Togo Travel Stories, Page 36

Togo How Hot is it

Togo How Hot is it
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Saturday, April 21, 2007

I wish I could just look up at a clock on a bank, read the digital reading on the clock and also learn the temperature.

I have had two people now from the USA want to know what the temperature here is in Togo.

It is 33 degrees centigrade at 5:34 am in the morning here in the Auberge Mandela in Kpalime, Togo.

The Tropical Cultures of the Planet do not care how hot it is, alternatively, they do not care either about the time.

If they cared they would have clocks and thermometers on the walls, to me the proof is in the pudding, people do what they care about. A person that is on time cares about being on time.

I guess in the same logic, if I cared, I would talk about the actual temperature or the maybe if it were easier to know. I have this little compass - temperature gauge thing I purchase in Nepal, it reads in Centigrade and not Fahrenheit.

91.40 Fahrenheit is the temperature in my room, however,
- I really do not care. -
Plus made in China, sold in Nepal, would you trust it?

What I care about is how comfortable I am, this is not as simple as saying the temperature is this. I am very comfortable right now, the fan is blowing on me, the night air has a cooler feeling, the morning is dawning, in fact I am little too cold.

Humidity is more of a problem, but NOT HERE, I am often overwhelmed with heat when I return to the humid spring air of Indiana, and it is maybe called sweltering. This type of humid overbearing heat is difficult to find here, however I am sure if I went into the marsh jungles, I could find a type of inescapable sweaty heat. Most people generally avoid this type of heat as best I can observe.

In the shade, with temperatures at 105 and in a dry climate, it is more or less comfortable providing you are not using insulation. This means, you have less clothes on and you allow the skin to sweat, if I wear cloths, then I become hotter. Strangely, after about 110, if I wear clothes, it keep the cool in the body, and keep me from cooking, I am not clear on why, but when it gets up past 40 centigrade or about
104 Fahrenheit it is maybe better for me to have on clothes in the sun to stay cool. There is some mechanics here to learn, and for sure, the Turegs of Mali and Niger do not care, they will wrap their heads when I could guarantee they stink from sweat.

When it get hot enough, the perspiration as I can observe evaporates faster, when below say 80, then the clothes become wet, so I shed my clothes, but above 105 maybe I would put on clothes or use an umbrella.

The Turegs and Arabic and the other cultures with the turban thing, or head scarves tend to retain the fashions even when it is not wise, or practical, fashions are the signs of culture.

I do not see everyone using their heads when it comes to culture and fashions or for sure, the American and Europe business people would have thrown the tie out a long time ago. I never wore a tie when in the USA to do business, when I was young I did, then decided this suit idea defeated the idea of making money. If I was to make a lot of money, then it was to be able to dress the way I desired, this was to be the benefit of working hard, not to dress the whole day in uncomfortable clothing.

I will never forget the day, Jim the building commissioner talked or advice me outside the Chamber of Commerce in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We were just leaving the meeting of the Industrial Realtors groups of Fort Wayne, a group of about 10 people that conspire by inference to control land cost, I called it the Cannibals meeting as they would eat each other if they had a chance, for sure they was not working for the good of the community, but I was, so I was learning what they were doing.

Jim says,
- Look how they are dressed; if you want to be successful, you need to dress like them. -

I said,
- Jim, it is 90 degrees, and none of them are my client, they want to destroy me.-

I said,
- I want them to think I am stupid. -

He could not adjust his brain to varying needs or even to negotiate, I went pro and went up to 88 properties sold per year.

There is a need to wear a suit to funeral out of respect and tradition, and I obey cultural mandates when needed.

Staying cool in the Trops or in Indiana is confusing, and in Indiana it take a lot more work because the climate is wet, in the tropics the climates are dryer, even when there is water everywhere.

I do not expect the Turegs to change and say to themselves, it is too hot for this stupid head thing, and I do not expect the USA men with ties, or the girls with high heels to decide, this is silly, because fashion is more important than common sense.

I watch people use their credit cards to travel when every ounce of common sense says this is nuts.

Safety requires a person adapts, and not have fashion or ego, or lack of ego control their actions.

Ok, Mom, I will try to read the temperature and say, but that was a lot of good excuses above, I think, they worked well.

Heating or Cooling, Temperature, Metric Conversion, Togo, Culture,

Togo How Hot is it

I Travel North to Adeta Togo

I Travel North to Adeta Togo
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Friday, April 20, 2007

I will leave the city of Kpalime and probably take a Moto to the city of Adeta, Togo or somewhere close to there, I am guessing it is about 30 Kilometers or about 18 miles.

This is a very short distance; however, I hope it is full of small mountains and a winding jungle cool road. I am going towards the mountains to buy time until it starts to rain, to cool off the Hotel rooms. There is very little Jungle in West Africa like you think of in the moives.

I made a mistake on the map, oops, too late now, I just cannnot see them, my brain does not focus in that method.

This is a map of my route between Cell Phone Cells or Antennas. I have fours maps I am using.

1. Encarta Encyclopedia on the computer.
2. Guidebook.
3. cell phone map, the one above.
4. Carte Routiere Et Touristique - A paper map, purchased in a bookstore for 5000 CFA.

I would say the Carte Routiere et Touristique is the best, and seems to have the proper size of the city names, to coordinate with the size of the real cities.

Richard Trillo of the recommended the Michelin Map and I really did not have time to buy in the USA before leaving. I do not know if it was in English or French. I prefer French because it is the language of business here.

My Encarta Encyclopedia is handy, easy to use, however the cities, roads and what is big or small is always suspect. The guidebook tends to keep with the main cities mentioned in the guidebook and guides. I not so fond of tourist, therefore I like to leave the guidebook routes and travel different.

What is really a benefit of this map from Togo or the paper map is all the symbols, the Hippos, the Cacao, the Teak, the various symbols to help me leave the normal tourist routes and wonder around Togo.

I normally do not prepare much to go to a country, I try to snag a guidebook for hotels, but the other information and ideas, I learn or pick up along the way. I sort of call this the sport of travel, if everything is planned and figured out, then where is the sport.

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

Travel North to Adeta Togo

6-12 Volt Fan and Lights

6-12 Volt Fan and Lights
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Friday, April 20, 2007

I want to buy off the shelf products to carry in my backpack; I want to be capable of buying replacement parts, when one piece is lost or broken. Nothing worst than having a favorite piece of gear lost that cannot be replaced while traveling.

I have found on the shelves here in Togo.

1. Batteries to run lights and fan.
- Six Volt Sealed Motorcycle batteries for 5500 CFA or about 11 U.S. Dollars.

2. Charger I think or hope will work.
- I am 90 percent sure I can buy a 8-12 Volt cell phone charger, that works with both 110 and 220 or in a really drastic move, I can splice into the charger I use for my portable phone.

IF I can find…

- A computer fan, or a some 5-15 Volt fan.
- A light that runs on 6 or 12 volts.

I have a 12 Volt one cup coffee cooker.

There is a converter I can purchase in the USA, which will allow me to plug my computer into a cigarette lighter, which in the USA is 12 Volts. I need to place two six-volt batteries in a row to have 12 volts.

I am excited as this would solve many problems, and make my life more pleasant. I wish I could calculate how long my computer would run on two six volt made into a 12 volt system would last. I can purchase 8 hours batteries for my computer, and one cost 150 US dollars and, this set up would cost around 40-50 US and could be fixed or replaces anywhere, with the hope it works of course.

It is easy enough to find electricity every five days or so, and I do have a 12 Volt Solar Battery charger to try to use

Fans, Batteries, 12 Volt, Lights, Electricity, Togo, Batterie Charger, Cellphone,

6-12 Volt Fan and Lights

Tsevie to Keve Togo

Tsevie to Keve Togo
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Friday, April 20, 2007

I walked out of the Hotel Grand of Tsevie, my 5000 CFA half the night electric room and went to the junction in front of the Shell Station. I was laughing, about 10:00 pm, and I am sleeping in the heat, they come and try to get me to move to room, with no shower and toilet, yet is on the generator used for the very large bar area. I was asking before if there were rooms there, and I think I could have got a room, without shower for 3000, I gave up too quick, and it would have had a fan all night, there is no justice, 3000-4000 and a fan because it has a generator, pay 5000 and have no electricity.

I need to continue to learn French.
Chambre sans douche? = A room without a shower or toilet?

Room connected to the electric generator.
Chambre être lié à générateur de electrique.

Oh well, trials and tribulations, and some problems for me to solve, something do to do.

I went to the Shell station in Tsevie, sort of thought, I will flag a moto that has enough petrol to go to Tabligbo closer to the Benin, Border. Then a group came around me and the price became increasingly difficult to negotiate. There is a problem when many Togo Motos are in one location, they all want to save face, and see who can get the White Man to pay the most. I have discovered, I need to get moving Motos and one at a time to get the best price, it would seem they would compete, but the opposite happens, they compete to see who can say the most, and they support each other in high prices.

The prices went from about 2000 mille, and then adjusted to 3.500 after listing to the other boys to a high of 6000 to go to Tabligo. I left many frustrated and hollering moto taxis and kept walking. Met another one, and asked the prices for both places, he said 3500 for Tabligo and 1500 for Keve. I made a call audible at the line of scrimmage and decide to go to Keve to the West.

The ride to Keve was nice, a small dirt road and some small villages along the way, as we was leaving the city of Tsevie, I saw many women with clay pots on their heads. There may be a Friday market, and they had many varieties and somewhere they must be making clay pots in the area.

These pots were being carried towards the city of Tsevie, Togo. I believe this large one would sit outside a door to a home. The women would go to the well or a collection point and return to fill it with drinking water.

I am now in Kpalime; I will post to my blog, clean up the house and try to buy a small fan I can carry in my bag. I think I am going to look for motorcycle batteries also and a charger, it is possible I find a 12 volt speaker fan and this would work well. I am not sure if I can tap the 6 or 12-volt motorcycle battery for juice for the computer or not. Need to do some research.

This is a typical view of Togo, the big tree is not so normal, the land looks like this, and the color of the dirt is normally red. It is hard to see a good area of land farmed.

Tsevie to Keve Togo

I go north towards Adeta, Togo tomorrow morning.

Togo Electricity Season

Togo Electricity Season
Tsevie, Togo West Africa
Friday, April 20, 2007

When to go?

I think it would be better to come here, after the rainy season or during the bigger part of rainy season. I would have electricity and it would be cooler. The country has hydro electricity and there is no water.

I am having serious problems here in Togo with electricity in rooms, and because of no electricity, the AC and fans to not work. There is no water to run the electricity generators of the dams of Togo, Ghana, we need rain.

I was in a collective taxi or a big shared station wagon riding from Kpalime to Lome, there was a very well spoken Ghana English teacher in the seat next to me. He said here retired, and now is living in Togo and works for a Chinese company. As we was traveling along, he pointed at a very large electrical transformer station and said,
- Ghana sold this to Togo. -

I was in inch away from saying,
- They sold them junk. -
- As normal, almost Africa, it almost works. -

Ok, who can say why the electricity does not work, and I for sure do not care. I only think to myself when someone starts to go into a long explanation about something they do not understand or know either,
- I do not care, just get it working. -

I have two choices.
- Sleep in rooms that do not need fans or AC.
- I can go to the mountain areas, not very high, and really about nothing, only between 600 and 900 meters high, but the valleys between the mountains and along streams are coolers at night.

However, and I am not sure, but I think if I would have came here in May or better June, it would be cooler and they would have electricity because the water above the dams would be sufficient to create electricity for West Africa.

Therefore, now, I am trying to narrow this down, I want to be sure, when the rainy season are so I can plan my trip better. I normally do not care when there is monsoons or rainy seasons, it is highly over avoided on the planet. I suppose it matters for a bike rider. If I were in an overland car trip here, I would carry a generator for sure.

I am thinking it is time to go and sleep on roofs, like in the Middle East or India, the world has designed building that need electricity and then does not have adequate electricity for the buildings Regressive Architecture or Architecture that is not adequate and regressed.


- One rainy season
- March to September

- TWO rainy season
- April to June
- September to November
Rainfall doubles in the mountains. (2)

I cannot seem to find a good table of rain for West Africa, but the basic information is there for my planning. I need to somehow stave off the heat until the rains start; I need to think on how to solve this heat problem.

Seasons, Electricity, Dams, Fans, Air Conditioning, Togo,

Togo Electricity Season

My Only Choice is French

My Only Choice is French
Tsevie, Togo West Africa
Thursday, April 19, 2007

I have only one choice, I need to learn French better, if I wish to travel in these African Francophone countries, and learn more about the culture, than I need to talk better French.

If I spoke French about 4 degrees better, I could interview of give the quiz to the Hotel Owners and avoid their lies better, and have a better room and travel cheaper.

Sometimes, I am quite positive, the people here speak horrible French, and then I think, they speak good French. There is only one way to know, and that is to speak better French than them, and to know when I am not pronouncing the words correctly or maybe them.

There a many phrases in French, which are repeated many times in conversations. I am going to start writing them down, therefore when I hear them; I know I can repeat easily. The locals appear, although I cannot be sure, they appear to speak these pat phrases, sort of like canned answers. Then when there is a word that is not common, it will baffle them.

I tried two times today, to say, I am going to go see the Hippos, finally when I wrote it down, one person instantly understood, however, the two girls in the Shell Station next to the Hotel Grand here in Tsevie had to think for a long time to know what this was.

I think the girls called an Animal an Aneemoe and I think it should be pronounced Aneemah. This is the confusion, I am never positive, therefore I am easily confused. I will study my French.

Languages, French, Togo, Hotel Finding, Togo Hotels,

My Only Choice is French

My Backpack is a Boat

My Backpack is a Boat
Tsevie, Togo West Africa
Thursday, April 19, 2007

I can carry 80 liters of gear easy in my two backpacks. I hope to add a few caps and increase the easy capacity to 160 liters of junk, this is about 35 kilos or close to 80 pounds.

Today was a sad day in Lome for me this morning before I left for Tsevie, as I decided to offload about 20 liters of non-essential items. I left a lot of gear or my home furnishings in Lome in the room, and moved on down the road.

I have been carrying about 100 liters of volume, however to do so, I needed to tie a bag on the bottom of my backpack. The backpack worked perfect for this, and when Michael was with me, he tied or used bungee cords and connected his gear on the bottom of one of my bags. If I put on the bottom it makes the ride on the Motorcycle Taxis more comfortable as it allows the bottom of the bag to sit higher and less stress on my shoulders while on the bike.

However, I trimmed the boat, and offloaded some cargo. Not because I wanted too, but because I like convenience. Tying the bag on the bottom took time, and I did not feel lean and mean with the set up.

A photo of Michael way off and the photos is blurred, however you can see that the small grain bag full of his gear on the bottom allows the backpack to ride lighter on the shoulders of the rider. If it hangs, the weight it continually bouncing, I also can loosen the straps and allow to also go lower, but the bottom bag helps a lot.

The grain bag was not easy to tie on, and the truth is, I had a lot of non-essential items, and miscellaneous pack rat items, some experimental gear items, that were not working.

This is my home, these are my possessions, I become enamored with them and do not like to let go. I do have a clothing policy, if I do not wear it often and regular, I throw it away, normally means I leave in the hotel room.

I need an easy to clip on cap or bag, that I can load, then just clip on the bottom, when I get near the combinations of material, tailor, clips and such, I will make one. Annoying to think how the boys of Nepal could not get their act together to make this simple item, or I would have four right now.

The way I pack a bag is like a boat, the heavy in the bottom, the side-to-side weight is balanced, I try to distribute the good properly, and if the boat is overloaded, I go to port and unload some cargo, and leave again. I have a front and back pack, this distributes the weight to the front and back, they are both the same size, and 40 liters in capacity. I do not really care about weight, as I never plan on walking, I plan on taxis, except in Europe and then I buy a 2-wheel cart, because all I do is walk, hard to get fat there.

Right now, I would like to be carrying about 5 more kilos of books in English as I am down to one English book, and Africa is French.

Backpacks, Gear, West Africa Gear, Motorcycles, Togo Transportation, Togo, West Africa Transportation, Taxi,

Tsevie Togo

Tsevie Togo
Tsevie Togo West Africa
Thursday, April 19, 2007

If you have AC, you also need a fan, because when on generator power, the electricity does not run the AC.

I am Tsevie. Togo about 35 Kilometers north of Lome, there are many Auberge’s or Hotel and all so far all are over priced. I found one finally for 5 Mille or 5000 CFA about 10 US dollars, that is ok, but I will leave, tomorrow. This is more or less a city on a highway or at a junction of two highways, nothing of interest so far.

I am in a flat area of Togo, and the climate is dryer than in Kpalime, I am not sure what to do, these small towns are either a joy or you wish to keep on moving. My Moto driver coming here from Lome was great for 1000 CFA he brought me from Lome to Tsevie city, then drove around trying to find a good hotel

He took me to his normal hotel and they wanted 8000, he was sort of put off, and he says he pays 1000 for short time use, and thought the hotel for the night would be about 4000. There was a Hotel full of ONG-NGO people, which wanted 10,000 per night.

I will leave for somewhere tomorrow morning, it is hot, the electricity if off here also. I had electricity last night, but the Air Conditioning did not work, there was no fan, so about as good as this room with no electricity. I am paying closer attention to rooms; they are ovens you pay to sleep inside.

Tsevie Togo