Togo Hotels

Lome Togo Hotel Change

Lome Togo Hotel Change
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I have changed hotels, I left the Galion Hotel a pretty good choice for hotels because of social life and location. However, my present room is a much better value. 5000 CFA, the same as I paid at the Galion and about twice as big, better screens and it has electrical plugs in the walls. The Galion is two apartments buildings. One is older, looks nice, but is really a bad choice for living. The other one, the one I lived in last time is more modern, and the upper floors of the building the right is good if not great. Above the restaurant area induced me to decide to look for a different hotel as I felt sort of miserable.

There was a woman by the name Marie that was the main day receptionist, and I hear got married to a Swedish man and moved to Sweden, good for her. She was a sweetheart and very happy and professional, the women that took her place is blasé to the point of making it fashionable.

I feel bad as the really enjoyable and happy Elena, the cleaning girl I leave behind, she was precious, happy, and made my life great. A hotel is about people and then a room, however, I did come to visit Africa and not France, now I am living in Africa. Although a bunch of old men drinking is not France…
My new hotel has the option of turning on the Air Conditioning.



This is a first, this is first hotel I have every encountered, planned as a hotel it has installed electric meters along with the air conditioners. They can charge me for the electricity I use only, and not on a set rate, they can include or not include air conditioning, and I can leave the think running for days if I wish, and I pay.

I am told, by an equally blasé receptinish, however more attractive receptionist Marjorie that it cost 150 CFA per Kilowatt, I have no idea how long I can turn this for and cost me about 30 cents US, I guess though I can turn it on. I need to ask the not so helpful or happy staff how much to use for the night. I am guessing they will not answer clearly or with any enthusiasm.

I think culturally there is a I am too s e x y for myself thing going on and it is not cool to pay attention to people, more s e x y to ignore. I have loosened up the one no-name-known girl that works here and she is becoming a pleasure to know. I wish Elena was here. The hotel also has a kitchen and a fridge, I could have paid 6000 CFA or 4 US dollar more and had a fridge in my room. If, the hotel allows me to utilize the kitchen, this is by far one of the better prepared and designed hotels I have encountered in West Africa.

Blasé though is the problem, it is not a good idea to talk or recommend hotels. I can recommend people, hard to recommend hotels, or places, or anything, I think I can recommend people. I would easily recommend the happy go lucky Elena in the Galion Hotel, the rest of the staff is there. The older owner is a good shake my hand, he-speaks-no-English guy, and the younger knows a lot and speaks English, a great place to start in Lome, however very expensive food in the restaurant.

There is this overbearing mentality that attempts to socialize me into accepting that paying way too much for typical Africa is good. Even Elena tried to say it was not expensive.

A worker here in Africa gets about 2 US dollars per day. The cost of cleaning my T-shirt is 300 CFA or bout 60 cents US. Therefore to pay to have 5 T-shirts would cost about 3 US Dollars. Elena says to me,
- No Cher, -

I try to say, explain or ask,
- Would you pay this? -

This is the incredible to believe, white man / black man difference, they incredibly to believe, hard to understand, I cannot relate do not even consider that we the white man would like to pay the same as the locals. We could actually live, drink, eat and pay the same, the black people of West Africa and Togo do live very good, I do not see them living bad, in fact the other persons in my new and present hotel probably have the same room for almost half the rate I am paying… hehehe. I did not want to fight over price, however I think it is highly possible to get rooms in Lome for 3000 CFA per night, that would be great.

A moto or motorcycle taxi cost about 200 CFA to go anywhere, this is about 40 Cents US, I can be about anywhere very fast, the location is not important. The beach although adds flavor to the city, is 99 percent ignored by the tourist, and I never see any white people on the beach. The wind is a little high for lying on the beach, although a great beach feeling city, in reality the beach does not exist as a place to go.

I am using and cleaning about 3 t-shirts per day as I am perspiring, a.k.a sweating so much as I acclimate to Africa and lose weight, that I need to clean clothes daily or stink. I know the other backpackers or tourist are sweating the same….. Heheheh, however, I have not see them do laundry.

I think I wish to get close to the Africa people more than the white people, I feel or think they smell better.

I could pay a person from Togo 2 dollars to work all day washing clothes, and at these prices make about 20 to 100 US dollars per day cleaning clothes. However, it appears people do not clean their clothes as much as me, so there really is no market. If they would wash clothes though for about 2 dollars for all my clothes, I would pay in a heartbeat.

Living on a budget is interesting, one thing cost, like laundry, therefore I do the laundry myself. Food is outlandishly expensive in any Western style restaurant, therefore I cook myself. The cost of rooms is the big budget cost of Africa in reality, I do not have to eat Western food while in Africa and am not sure why I would want to, but for sure it is not essential. Vitamins, vegetables and nutrients are essential and they are quickest and easiest to buy by cooking myself.

There is always an area or a component of a country that is expensive, the smart travel adapts and plans on how to minimize the cost of this big budget expense. Transportation in West Africa is cheap, however people buy vehicles. Food in open air markets is moderately cheap, and they eat in Western style restaurants.

Africa is full of black people, it is what makes it a great place. I do not understand the backpackers here, if there is any, the few are all cloistered inside the womb of western styled culture. They either drive a vehicle to avoid the locals or they live in white people hotels.

The way the world is visiting the culture of Africa seems to be by finding mates or women. 90 percent of the white people in Togo are men, then they find a girlfriend, this way they slowly learn about Togo. I am wanting to go for the countryside and the small villages where I can stop seeing white people in the same locations. I do no see them walking down the street, I see them driving by in an SUV.

This time in Lome, I have more energy, I feel better, I think I had some type of lower energy level because of lack of vitamins. I have walked for miles in every direction here in Lome, it is a city, not of much interest, however it is interesting, just a city though and the Mina or Ewe cultures are being cleaned of obvious ethnic features.

I am managing my budget 5 times better this time than in the past, and I am sure as my French improves, the cost of living will go down, I need to talk to ask questions and learn how to buy cheaper.

Lome Togo Hotel Change





Kpalime Togo in Like Flin

Kpalime Togo
Kpalime Togo West Africa
Monday, March 19, 2007

I am in like Flin; life is good in Kpalime, a change of homes, a change of Hotels, and a different channel. I found a great hotel for 5000 CFA or about 10 US, about the bottom of the deck is 3000. I took a tour of all the hotels, think I stopped at most in the guidebook, and one not in the guidebook.

Thanks to the NGO - ONG for make the best hotel, the least favorite. NGO drive cars, go away from the city, from the people are more or less living the exclusive lives, therefore the nicer hotels are outside the middle cultural parts of cities. The price of hotels is funny here; I had to tell the nice manager, Sarah.
- I just took a tour of all the hotels, this one is too expensive, or Cher in French. -

She finally dropped to five Mille, I do think the prices are all negotiable, everywhere, just a matter or wanting to try. The have a room here for about four, could maybe get for three, the problem is, maybe there is noise or boom in the night, and I am not sure. Boom Boom hotel is better than a Buvette Bar Hotel, as less noisy in a way. All are Boom Boom, yet this hotel is more local, not NGO or ONG Boom Boom.

The guidebook calls the room Spartan; I think it is white and bright, no place for the ants to hide.



I got an Elephant for a nightstand computer table; my cell phone signal is better here close to the Market and the cultural center of Kpalime, and not near the Toyota Land Rover parking Hotels.

Because the Cell Phone signal with Togocel is good, I have a good GPRS internet connection and can blog away easily.

Hello, Church Bells! Not a bad sound, soft and light, I wander, it is noon, maybe a Monday wake up.

Kpalime Togo


Hotel Kpalime Togo

Hotel Kpalime Togo
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I am in a very quiet hotel, it is about 3:41 am in the morning, and I woke very early, because I went to bed very early. I suppose about 9:00 pm, I am awake now, about 7 hours later, my normal pattern of sleep. I wake approximately 7 hours after I fall asleep.

Now, going to bed at 9:00 is both ok and not ok, according to why, or what I am doing. To stay active during the day, to not be bored, to have friends and interesting conversations is the goal. I could force my way towards a more exciting evening last night, I could go looking for a restaurant or bar, they call them burettes here, try to find people to talk with, and force the play. I allow life to happen.

I am thinking of how to recommend hotels, a guidebook recommends in a fashion hotels. I make internet pages for a living, I am a collector of information, whereby I try to organize the information and put on web sites. The better the content, the better the site.

Blogging to me is not about having good content, it is my journal, my thoughts, my feelings, take it or leave it. I feel it dishonest to edit my log of feelings and thoughts.

However, to recommend a hotel is both good and bad, very taxing on my stress levels. I am never stressed or distressed if I believe I am recommending something that I truly believe is good for people.

This is the crux of the problem about recommending hotels. I arrived yesterday to this hotel, there was a nice girl Sarah who I negotiated a price from 6000 CFA to a more fair price of 5000 CFA. The 6000 CFA is the asking price as dictated by the owner of the Hotel, whoever, that may be, I do not know.

I like Sarah, I am not sure if I would like the owner, or not like the owner, the other girl working with Sarah is nice, but is quiet, no personality and does not lend to my overall happiness. Sarah does not speak French well, this is bad, I am not sure what she speaks, it may be Ashanti one ethnic language from Ghana. I am having trouble finding out; I ask her, do you speak Mina, Ewa…? She does not even recognize the names.

Ethnic groups:
Ewe, Kabiy, Gurma, others

Languages French (official);
Ewe, Kabre, Mina, Dagomba

I find the name is spelled Ewe, or Mina according to my Encarta Encyclopedia, that does not matter much, it is an interpretation by someone, somewhere over time.

I think to myself, I like Sarah, if I recommended the Hotel; would she be here the next time a person came to visit because of my recommendation? I discovered yesterday with the help of Michael, that she has only worked 3 months, I also asked her again last night how long she has worked a the Hotel to collaborate this answer. Three months working, is not a good reason to recommend a person.

Is a Hotel a person or the room, to me it is both, however I believe for maybe 75 percent of people, it is the opposite. For me it is the manager and all the staff that makes a hotel good. However, for most or about 75 percent of people, it is what is inside the rooms that they use to define a hotel as good or bad. Not correct in a way, people tend to mix up or enmesh all the issues, saying a hotel is great, when what they are truly saying is they had fun in the hotel, they met people and their overall experience was good.

This hotel would be ok, if I owned a car, it has a place inside to park a car, but the road leading to the hotel is a deeply pitted and rough road, not a good hotel location where you can just pull in a park easily.

There are hotels along the highway, I think leading north where it is much easier to park, life is simpler, I do not like them, I do not like to use cars, I like to walk, or take a taxi. I do not like to baby-sit vehicles or take care they do not get stolen or damaged.

However, for the person who believes they need a car, this is probably not the best hotel. For a person who wishes to be centrally located, this may be a good location. I went to bed last night early, because there was nothing to do, and I had not place to walk around and view, peruse, or any conversations.

I am dwelling and thinking, there is a set of services that need to be objectively listed, there are many, but for example:

Beginning Price of Rooms
Air conditioning
Is the internet café walking distance to the hotel?
Fans
Restaurant on or off the premises
Hot water

This is a very short list, but more or less, a list, and a person could choose from the list or fill in the prices. With well-worded questions, the owner or patrons of a hotel could hopefully describe a hotel correctly. Then a person like me, could choose the one close to the market, and a person who wants a place to park their, to be isolated can choose another.

I am presently ready to leave this hotel, the hotel is ok, but down the street in all directions I am somewhat accosted by venders on a constant basis. People saying everything from come here, to white man, to monsieur to anything to get my attention. It is an annoying location for this type of problem, I am not sure, Kpalime so far is an annoying city, too many people trying too hard to sell me things, and I have had three people come up drunk the first day. Drunks are annoying and can be dangerous.

I believe at this moment in time, there is only one sure idea; I can only recommend managers or owners, maybe the staff of hotels. If the general management of the hotel quits, moves, leaves, the hotel was sold, all recommendations would end. Then there is the price issue, if they change their prices, the recommendations would stop.

I guess in that rational, this hotel is not a good choice, because I had to negotiate the price to make it fair. This is not easy, the guidebooks have a tough job, if they want to do it correctly. In reality, the goal of a guidebook is to say as little as possible that anybody could disagree with, and hope most person would generally agree the opinions were correct.

However, the opinions that are direct, to the point, and stringent are often the best. I will think about this more, I am trying to decide if I want to give a list of hotel options or choices as a hotel path from here to Ethiopia by land.

There seems to be two major itinerary problems in West Africa.
1. The Visa path.
2. The Hotels to choose, mainly because the cost of hotels can be very expensive if you choose poorly.

Visa Example:
I met a boy from Holland yesterday, he came across I think somewhere around here. He was told he needed to go south in Ghana to the border crossing, I think the one near Lome to cross, whereby he could get the Visa. He decides, I think to save money, and time to just walk across the border illegally. So far, so good, but he is in a world of headaches if he is caught. I do not think drastic, but his parents are not going to be happy.

The boy was somewhat typical of travelers, he was very dirty, clothes were dirty, he smelled. I was trying to tell Sarah, hook up with this one, take him, wash him down, clean his clothes, and take care of him, because he needs it. The boy, not really a man, needed someone to care for him. He more or less survives, I guess he would think very well, and if nothing goes wrong, he will return to say how well he traveled in Africa.

He was having his family Western Union him money yesterday and was anxious to try to collect, he has no money, his bank machine card does not work, travelers checks are really not that good here, in reality, he is doing everything wrong.

However, he is in good spirits, and happy, except for the cadeau thing and he is not managing this well, he is very annoyed with the people asking for money or cadeau, gifts. They are beggars for the most part, not anything less.

He was very dirty and needs to slow down and learn how to live better; he was much dirtier than the locals. A traveler will often give up showers if it requires too much work.

This boy needs Visa guidance, money guidance, and a very solid placed kick in the butt, telling him how stupid he is being. I did none of this, a little help on the money issue.

So, am I in a good hotel or a bad hotel, good question, my thoughts are to move on soon, the overall experience says to leave.

Hotel Kpalime Togo





Kpalime Auberge

Kpalime Auberge
Kpalime, Lome West Africa
Friday, March 23, 2007

I have made another Auberge change here in Kpalime, Togo. I am now in a Hotel for 3000 CFA or about 6 U.S. Dollar. I am still debating, I think it is much better, however, I need to wait for the night, when people from the night come out, to make sure the noise levels is ok.

There is competition between continents for the cheap backpacker, I do not think the backpacker or the continents know this, however to me there is a competition.

Yes, it is the next morning, Friday night passed and no swarms of drunks settled into the Hotel and all was good. I am about one block closer to the large noisy discotheques now; I can hear them in the distance. This Auberge is much better as a whole experience for me, not for everyone…

COMPETITION
The young backpackers, the University Students, the Gap Girls and all the miscellaneous groups of trendy, fashionable groups of persons who say,
- I am going traveling. -

The world is competing for this group of travelers, if they had a clue that is they would know they should be competing for them. This is a competition for tourism and whole countries are clueless on how to market tourism. (First comes the young backpackers, later comes the fat tourist dollars.)

The guidebooks do not seem to see the big picture, I have a choice, and I can go to Southeast Asia, Central or South America and call it an adventure for less than 10 dollars per night for a hotel. I can many travelers or tourist comments, explain, or talk about how much fun they had and it was cheap. There is a need for a list of cheap hotels in Africa, the Rough Guide is doing twice as good as the Lonely Planet, however, I am cheap, really cheap, and I want value for my dollars.

I am in a 6-dollar Hotel, and the room is excellent, makes all of South America look like the cockroach Hotels of the planet.

The price of hotels in West Africa can be horrendous, the cost of a Tourist Fare restaurant is worst, I have sworn off going anywhere the silly white people are going, they really are ridiculous, the must be very afraid of African people to pay that much money to have bad food.

However, there is a on a shoe string path, there is a rough guide path, there is a way through West Africa I believe that could be traveling on the cheap. The big problem is the other travelers, they buy a 4-wheel drive SUV, then spend a lives saving, live like king, then try to make you think they are roughing it. It is confusing to listen to other travelers, they try to convince you need a motorcycle Helmut for Africa and in Asia, they tell you to rent a motorcycle that are extremely dangerous, here it is mildly dangerous, there is a lot less people and cars here in Africa so safer.

I just went to visit Craig’s site of Travelvice.com and he is getting on a bus for over 36 hours in South America. Then for some reason getting in a Peugeot Station wagon with a bunch of cows for three hours is supposed to be bad. Three hours is nothing, West Africa transportation is great, get on a bus with a bunch of India people that have maybe never showered, then life is miserable or can be miserable.
http://travelvice.com/archive/2007/03/i-piss-on-pipa.php

I got some shower here with so much pressure it will not stay in the holder, weird, why?

I am trying to look for rooms or hotel that have screens on the windows while in Southeast Asia and South America they do not know what a screen is….?

I would like just a few more travelers here, so I can have a conversation occasionally in English. I would like to take the ONG-NGO out behind the shed and whip them until they bleed, do anything to encourage them to leave.

I am probably going to make a list of hotels that are cheap for this trip around in West Africa. If there is a problem in West Africa, the problem can be the owners or managers of hotels. When they are lazy, they are extremely lazy, they can be some of he worlds greediest, give me nothing for my money, taker on the planet. It is not the hotels that can be a problem; it is the owners of hotels. This is the problem on the whole planet, it is people.

My idea is this, I will take a photo of the managers, and I will say, this hotel is ok, if this person is not there, then all bets are off, the hotel may be a problem. I will also say, this is the price, if this price has changed then maybe not good.

Kpalime Auberge

More or less, I can say, if this person is working and the price is this, then I am recommending this Hotel, if the person and the price is missing, then Caveat Emptor.

I am hoping the guidebooks belly up to the bar.




Hired A Fixer in Togo

Hired A Fixer in Togo
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I had a very long conversation in Kpalime, Togo today with my Ghana friend Michael.

I learned about traveling jewelry sales people in Mexico, then I purchased silver in Taxco, Mexico and tried to sell the silver in the streets of Panajachel, Guatemala myself to earn money. I did not do well at selling silver, however I learned about these nomadic sales people, how they survive, and how they earn money and where they sleep.

Talked with a man riding a Motorcycle from the USA to Argentina and he spoke of about how to learn where the cheap hotels are from the street vendors, and in Cusco, Peru I confirmed this by accident by following a exceptionally attractive girl Vendor back to her room. She lived in a cheap hotel room, and at the bottom of the price ranges.

I do not need a translator, I think the best name for what I would like is a fixer, on occasions to help. I do use them, but with great care, and they can be very dangerous.

I am not clear in my mind, where I derived this name, however maybe because they are fixer uppers.

Normally and generally, this type of person should be kept at two car lengths away and never invited into your home.

As you exit hotels on the planet, you may have a taxi driver, or a man who speaks your language or multiple languages trying to hook you into a conversation. They have an agenda, they wish to sell you something, or something or maybe fix you up with something. The want to help you…NOT.

According to the country, however, here in Africa the ones hanging around will often try to fix me or you up with women. I guess and I think this is why I say fixers. However, there is also a more beneficial level, and I normally try to find a fixer that is a taxi driver, almost NEVER the one standing in front of the hotel, they are normally the worst type of people on the planet.

I need a Visa to Togo, I walked out in front of the Galion, talked with the Bodyguard of the Frenchie owner, and he got me to the Visa office by paying too much for a taxi and paying him a Cadeau.
He fixed my problems.

About anything you want these fixers will find.

Ok, I met Michael by accident, however he can be also a fixer and feels that his job with the White People is to help them, and in return, he is given the right to be our friends. He does this for friendship and has this acute desire to learn about the world outside of Africa. Very different.

I first started paying attention to him when he said,
- I listen to BBC. -

I think, did I say, I watch BBC?

No, where did that lead in come from, I do not find many African people that either read the newspapers or watch the News. I also almost never talk to a traveling salesperson who is from ONE country and traveling in an ANOTHER country who reads, learns, or is interested in expansion of their brains. Money they are interested in, brains is not.

I want a fixer, I do not want a translator, and I do not want anybody in between me and the Africa or Togo people. I see there is an advantage to having my friend Michael comes along for a week to a month. I am going to give him 6000 CFA per day, and this will pay for his room and board and transportation.

6000 CFA is 12 U.S. Dollars per day.

The goal or idea is this; I think a backpacker should be able to travel in Togo, West Africa and most of Africa for less than 12 dollars US per day, providing they do not drink their lunches and dinners.

I asked Michael,
- How much do you spend per day on living expenses? -
He said,
- About 2000 CFA. -

Ok, then I said,
- If you had 2000 for food and drink, and 3000 for a room and 1000 for transportation would this be good. -

He said, with a big smile.
- Very -

6000 CFA and he travels along and we find rooms for 3000 or less, and live for about 12 dollars or what I would say is a reasonable amount of Hobo money per day in West Africa and about the same or a little more than in Asia or South America.

The cities that need fixed are between the big cities, I think in any big city in Africa I now can find some cheaper rooms, but to get from 5000 down to 3000 is going to need fixed.

Between the bigger cities, Kpalime and Atakpame there is a stretch of good cultural fun for me, but I am not sure how to find small hotels. I need to fix this; the guidebooks sort of skip over the smaller cities and stay in the loop. I want to get out of the box, and go see the countryside. A bike would work, but still the lodging is needed, and the searches on the internet are perplexingly bleak.

I can get in a Peugeot Station Wagon with Mike, and we can find a Hotel quicker. I have to talk and ask, and talk and ask, and think and suddenly just jump out of a car with no clue whether there is even an Auberge in the city. Mike can fix this and speed it up, the conversations are not complicated, but the Mina, French, English is a mess.

I can also do some research and get the inside story on SIDA or AIDS and whatever these ONG-NGO are up to.

Research, research and getting 20 percent closer to understanding the real answers and not the answers they give me is also a goal.

What is the real reason?

Most people who fix problems really do not fix problems, they tend to complicate my life and make life expensive. I do not see as having a girl to travel with me as a solution, as seems to be common here, although a big temptation. I do not like to share my room, I want to have my room, and Michael will have his room. In the Philippines I talk about the girls in tow, this is also a fixer; the girl’s runs around and makes the guy happy.

Anytime you are traveling and there is a hanger around, this to me is the solution to a person who feels they need a fixer. I do not want a fixer, but, two goals, the cheap rooms, and the delving into a potentially dangerous set of questions, and Michael can help. I am not clear why yet…but my instincts say he can.

Asking around in a Hospital how many people has AIDS or SIDA is dangerous, trying to find the real truth is dangerous. I believe some NGO-ONG are sucking big cash, I believe the government, leaders, and anyone of power is sucking the good will of the worlds cash and putting in their pocket. For me to ask questions will make them afraid and too many questions is not a good idea in any place. The are stashing and using the world cash, and they will protect their cash flows from the outside world understanding.

A roundabout way to learn the truth, is to go the Mina path, talking in Mina and not French, we can talk to non-interested persons and find the better realities. Anyone that only talks Mina is probably a better source of truth.

We are going to leave on Friday for the north, I expect to go about 30 Kilometers in each jump and is not much, but this is a very small country.

Note, if you want to find the cheapest room, talk to a person that is a SELF-employed traveling sales person. Michael came from Ghana, and is selling clothes to girls here in Kpalime, I guess he was also selling Diamonds to Lebanese people before one took them and disappeared.

12 U.S. Dollars seems like nothing and easy, however the average person wound here is making about 2-4 US Dollars per day, and this is very good money, for getting paid to go on vacation.

Hired A Fixer in Togo





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

Vigilant,
Fight the Good Fight
To Go Where no man has gone before. - Star Trek
Outside the box
Escape
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.





Kpalime Atakpame Togo Map

Kpalime Atakpame Togo Map
Kpalime Togo West Africa



I can go left, I can go right, I can both, I will nomadically wonder from place to place with a semi-tentative plan of regrouping in Atakpalme.

I am thinking of first going towards the Ghana Border to find a border hotel. Plus, I like the frontiers or border cities, I like to watch culture clashes. I truly believe any self-respecting guide should have or show a hotel on both sides of a border for safety. When a person gets into a five day haggle over their insurance on a car, motorcycle, when a person bounces off a border for Visa problems, they need to decompress and get a room, life is dangerous when you are being angry.

There are strategic rooms needed in cities, with no big tourist attractions. The borders and near bus stops, are a good start as strategic hotels not tourist hotels.

Michael stopped over and told me these words while I was typing.
- Chambre Passager -

There is a hierarchy of cost here on hotels.
Hotel is expensive
Auberge is below.
Chambre Passager is below and I suspect spelled wrong.

Often everyone say or quotes, that it is not the destination that is important, then take off like a bat out of hell for the next destination, never slowing down until they arrive.

Nomad what does is mean, wonder what does it mean. I take this Hobo Vagabond, wonder the planet nomad like personal.

Kpalime Atakpame Togo Map





Travel into the Francophone

Travel into the Francophone
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Thursday, April 12, 2007

Where oh where is the information on Togo? I have wondered off into the world of the Francophone, left the Anglophone and went to.
http://www.google.fr

I went searching for rooms in earnest, as I am leaving a sure thing internet connection tomorrow morning and going to the I-hope-I-have-a-connection areas.

Togo is not really in the sights of either the French or the English as their next travel destination. I may be wrong, but this country is not in the short, medium or long list, they do not have it on the list.

I found a few more terms to call a cheap room in French, and ways of thinking in French. I do not think French yet, but I am adjusting and thinking maybe a little Togo French.

Donnez moi un Cadeau cherita.

Type of accommodations in French, and I am not sure about the comme d’habitude, but think it is.

l’hotel
Chez
Auberge
Comme d’habitude
Pas Cher
Chambre de Passage
Chez l'habitant
Camping
Hôtel

I have this list of words to describe accommodations and it is continually growing, there is of course many ways to say I want a place to sleep in many languages, and there needs to be a lot of adapting to the local flavors to travel Hobo.

I am working on the list, because, I am cheap, so far, the only they call me cheap here, is to say I am sticky, and the Ghana Translation into English. I will soon learn to say in French. I am cheap; I do not give up the cash easy.

Searching and reading in a different language on the internet is a voyage. I think or try to empathize with the Chinese or Arabic world and try to think, understand how difficult it is to find the information available, there is a world of isolation and separation.

I can do pretty good at reading French and can surf, find, and read well. I am not too excited though about the French travelers in Togo, there is about the same number as the English speakers, a few and none.

I am sure to find Frenchie thinking there are some more French search engines to consider.

Travel into the Francophone





Kametonou Togo

Kametonou Togo
Kametonou Togo West Africa
Saturday, April 14, 2007

It is 5:23 am, and the sun is trying to break over the small mountains of Kametonou, Togo. This Togo - Ghana Border village is awakening. I hear the sounds of too loud roosters crowing; strangely, they are sweeping the courtyard concrete outside my door; sweeping is a priority.

Michael told me they would wake and go to the fields to work from 4:00 am to about 9 or 10 am, then return from the fields to the village and shower and spend the rest of the day doing what they do.

I am on the employer’s watchful eye, to do the employers evaluation of how man real hours are working and how many hours are thinking about work or trying to prepare for work. I think they will not leave for the fields in reality until the sun is up and they have eaten, approximately 6:30 in my guessing. I may leave to see if the noise is men or women doing the moving, I think women..

The world whether in the USA or Europe or anywhere, highly over-exaggerates the time they spend working in life. There is hard-core time and there is thinking I am working time, whereby I am doing some thinking, about working, but in realty, I stopped to do nothing, and spend many hours per day talking.

I am in maximum use of battery mode. I want to type, blast out a couple of post, download my photos and get off this computer. I have no electricity in the battery. I am extremely high effective person, I do the work, I then stop, no pretending to work.

Ok the sounds are increasing, outside my door, as the roof is not impervious to noise, and I have a window that allows the noise to enter.

We rented a room from a woman by the name of Ami; maybe every seventh person has this name that is a girl, but I do not understand the name of people clearly. She does well for herself, a couple of extremely bright eyed girls, and a boy, and a husband, or mate that I am trying to understand that works in the medical field in KPALIME, try to thing, and focus on the idea that he is not here in Kametonou Togo, this is a common relationship where the man is not around.

The lodging is costing 3 US dollar or 1500 per night, and it is easier to sleep here than in Kpalime. The room cooled off and for the first time, I can say, it was cool. It is becoming cooler because of the rains, but the combination of rain, mountains and altitude created a great sleeping night.

The sleeping is good; there is no electricity, not a problem except for the batteries for computer and camera. I will continue to remember India taking my 16 rechargeable batteries and making me in a tough position with only four now.

I am going to stop typing; I do hope the chicken have went into retirement. I have not seen a dog; this is excellent, as dogs in small villages do their security work too well. If there are no dogs, and there is few, this means a low crime rate, in a place where nobody but yourself is going to protect your self.

I have taken GPS reading of the rooms, I am trying to figure out how to tell a person how to find a room. This does not qualify as a Chambre de Passage or Auberge or a Backpacker accommodation, although acceptable and safe, and the room is the same, not a made to rent room. More an opportunity to rent a room, I vacate and you can use it for 1500 CFA per night, after negotiated down from 2500 to this price.

Kametonou Togo





Kametonou Togo Auberge

Kametonou Togo Auberge
Kametonou Togo West Africa
Togo Ghana Border

Hobo OK
This is living in a persons home more or less, and is not a Togo Auberge or Togo Hotel.

Homestay of Ami
06 degrees 58.127 North
000 degrees 31.338 East
296 meters above sea level

On the Togo side, the city sitting on the border is Kametonou, there is no formal lodging, however there is a bar that has something, but we opted to live in a home that rented us a couple of room. There was approximately 5 rooms offered to us as accommodations and seem easy enough to find. I guess the way to find is to say Dormi or pretend to sleep, some people speak Ghana English here, so you can speak English, French or Mina is you can.



This is a Ami, her sister is Alice, there is a whole family of them and if you walked from Ghana across the river, you would take the second walk up and run right into here compound home. However, the best is to look for her, if you is home or in the village.
The next for sure closest place to sleep in at the Auberge Papillon for 3000 CFA or there are two places that you need a car called the Campemount or Nectar something in the small village of Konda, Togo about 20 minutes down the road from the Togo - Ghana border.

More or less Kpalime is about 30 minutes of direct time travel from the border. A Moto is 1100 CFA and a Car is maybe 500 to Kpalime from the border, and you must negotiate.

Kametonou Togo Auberge





Cheap Room in Good Hotel

Cheap Room in Good Hotel
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I have found the cheapest room, in a good hotel, maybe the cheapest room here.

I decided I needed a different Auberge or Hotel, or Pas Cher accommodation, therefore about 7:30 am this morning; I left the My Diana Auberge. My friend Ami has quit the job there, and is gone, now
the place has gone from acceptable to not ok. I do not understand, yet it appears to be a huge electricity problem.

I was paying 5000 CFA for a fan room, with no electricity most of the day yesterday, then they turned on the generator at about 7:30 after I continued to holler at them for 20 minutes. I did my best to educate them to the curse words in English.

I am now paying 6,500 CFA and have Air Conditioning in the room, and at 1:28 pm, the electricity has commenced. It stopped at about 9:00 am, and they told me, you will now have electricity after noon, whether by normal public service or by generator.

I am in something called the Providence Auberge and I do not know where it is located, I do know I am far from the ocean. Not a big deal as the oceans is not used to speak of in Lome, Togo. I did a 1000 CFA tour of the hotels of Lome, and after many hotels, dumps and other, I found this one, under a big tree. The big tree makes this place about 10 degrees cooler.

Togo has been an education in how to find acceptable lodging. There are landmines about me, as I realize one small bad choice, and I live in a headache. This Auberge Providence, location unknown, is great so far, they have provided me more or less in Africa terms, exactly what they said. I was told the electricity would start at 12 noon, and it came on at 1:30, so right on time in African terms.

I discovered many smaller hotel, and have differentiated between Pas Cher or Cheap and not fun, or not Amical. I think that mean friendly, in French. A person wrote and said that the room at the Ghana - Togo border seemed good, as I said, very quiet, cool, easy to sleep, friendly and cultural.

That room was good, yet I do come from a culture where there is a toilet, shower and electricity. This is many ways a constant goal, how to bring my travelers nest up to my standards, yet live in the bush. I need big batteries, the lights are not a problem, and I have this hand wind up lamp given to me by Chris that is great. I need more batteries for my computer; I cannot work on my computer more than about 3 hours before the batteries are gone. There is also a severe shortage of English books in West Africa to read.

I think the number one thing most travelers need though is a place to party or a buvette, and they need some fast type action party, something that makes them feel like they went out in their own country. If you read both the Lonely Planet and the Rough Guides, you will see they continually tell the tourist and travelers how to find party type entertainment. I am fortunate in a way; I do not need this type of social life. I could have lived at the border for weeks, yet in the end, my desire to keep my internet pages current conflicts with the location of the village. It was in the middle of where the Togocel.tg map said, and the GSMWorld.com map said, cell phone access existed. There were zero bars of signal.

I have found one new way to get a great room, I go to a more expensive hotel, and have them show me all the rooms. It seems a requirement that all white people must look at the most expensive rooms and say no, before they will take us to the cheap rooms. I told them, I want a Pas Cher room and finally they found the cheap one, when they understood I was serious. Therefore, I have the facilities of a 10 Mille room or 10,000 - 13,000 CFA room, and live in room for 6,500 with inside bath and toilet and air conditioning. I am going to try this approach more. I will go to the 2 or 3 in the Roughguides and see if they have the 1-2 number priced rooms. There is close to zero tourist, they can be flexible.

There is always the best room in the hotel for value and location, sometimes not so obvious why and this is the art.

Often it comes down to my negotiation ability, can I hold the price and be hard enough to say, I will not pay that ridiculous price. It is clear in my head and easy for me, I think any room in Africa over 5000 is on the ridiculous price level in West Africa. I have lived all over the planet, I am positive these rooms are overpriced. Believing in your price is the first objective in negotiations. I know they are overpriced, so I am going for the correct prices now, and not being tolerant.

Cheap Room in Good Hotel





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





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





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





Danyi Apeyeme Togo Homestay

Danyi Apeyeme Togo Homestay
Danyi Apeyeme, Togo West Africa
Home Stay Coordinates - Michel and Jane are the Owners
Saturday, April 21, 2007
07 degrees 12.203 North
000 degrees 41.452 East
795 Meters of altitude above sea level

I would put my Hobo Ok on this place, a great time, note, I paid the asking price of 2000 CFA and they would probably go lower. This is not a home stay in any formal sense, this is me just staying at the home of a family in Danyi- Apeyeme, Togo.



Photo of my room, 2000 CFA, and cool at night, because at about 795 Meter above sea level. I needed a mosquito net, the shower and toilet were camp style primitive. The will feed me for an extra fee, I do not know what, I do not like Fufu, then again, I have never tried it either, but I am not wanting too. I am hooked on the Haricots and that is enough extra carbohydrates to add to my diet, this is the land of Carbo loading, I could swim around Nigeria.

I have GPRS Internet Connection, Electricity that is on and off at scheduled hours. The family is great.



This is Jane, pronounced something like Jahn, and she has a husband by the name of Michel, he is in Kpalime, I do not understand, never came back.

There are many children here in this area and it is a playground, ask the girls to sing and dance.

Togo Hobo OK, Togo Hotels, Togo, Accommodations, Accommodations Types,

Danyi Apeyeme Togo Homestay





Hidden Treasure of Atakpame Togo

Hidden Treasure of Atakpame Togo
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I was trying to teach both Michael and Mawuli in Kpalime the term,
- Babe Alert -

I have discovered though, no matter how old they are, the age is always 19, I am not sure, why 19 is chosen age to tell me, it must be the age of preference for men of Togo. They can be 15 and say they are 19; they can be 30 and say they are 19



Hmm, primal intensity.

I did not talk to these girls, I think they are the Kittle people as Michael calls them, I finally figured how he meant Cattle.



This is a Musulman Girl, her name is Mawa or something like that and she is 19, spoken by hand signals. Her and this other girl was doing the follow me around the market game. I do not know, I suppose she is Akposso or what not.

Musulman means she is an Islamic Girl, I am not positive, but she has the look with the scarf on her head and a small tattoo on her forehead. It is somewhat intriguing how when it comes to normal people, they generally do not care what religion they are, then you slap a parent or a Mullah or some Priest, and suddenly everything goes from simple to complicated. I am never too sure about religions, Christians, Islamic, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, etc, the all are looking for a fight.

I had a Musulman girl in Lome; more or less tell me the rules she had to abide by, and how to go around them.

Note, the Bananas here in Atakpame have taken a two-degree better quality jump; there must be bananas in the area. I found this great location for a Chambre de Passage there for 1500 CFA. This is down the hill from the Marche or big market towards Amlame. This is where I met the girls and took their photos before jumping on a moto and going to the market. The banana girls caught up with me and started the tailing of me around the market, funny and fun.

The location of the Chambre de Passage was good, the cell phone did not work and the interior was no fan bad.



Photos of the path leading to the Chambre de Passage and where all these girls were walking from, or coming from, I am paying close attention to girls carrying water or goods from the bush. I remember the Auberge USA in Natingou, Benin and how there was a constant stream of culture passing. I suspect this Chambre de Passage would be the same, but the no-fan thing is getting to me. Atakpame is only about 300 meters above sea level, it is not that cool.

The road leading up to the city from Amlame, to Atakpame is great, then the market is great, and everything after that is downhill in Atakpame so far. I cannot find a hotel that is within walking distance worth a darn in Atakpame, I am in a great Hotel for 3000 CFA called the l’Amitie Auberge, but miles from the center of the Atakpame village. It is in a new highway stretch, I do not like to live on the newer highway stretches, I like the Centreville. I think I will head for the cooler mountains tomorrow.

Togo Girls, Meeting Girls, Togo, Togo Hotels, Culture West Africa, Culture,

Hidden Treasure of Atakpame Togo





Room Feels 10 Degrees Cooler

Room Feels 10 Degrees Cooler
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Friday, April 27, 2007

I am NOT sensitive to heat, or I would not spend most of the last 10 years in Tropical Countries.

However, I am the same as anyone, I like to stay cool. I have hit some wall here in Togo because the rooms are modern, and designed to use electricity either for fans or AC. They electricity has gone off a lot, and a good room with electricity, becomes a terrible room without electricity.

I am in a room in l’Amities Hotel, number 102, the room has NO toilet or shower inside. I was considering this when in the Auberge Mandela in Kpalime. There was always water in the Auberget Mandela, the room was moist, sometimes when I walked in, I could feel the water from the shower.

This room feels cooler, there is no water in the room, less bugs, and the room is more comfortable, because the shower and toilet is not in the room.
Humidity makes the world feel hotter.

Room Feels 10 Degrees Cooler





Auberge Atakpame Togo Hotel

Auberge Atakpame Togo Hotel
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Hotel Relais Des Plateaux

I am in room 105 on the bottom, as far away from the speakers on the first floor as possible, if I went up a floor, the same room up, and then should it should be quieter, yet I think the higher priced rooms.

I maybe had set a new record for music volume on my new Radio Shack Sound Meter. I have only been using and testing for a couple of months and great fun. I have discovered sudden abrupt noises, like the beep of a horn, or this many screaming in the microphone here the problem noise, steady noise like a fan I can ignore, although noise.

78 to 92 decibels in my room.
85-97 decibels maybe 101 in the reception area.
11:12 AM
May 1, 2007

The digital reader jumps tremendously, as the man has a PA system with a Disc Jockey type microphone speaker system. Right up there with the loud speakers of the call to prayer in the Islamic Religion, I had to move last year in Natitingou, Benin because of the speakers, and maybe the loudest room I have every been in was the call to prayer room on the eighth floor in Cairo, Egypt.

It is a Holiday here in Atakpame, maybe called a Fete, I ask what and they say, May 1.

Sort of like saying September 11, without saying Terror Attack on World Trade center in New York of the USA. Anybody reading 100 years from now would be clueless as to what is September 11.

We live in a world where we assume everybody understands, I do not think the world ever had empathy, I keep wanting them to have empathy, but I do not think it every existed in the first place.

I was a little worried last night, and not sure what they were up to, there was about 10 men, or younger men, older boys in the Hotel lobby reception area. This total single men group thing is always a problem anywhere in the world and here in West Africa a bigger problem. When I rented the room, just Eliza and Paula, a girl and a man hanging around.

I was having a kick last night talking with Paula about the price of Hotel rooms, explaining how I got Douche and Toilette mixed up, the prices on the walls, not normal said room with Douche or Chambre avec Douche for 4500, this is the one I negotiated down to 3500. I was thinking a Douche is a Toillette, but one is a shower and the other a toilet, this room is with a shower.

As Paula and me are talking a telephone rings at the recepton desk, one of the short boy goes and get a girl. She answers the phone, Paula says explaining the girl,
- Waiting for a man. -

I say,
Combien pour un chambre pour Boom Boom ici.
He thinks I say,
- How much for the girl walking away. -
He then says,
- I do not know do you want a girl; I can get a nice girl tomorrow for you. -
I say
- No, no, I wanted to know how much to rent room for love. -
He says,
- 1000 CFA per hour. -

I truly think every hotel I have every stayed in in West Africa has been a Boom Boom love hotel. There is always a person or girl waiting in the reception type area or out front for the partner to come, then later they go.

This is a good hotel, Paula is very helpful, asks my opinions, am I ok, tries every few hours to sell me very expensive food. He pays attention to me; the other staffs are same as normal.

I do not know about the Music, he said there would not be music tonight, for a reason I cannot understand there is a huge area behind the hotel, they could have an open air wedding for 200 people with no problem. The hotel is about half again closer to the Atakpame Market than the l’Amities hotel and 100 Franc cheaper by taxi.

I am ready to leave Atakpame, all fun and games aside, time to get out of Dodge, I know of very few reasons to come to Atakpame, except that it on the path and in the way. The hotels are too far outside any homes and normal cultures, the Amities is better than the Plateau here for normal culture, I just do not see taking a moto from the hotel to a market as being in Africa, like living in prison and they allow me out to go walk in the courtyard for exercise. Then I take a moto back to the room and go to my jail cell. This is great room, number 105 if the paint would stop pealing, I think if I stayed a few days, I would take a broom and clean the walls of loose paint, and the ceiling is falling on my computer and me.

It is a good place to stay, and go and look at Hippos on a day trip, I think a lot better than living with Hippos, but what do I know, I have not seen a Hippo.

Paula will never be able to stop the testosterone bunch from dominating the hotel tonight.

I wish I could say this is abnormal in travel, noise is the reason I purchased the sound meter, and I wanted to really measure how noisy some places I live or leave are. The music is different from traffic noise, I know they cannot stop traffic or beeping horns, and I know the music is done or helped along by the staff acceptance. The l’Amities had a speaker on the courtyard, never too loud, but loud enough to easily be heard in my room. Michel my friend’s radio was too loud, this is where I am and the culture I am in.

The roads of Nepal, the streets of India are louder, not always but louder.



Choosing a room, I saw the bar area, I chose a room as far away as possible from the noise, reception and other factors or variables. I like this hotel, however too much testosterone is presently living here, the owner and the manager cannot stop that. The people in a hotel will change radically, one time it could be great, come back a week later and terrible. I am thinking, the hotels managed by women in West Africa are calmer. The hotel staff has all their friends come over to visit, for me, a series of off the clock rooms are rented to men that are with their Cadeau girls. There is this extra pay thing, done both by men and women manager, yet the men have more male friends they can hook onto for money.

How loud is 100 decibels, I need to find a reference, however various types of sounds are different. This is like Thunder or Heavy Traffic.

This may seem petty, like you are on vacation and people party. I am living in this hotel. I do go home to escape, my art form is to figure out how to find my place to live for me, not for you.

Note as a funny, I moved out a noisy love hotel in Arequipa, Peru because the love noises never ended. Fortunately the West Africa culture is not noise this way.

80 to 92 decibels in my room.
94-97 decibels maybe 104 in the reception area.
2:04 PM
May 1, 2007

This is interesting stuff, I can somewhat determine the effect of concrete walls and echos, and the value of a wood door, or how much a close window stops sound.

They have set up a big disco in the very large area here.

As best I understand the music is a combination of Togo, French and Africa semi-rap, more or a steady beat Africa music. Modern, yet very small USA influence. It this was in Ghana there would be heavy American USA Rap, or Gang music, and the words would be about 50 percent more violent. Then a lot of Nigerian music in English. The French Black musicians are about 70 percent less violent than the USA Black musician music in the nature of the words and actions. I am not sure if Gangster rap apply in French. This is one of the reason I am traveling in the French part and not the English part of West Africa now and skipped Ghana, just did not need the influence of the USA music and the culture with it. This does not mean they do not love me, the all want to go to the USA and more in Ghana, however the music of the world is setting the ethics and morals, it is the example the world follows.

Togo, Togo Hotels, Hotel Room Choosing, Hotel Noise, Noise, West Africa Annoyances, Party, Music

Auberge Atakpame Togo Hotel





Chambre du Passage

Chambre du Passage
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, May 24, 2007

Chambre du Passage or
Room of the passing. …

or maybe Transit Hotel, it is not an Auberge or Hotel, it is for sure different. I am not confident of my French, and from my experience of learning Spanish, I know, I should never assume I understand a word or phrase.

Maybe, I have been using this French phrase incorrectly. I thought is was a like a way house or Inn, a place where you flopped simple for the night and moved on the next day. More of a motel of passing people with no desire to stay a long time or pay a good deal of money, a transit hotel.

I am in Togo, Africa, this is not France, my friend Michel from Ghana was using it as a cheap hotel, however, we both knew or know that the cheap hotels are used by the locals as a love hotel to visit with their girlfriends. However, last night, I was taking with a German man, when a Lebanese young man came in with a Togo girl in tow. The went for the edge of the area and close to the stairs leading to the room. Then, someone lead them up the stairs. I was curious so I did the push with the one server, and I said in French,
- How much for one hour? -
I keep trying with a few hand signals explaining the love part.

She did not understand, and then the German man said,
- Chambre du Passage. -

I thought this was the phrase for a type of hotel, and it is, however, this is the second time, I know in Togo, this means I want to rent a room for short time.

Ooops, I have been saying,
- Je Vous, Chambre du Passage, Pas Cher, pour 3 or 4 Mille -

I want a short time hotel, not expensive for 3000 or 4000 CFA.

I guess I just need to say, Chambre, Pas Cher 3000 au 4000 Mille, I am sure they have been confused, why does a man alone, entering a village need a short-time hotel.

The girl server says, the room is 3500 CFA, Chambre du Passage.

I think my biggest challenge in West Africa, is to somehow convince them I am not French, not ONG-NGO and I want a cheap, reasonable priced African room, not some country club priced room to guarantee there are no locals in the hotel.

Technically I have not lived in a Hotel in West Africa yet, that I would say now, was not also a Chambre du Passage, this is the number one business, or the way for the manage to give himself or herself a bonus that never reaches the owners pocket.

Chambre du Passage





Four US Dollars Room in Lome Togo

Four US Dollars Room in Lome Togo
Lome, Togo West Africa

I moved today from a 12 US dollar hotel room to a four US Dollar home stay room here in Lome, Togo, it is often amazing the values a person finds the longer they live in a city. This is 2000 CFA in Togo money.

This room is a good room, with Fan, Shower, Hot Water, Toilet and pictures on the wall, I even have some hangers. Very private, quiet so far a great value, a much better room for one third the price.

The only possible problem is a need for a generator, I now do not have a generator in the event the electricity is cut, however the electric for the last week has been good.

I remember being in Mexico and paying 10 US, however by the time I left the beach my daily room cost was only one dollar. This is why I recommend a person live in any location one year before you purchase and I am not sure why to purchase, however the prices always goes down dramatically of all services the longer you stay, if you just do not sign up on day one, wait a year.

Four US Dollars Room in Lome Togo





Kpalime Togo

Kpalime Togo
Kpalime Togo West Africa
Sunday, June 24, 2007

I have left Lome and traveled North to Kpalime, Togo, it looks like I may soon start rent a building for a travelers rest house in Lome, and I think Mike here in Kpalime would be a great manager. He speaks Ghana English, French, and Ewe, therefore has enough languages to talk in Togo. So I am going to talk in his ear and see what comes out.

I am working diligent on a game plan on how to manage some rest houses I start, or guesthouse, maybe Apartelles or a nice place to hang a hat. I am longing for the road, I keep here in a train whistle and I know it is getting closer, time to hop.

The Volunteer girl from America said, I talk like I write, that is not a good way to make friends and influence people, it is safer to be cavalier with the written word than my mouth.

Kpalime Togo





Togo No Nest No Books No Electricity

Togo No Nest No Books No Electricity
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I continually try to set up a traveler nest, surrounding myself with all the small things that makes Andy happy. Today in Togo, I remembered my thoughts about Traveler Golf or Travelers Chess, and I realized, and sadly thought, Togo has been beating my butt on a steady basis when it comes to getting CHEAP functional hotels, I am doing good with cheap, for around 3000 CFA, however I need to do better with electricity.

My Hotel situation has continually been random, the rooms are good, however the electricity is way off mark, plus there is no English books to read in Togo, a couple at the Hotel Galion, but I have read both of them.

I feel like a surfer waiting between waves, and instead of riding the wave, it crashes on my head. I keep stalling between electrical blackouts and thinking this will soon end, but it does not. The say there is not water in the Dams therefore the Hydro Electric Generators cannot produce enough, however it has been raining a lot and there are continual problems with electricity. India has a constant problem; however, they have generators in the Hotels and generally use them without a shove by me.

I purchased an Electrical Generator the other day in Lome, and now I am in Atakpame and the Generator is in Lome.

I need to think on this problem. I am not going to rent a room for 30 US just to have electricity for a fan, this seem crazy. I need that care package I that is now sitting in Boston full of Electronic toys that will help me go off the grid.

Togo No Nest No Books No Electricity





I Travel to the Slums of Lome Togo

I Travel to the Slums of Lome Togo
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Sunday, July 15, 2007

I take this new motorcycle and I leave with the wind tomorrow, I will ride it from Atakpame to Lome, Togo into the slums of Lome.



I really love the word Hobo, using the word is like being allowed to put a tattoo on the forehead of your worst enemy.

- JERK -

The person would walk around and never be able to remove the Jerk off his or her head, it would be your stamp of disapproval.

I love the word Hobo, it is like walking around with a Jerk Tattoo on my head, nothing I can do removes this Tattoo. The power of suggestion is too powerful to remove the stereotype. When a person says to another person they are a Hobo, people believe them.

This is the courtyard of my four dollar a night room in Lome, Togo.

I Travel to the Slums of Lome Togo