and poorest hotels are cheap. There needs to be a promotion of the non-car hotels. But the service the tourist hotels always service the global people and never have realistic pricing and they do not want you to know, the hotel down the street is half price.
I do think put a bike on a moto seems possible, I think to save money though Sweden seems primed for bikes.