Togo Travel Stories, Page 35

African Shooting Star

African Shooting Star
Danyi Apeyeme, Togo West Africa
Monday, April 23, 2007

I opened my door to my room, answering the most common need on the planet, I need to urinate.

I look up at the sky, whoosh a white light, I think,
- Wow, cool. -
A shooting star.

It rained last night, the air is fresh, I cannot say that in French, life is good. I shut my windows because of the cold. I think of song about,
- Who will stop the rain? -

I think to myself,
- Who sent the rain? -

Water, the sun, the earth beneath my feet, it all pretty simple.

Crickets are blaring, it is black dark, lying under a mosquito net, wondering how we made the planet so big, confusing and complicated when it is so simple.

African Shooting Star

Map to Danyi Apeyeme Togo

Map to Danyi Apeyeme Togo
Danyi Apeyeme, Togo West Africa
Sunday, April 22, 2007

This is a map from Kpalime or from Atakpame, and I guess from Ghana to Danyi Apeyeme, Togo.

The place has electricity, a small village, a couple of rivers, a lot of Christian Churches of various brands, and at least one Mosque.

The GPRS cell phone connection works here, there is a Catholic Mission down the road, and it looks very fancy, I guess you can sleep there, but too far for walking. I do no know if the GPRS works there.

There is one, what looks to be closed Auberge on the way to Adeta from here, I think just outside the city, maybe open.

To come here, you go to Adeta and turn East, and hope you go the right directions, but you can ask. Moto from Adeta to here is supposed to be 1000 CFA, from Kpalime, about 2500-3000 CFA.

Nice little typical type village and friendly, cooler and a lot less aggressive than the down in the flatland city of Koti, Togo.

07 degrees 12.203 North
000 degrees 41.452 East
795 Meters of altitude above sea level

Maps, Togo Maps, West Africa Maps, Togo, Togo Itinerary,

Map to Danyi Apeyeme Togo

500 CFA for Togo Laundry

500 CFA for Togo Laundry
Danyi Apeyeme Togo Homestay
Sunday, April 22, 2007

I had my laundry down yesterday for 500 CFA or about one US dollars and about 10 dollars less than the hotels. I also think it was done about five times better.

The girl was exceptional and I gave here 1000 CFA after she realized the number of clothes I had. The motos allow the wind and the dust of the red roads to accumulate in my clothes. I have a line in my room constantly and am constantly washing my own clothes. I refuse to pay the tourist fare prices here in Togo or West Africa.

This is my new friend Saficoh who is washing my grungy red dust filled clothes.

This girl and I am think her husband, this is under negotiations is working in this Chinois Chinese Massage and Acupuncture shop, I think it is some trend or fashion in Togo

This is an interesting photo of the kitchen, separated from the main room that is for sleeping, this is actually two kitchens for two families. The doors or steel, chicken wire on the windows and soot black coming from holes at the roof line that is steel.

Laundry Wash, Togo Laundry Wash, Togo, Togo Budget,

500 CFA for Togo Laundry

Travel Intuition

Travel Intuition
Danyi Apeyeme, Togo West Africa
Sunday, April 22, 2007

I say and write often about how I rely on my intuition to help me when I travel, I would say, I especially use my intuition to protect me from danger.

I was reading this article about bad science that I picked up on from my Hobo News collection of feeds, I will put the references at the end.

There is an idea that our intuition can help to make decisions.

- Defined -
Instinctive knowledge:
the state of being aware of or knowing something without having to discover or perceive it, or the ability to do this. (2)

I need to make a decision.

I read, learn, study, ask sources, contemplate, I used deductive logic, inductive logic, and try to come to a decision.

The big but.

I have less than 2 seconds to make the decision.

In the well written article by Ben Goldacre, Saturday April 21, 2007 for
- The Guardian - News media source, that I found on the internet it states or talks about random information.

Interestingly in the article there are no references to sources, my intuition is nervous. I try to separate the facts from the fiction, and this is in the Bad Science or maybe what I would say is close to explaining aspects of Junk Science.

-I can tell you: facts are not entirely welcome. When all the evidence goes against someone's beliefs, they will tell you, quite plainly, that they just know it to be true. -

I think of Global Warming, I just cannot figure out a way to study this that would be even remotely conclusive. The sample needs to be maybe 1000 to 20,000 years to be adequate. I tend to just dismiss article or comments about the earth warming as silly and have had some people I highly respect tell me this is true.

I really do not think this is an intuition problem though, although my intutition tell me most are lying.

I need to make decisions as I travel and in life, which way to go, what is safe, is this person good or bad, can this source of information be trusted.

I remember a person and best advice maybe I have ever received on whether to trust and opinion of a person.
- IF a person can make money by giving you bad advice, then do not trust them.-

Intuition to me is about trust issues. If I do not feel safe, if for some reason I am questioning myself. If I do not just believe person, completely. I feel my intuition is giving me a nudge, and say,
- Andy, there is something wrong. -

If I feel weak in the decision, then I only have one choice.

IF I want to error on the side of caution. I have only one choice.
- I say no, and do not do it. -

There are many and most decisions that can be delayed, for sure as in the article about gamblers saying they shall win soon because they have been losing all night. They feel a lucky streak coming on, this is claiming knowledge that cannot be access by the facts.

I highly mistrust anyone that gambles, I feel they are relying on impaired sense of common sense. IF a person could win at random games, like the roll of the dice, then the casinos would not exist.

I think intuition is mostly for people, animals and extremely complicated problems and choices that need to be made. In the end, I still recommend a person use their intuition and make choices.

- If all feels good, then it is probably good. - ALL
- Make the choice, I trust or do not trust this person. -
Note - Do not trust anyone to trust or not trusting a person, I do not listen, I refuse to listen to people who say, I have this trusted friend. You cannot delegate the decision on whom to trust or not to trust. Then again, there are people that need babysitters. A guide is a guide, it is not a yes or no answer, and it is not a recommendation, or at least to me a guidebook is not a recommendation, it is more or less a suggested idea of where or what to do, it is listing some options and choices.

Intuition is for when there are just too many variables. Often these are not critical questions and really just a decision to say, do I want to go here or there. I want to know, what I want to do.

I had a choice to make recently in Tsevie, Togo, do I go towards the Benin border to chase the hippos, or do I go to Kpalime and north. I was talking to the taxi driver, he gave me two choices, I decided in that second to go to Kpalime, however all day, all night I was going towards the hippos. It came down to I wanted to go to Kpalime, not I need this or I need that or I told people this or that. I blogged this I planned that, I am traveling for fun; I follow the fun and my intuition.

Something is in the way of my mind, I just did not want to go towards Benin now, and the decision can be delayed forever or now, I can go if and when I want, or never, not anybody really cares, except for me.

I like the flip the coin thing, I choose head or tails then flip the coin, I then know what I wish it to be before I look at the results. I go with my wish, not the coin flip.

The article is about gamblers fallacy, and good, however if you are afraid, you are afraid.

I truly hope this link does not break and continues to exist; I apologize in advance if it breaks, and these news companies make difficult links. I have given essential information for searching, with the hope they do not delete the articles, ever…

Winning streaks that risk losing the plot
By Ben Goldacre
Saturday April 21, 2007
The Guardian,,2062311,00.html

Intuition, Danger, West Africa Danger, What is good advice,
Travel Intuition

Difficult Mosquito Nets

Difficult Mosquito Nets
Danyi Apeyeme, Togo West Africa
Saturday, April 21, 2007

A mosquito net is difficult and annoying to use.

If you have camped in a pup tent, then you many be able to empathize with people who are supposed to be using a mosquito net. There is just no way to get in and out of a one-man tent simply. To protect yourself from mosquitoes you need to unzip, jump inside, and re-zip the net very fast. Then suffocate from the heat.

Malaria or Paludisme

I was in Niger last year, I thought I had Malaria, on hindsight, I may have had Paludisme, I mean food poisoning.

The situation was this, I was very sick, I kept saying to the Niger people, what I thought was the word for Malaria; I said, Malaria, the people would agree or disagree with no problem. I realized later, I was saying Malaria, and nobody knew this word. I need to say, Paludisme the French African way of saying, Malaria.

There are some good sign boards about Puludisme in this area of Togo; the villages along the road to Adeta were promoting the fight against Puludisme. I am not sure; sleeping under a mosquito net is difficult, annoying and fraught with methodical and procedural flaws.

The goal is to not be bitten by mosquitoes.
This is an almost impossible goal to achieve.

I know one thing; I am not going to take Malaria pills for 75 percent of my life. I live in the Tropical Malaria - Puludisme areas of the planet at least 75 percent of the year.

I asked Michael the fixer,
- Do you use a mosquito net? -

He says,
- I like to sleep under a fan. -

I will cultural reinterpret this statement.

No, I do not sleep under a mosquito net, I know I am supposed to; I would like to sleep under a fan because the fan blows the mosquitoes off me. However, the truth is, I do not have a fan, and there is not electricity most or about half the time. Therefore, even though I know I am supposed to protect myself from Mosquitoes so I do not get Malaria or Puludisme, I just cannot be bothered. It is too hot, too difficult and I would rather just deal with them, rather than worry about Malaria. Plus, I am too cheap to buy one.

I can about count the number of times I have seen a person in Malaria prone areas sleep under mosquito nets. I see them in Tourist hotels; however, the normal population seems to avoid them. I guess on the Amazon River in places they used them a few times.

In Niger, they have this cool sleep outside bed set-up, which is more or less the Hausa bed, it has a mosquito net.

Still, the goal is to not be bitten by a mosquito, the goal is close to impossible.

- Unless you go into a mosquito net with a bottom, zip is shut, and start to sleep at about 5:00 or an hour before sunset.

A mosquito will bite through the bottom of a hammock.

They can find the small hole; I was looking at a mosquito net in the Turag area of Agadez, Niger one time. The net was over the short stick homes as was supposed to protect a baby. I could see rips in the net everywhere, a mosquito net is delicate, and it rips easy.
Truthfully, DDT is probably the answer. The real solution seems to be to install screens on the windows by professionals.

German Professionals.

I was sort of thinking in Kpalime, I was in the L’Aurore hotel for one night; the place had very good screens on the windows. I entered the toilet and shower area and this small window above the toilet was just bars with No screen over the windows. Almost Africa.

I thought to myself, this is not going to work, so I closed to the toilet and hoped they had not already entered.

I was in the Bafana Bafana before that, and there were no screens on any of the windows. It took some work, but I put up my mosquito net and slept under a blanket. Sleeping under a mosquito net is like sleeping under a blanket; it almost successfully stops the breeze or fan, not completely, but close.

Why rooms do not have hooks on the walls for me to install a mosquito net? Ok, I am in this 2000 CFA room in the middle of nowhere, on the planet with Malaria. This funky little room has nails in the wall, I am wondering, was it for pictures or did someone, sometime actually set up a mosquito net? I always carry a mosquito net; I do not use Malaria pills, although setting up a Mosquito net in most rooms in is an Act of God, very difficult and complicated.

You can tell the serious people, they have a bed with four poles, and then you can hook a mosquito net on each of the four poles.

I was cracking up laughing at Mawuli in the Auberge Mandela. The room was sealed tight, a very good room, and the number 4 room I think. Well, I decided to extra kill off the fleas, ants and anything that moved. I closed the doors and windows, before I was going to start living there. I started to gas the place with the insect killer called Killit, the cost is about 1000 CFA.

I did not Almost Africa is, I was doing a German quality job. I was trying to kill everything in the room, I sprayed every crack, crevice and place a flea or mosquito, or my arch enemy ants could sleep.

Mawuli came and sticks his head in the room and sort of signs me to stop. I am thinking to myself, you are slow in the head, please take you vitamins.

I was at the toxic level of breathing and they were outside and he and this girl Essay could smell it, it was annoying them. I thought to myself, and wanted to holler.
- Stop being so lazy, move to the front and leave the courtyard. -

A little annoyance can bring Africa to a stop.

I did not stop, I used the whole can, and thought, I did not Almost Africa that, I did a German style job of killing.

I have this very long pull string on the bottom of my mosquito net. I pick up the four corners of the bed; place the mosquito net under the edges. I then can pull the draw string. As best I can tell, a normal lie on the edges type mosquito net does an almost job, but does not stop them. Then my next problem is to enter the bed, I need to loosen the drawstring, and then climb under it, annoying and difficult, but I do not like to be bitten, I am not so worried about Malaria, I just do not like to have mosquito welts on my body. I like to sleep peacefully.

In addition, it keeps the cockroaches from crawling over my bed and rats from defecating on me as I learned in Pak Bara, Thailand as they crawl in the rafter of my bungalows.

But, it is hot, difficult, and if I had a fan, that was full steam ahead, a good blow, I would maybe think about not using this net and go for the fan, but I know, that would almost work, but not really.

I like to ask people if they carry a mosquito net. The will buy the malaria pills, but are too lazy to carry the mosquito net, but it takes more thinking to set up a mosquito net than to toxic yourself with Malaria pills.

I am sort of musing now, I am thinking, how I can modify this net again so I can have a zipper opening, so I can climb in and out easy. It is possible; I just make a big pull string opening, as a door. I added these carabineer things to the corners the other day in the Bafana Bafana so I can take the long nylon cords off the corners so they are not tangled. I also use them cords for other jobs, like typing my bag on the bottom of my pack.

I have to admit, this mosquito net is getting better all the time, as I keep engineering in other ideas.

The big idea on that sign board is to buy the impregnated mosquito repellant versions of mosquito nets. Seems somewhat silly to me, but for why not, helps the Denmark people to sell mosquito nets to Ghana people who think they cannot make mosquito nets… Another story…

I want to make two modifications to my net. I want the top to be only the size of a single bed, however the bottom to be as big as double or regular bed. I also want to install this pull string type entrance. Buying good lightweight mosquito net is difficult to purchase, I think I need to go somewhere where they do not have a problem with Malaria… Hehehe

There are tons of tailor shops here, I sometime hope I am required to use this mosquito net for a few weeks. I would be more inclined to make the modification and not forget until the next time I am under this blanket.

It is cooler here at 757 meters or something like that, but not enough, it rained and then stopped.

I keep thinking, when I enter an expensive hotel and they have mosquito nets, I am worried. A much better system is to install screens on the windows, mosquito nets are uncomfortable and meant for cheap hotels.

I truthfully think they would do better to install screens on all the windows of the home here, probably would be as effective as trying to put nails in clay adobe walls, and expecting them to hold. The fundamental problem is the rooms, homes, and bed are designed wrong, the root problem is in the design of what is need to hang the mosquito net. Then the mosquito net, there is many adaptations needed before I am happy or through with this baby.

For those who pay a fortune for mosquito nets in a gear shops, they cost about 3 dollars in Thailand.

Mosquito Nets, Mosquito, Annoyances, West Africa Annoyances, Insects, Gear, West Africa Gear,

Difficult Mosquito Nets

Togo Mountain View

Togo Mountain View
Danyi Apeyeme, Togo West Africa
Saturday, April 21, 2007

Immediately upon leaving Adeta by moto, we proceed to climb the side of a small mountain range here in Togo. This may be called the Danyi Plateau; I am not sure, I could check on the maps, however there are no lights presently in my room as they went off now at 6:30 pm, I expect them off until morning, however hard to say.

Nonetheless, we climbed this mountain range, and then proceed to travel around sort of on top of the mountain range. I feel a little silly calling this a mountain range as the altitude is only about 750 Meters above sea level, and the highest in Togo is only about 1000 meters.

There is maybe a small airport below with a dirt runway, the boy told me something about a helicopter at the hospital, however seems like an overkill for the number of people and the amount of money here.

iew as we left the village of Adeta and climbed the side of the mountain range.

Mountains, Geography, West Africa Geography, Togo,

Togo Mountain View

Danyi Apeyeme Togo

Danyi Apeyeme Togo
Danyi Apeyeme, Togo West Africa
Saturday, April 21, 2007

I am the village maybe a Ville called Danyi Apeyeme in Togo, Africa, it is North of Kpalime, and West of Adeta.

I have electric, GPRS Cell phone connection and a room for 2000 per night, they tell me it is cool here at night and I do not need a fan. According to my map of the cell towers of Togo, there is NOT supposed to a cell tower here. However, I am more or less sure there is a cell here in Danyi Apeyeme, Togo as I seen an Antenna and the signal has all the bars..

Adeta has three small Chambre de Passage, the one on the North part of town for 3000 CFA was probably a good deal, I did not see in the room, but would suspect ok, however, not in the center of the village. I think the other two were for 1500 and 1500 or 2500 with a fan, hard to say through the haze of half-truths and misconceptions.

Adeta has Togocel connection and it may come from here, because I am on the mountain and Adeta is more or less in the valley.

Here is a funny, I am on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere, they just told me they cut the electricity from noon until 3:00 pm every day. Everywhere, else I am lucky to have 10 hours of electricity per day and they are apologizing for the cutting of three. Then again, I just arrive and it could just be - Almost Africa. -

I feel pretty confident they have electricity most of the day, as the boy was very specific on times, and the electricity cut at 12;00 exact.

Life is good.
La Vie est Belle

Danyi Apeyeme Togo

Togo Transportation Changes

Togo Transportation Changes
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Saturday, April 21, 2007

I have adapted to the size and conditions of Togo.

Togo is small, I could probably go from the bottom to the top in one day, and across in a couple of hours. I am held within this land mass by the borders, which could take minutes or hours to cross. In a way, am held hostage by the Visas I hold or do not hold if they open all the borders for easy crossing, then people could travel West Africa logically and not play chess with the Governments Visa offices.

Ok, it appears to me that the Gares or Bus stations are walking into the Gas company or Electric company and saying,

Yes, I will take a number, yes I will pay the price, yes I will be abused and yes, I understand I have no choice.

IF I buy a ticket in advance in Africa, it is putting my head on a rock and asking them to hit my head with a hammer. They have me between a rock and a hard spot, the can be abused and I can get in the queue and say,
- HIT ME. -

If I pay in advance for about any services in West Africa, I an almost guarantee this is me volunteering to be the receiver of abuse.

I have decided that it is wise to avoid all bus stations, especially and notably when they want me to pay in advance.

I went to the Gare of the Kpalime bus station. I paid 1750 CFA for a ticket to Lome. They then had me paying, they wanted 1000 CFA for my bags, which in theory I had already paid for, then they was willing to put me in with four 4-H size champion cows, that stink, sweat and eat way too much Fufu. (Fat women.)

I opted out.

I went to the highway flagged down a car and took a taxi for the same amount of money that was faster and more comfortable, but not the vehicle the ONG-NGO would use as a poster child to say how bad life is in Africa.

Therefore, today, my present strategy I a hop, skip and jump world, this is Andy Hobo Jargon.

In this world for ease of travel and speed.

Under says 30-50 Kilometers I take a moto.

Over 30-50 Kilometers I take or flag down a car, at the exit roads of the city, not at the station.

NOTE: I have never paid for my bags yet in West Africa,
- I just say NO. -

I can be bully also, easy to be, I am type A, Alpha Male, and will do what I do, if I am being bullied, I reciprocate and we can see who is Alpha. Nevertheless, money, in the hands before I receive services is too much temptation for these people, they do not care, they are tyrant in mentality, I have it, and you will not get it back.

On a moto, I can get the driver to slow down, stop, and allow me to take a photo, and extreme cooler. This could be dangerous for persons who are sunburned easy.

Cars outside of leaving the city are opportunist travelers, they have a car, they want to go from city to city, and can decrease the cost of driving by picking up riders. Inside the bus stations, they are intent on packing as much in the car, or on top of a van as possible, they do not care, the more then pack, the more they abuse, the more money they make. The opportunist on the other hand, may have a newer car, I was in less than a two-year-old car a couple of times, and they will not put bananas on top of the car.

IF I am lucky, I get a car, which is NOT a station wagon, this is the best vehicle to ride in, and for comfort, just a normal 4-door car, and however, they are still capable of putting five people in the back seat for abuse reasons.

If I spoke French better, then I could maneuver the front seat better. The price of cars along the road appears to be the same as the station as they cannot charge more or everyone would go to the station.

This should work for most countries in West Africa, and if I take less than 50 Kilometer - SKIPS, - I will go slower, learn more, and travel more pleasant.

I think the idea would be to have a motocross type motorcycle and buy it in the country and sell in the country, but this seems close to impossible unless I travel for longer than two months per country. It would be feasible for six months per baby countries, and this is a baby country.

Taxi, Tranportation, Togo Transportation, West Africa Transportation, Togo, Budget Togo,

Togo Transportation Changes