Togo Travel Stories, Page 15

Togo Group Generator for Electricity

Togo Group Generator for Electricity
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, June 28, 2007

I purchased this noisy little, smoke making 2-cycle gas powered generator for my room in Lome, Togo.

This is a Group in Togo French, it is not a Generator, and they call it a Group.

This cost me 35,000 CFA for the Generator, and I made a 6 meter cord that cost me 3000 to run a good wire to the room. The gas cost about 1000 CFA per day.

38,000 CFA or about 80 US in the purchase.
1000 or 2 dollars per day in Gas.

I now have a toy; it makes 220 AC or 12-Volt DC and has some small plug for a cell phone.

Cost of room in hotel with Group Generator is 6000 CFA; I am in a room for 2000 and 1000 for the petrol

38,000 dived by 3000 net saving it will take 13 days to break even and then after that I am saving a lot of money per day. Now, if I could figure out how to put in a backpack and carry gas easy, life would be confusing.

Togo, Generator, Electricity, Togo Budget,

Togo Group Generator for Electricity

Thailand Tattoo

Thailand Tattoo
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, June 28, 2007

Freedom of expression is great, I hope everyone goes to Thailand and gets a tattoo except for me.

If you really want that kind of tattoo, you will have to go far and wide. …
Stop Quote

I know where far and wide is, go to Thailand for a Tattoo and your mother will stop talking to you for the rest of your life.

Thailand Tattoo

I Dream of Safe Drinking Water for Travel

I Dream of Safe Drinking Water for Travel
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, June 28, 2007

I think a more accurate statement is,

I dream of a day when I can stop listening to the endless drone of travelers explaining how to drink purified water, or this is safe and this is not.

I heard and explanation the other day how to make Fufu here in Togo with purified water. Then the next comment explaining how the small sachets or bags sold are ok to drink, then the next saying how the small Visage (SP) frozen drinks are ok, it went on and on and I was in the middle between two people, I could not walk away.

The truth about drinking water is this, nobody knows, they are just guessing or gossiping as an authority. I drink the water in every country unless is taste bad or smells and know they always wash dishes in the normal tap water, so I cannot avoid drinking the water. I think the problem is food, not the water.

However, my dream is getting closer to reality; I want to know is the water I drink here in Togo safe? I would say the water from the tap here in Lome is some of the best on the planet.

Thanks to my CNIA - Cellular Network Internet Access here in Togo, I was able to search until I found some laboratories that test water in the USA. I will now write or call many to learn.

How do I collect the water samples?
What is the price to test the water?

This page has a list of state laboratories that test drinking water.

After I find a couple of good labs, I will take the samples in every country I visit, then send to the lab and hope others will help.

I am annoyed, I can find endless pages explaining the problems, however difficult to find pages that say,
- This is how you take a water sample. -
- This is where you send. -
- This is the cost to test -

I am hoping there is not a huge time problem, maybe I need to take the sample and they need it within three days, this could be problem with shipping from Africa to the USA.

I am going to take samples of the most popular purified water sold in countries, the tap water from my hotel and document this in the best scientific and statistical methods I can derive.

I want to know the truth, I want to know which water sources are safe and which purified water companies are selling bad water.

If you get all excited, call and find out how to sample and the cost,

I read this page and think this is nuts, the information has correlated and was derived saying more or less, you are poor, therefore you have bad water, sort of junk science with a twist.

I Dream of Safe Drinking Water for Travel

Solar Something That Works Works

Solar Something That Works Works
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, June 26, 2007

This type of solar cooker cost between 75 and 500 US Dollars to purchase, someone probably hauled it all the way from Germany to this Hotel in Lome, Togo called Alices Camping or something in Baguida. This solar cooker looks to be lonely and forgotten like a Christmas toy that has lost it joy.

People do not discard cooking pans, they use them, however there is a reason nobody is using this solar cooker.

I am in favor of Solar Cooking and Solar this and that, however I think we need to do some thinking and realize we cannot talk our way to a solar planet, we need to develop ideas that people want to use, not ideas we want them to use.

Something that works, works.

Solar Something That Works Works

How Crazy the World has Become

How Crazy the World has Become
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The other night there was what purports to be a news show and fifteen minutes consisted of showing videos that had been made using police car dashboard cameras. One driver jumped out of his car and shot a police officer; another driver pulled away and dragged a police officer for half a mile; another driver put the car in reverse and rammed the
police cruiser; etc.
Stop Quote
- James a Reader of Blog

I think you would agree the world has become crazy… How crazy the world has become is easy to see…

I could imagine viewers thinking: Wow, how
crazy the world has become. I suspect a more accurate statement might be: "Wow, it's interesting how the use of dashboard cameras allows us today to document how crazy people are and I wonder if this behavior has been going on all along and we just didn't know about it." The news shows are all about generating revenue and people don't want to watch news that focuses on the debate over the European Constitution.

Thanks for the note. Agree that the dissemination of information has
made people more aware of the bad things that happen in the world and often is not a reflection of more bad things happening.
- James a Reader of Blog

I remember the Hippies; there was a theme more or less saying,
- Never trust the establishment -

What this has done is enabled a new generation of liars to emerge, the people speaking for the Hippies, however again controlling the people with the power of suggestion. As long as a person says or represents the side whereby they do not represent the establishment, they can misrepresent all the facts.

The world is a very safe place to travel and almost boring some days.

How Crazy the World has Become

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

Togo Africa Wicker Chairs

Togo Africa Wicker Chairs
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Wicker couch for sale in Lome, Togo, I stop daily and see what they are making on the way to buy my morning Baguette.

I started to use the word wicker and thought to myself, what is wicker?

Wicker is any sort of hard woven fiber formed into a useful object. Wicker is usually used for baskets or furniture. Traditional wicker is made of material of plant origin, but nowadays also plastic fibers are used.

Ok, I think this qualifies for the wicker definition; this is some type of stringy fiber they slice up and use. I asked how much for this couch and they say 75,000 CFA, this is about 150 US dollars and I would say,
- OUCH! -

This is asking price and with shipping this couch would be in the 400 US dollar range to buy and ship to the USA or more…

I think it takes two men about three days to make so the labor cost is about 2000 x 3 days or about 6000 CFA and maybe 12 dollars US in labor, I would say there is about 12 dollars in materials so about 24 dollars is my guesstimate of cost to make. Therefore, there is a Yebo inflated cost to consider, a White Man will have trouble getting the price down to something closer to reality. My guess and I am guessing with a some work I can buy this for about 50 US.

The best way to buy something like this is to come by everyday until you can see how long, how much, and slowly understand the whole process. It then become more fun as you will know the workers, know the owners and it become more personal, not just a purchase.

I think Africa is maybe triple the cost of Asia for this type of product or furniture.

I have yet to find any items to purchase that I would say, shipping to the USA sounds like a good idea. A few items I could purchase and carry back on a plane, the wood statues are unique and some are special. To buy a practical, I will use at home product is very difficult to find as the cost of products in West Africa are not cheap when compared to Asia or South America.

Wicker Chair Sales Lome Togo
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
06 degrees 07.280 North
001 degrees 12.488 East
9 Meters of altitude above sea level
On Duisburg Street across from Angola Embassy
Landmark to say to Taxi is: L'ambassade de l'Angola

Togo Africa Wicker Chairs

Togo Travel Golf or Chess

Togo Travel Golf or Chess
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Monday, June 25, 2007

I had a very enjoyable trip yesterday from Lome, Togo to Kpalime, Togo in the back seat of small van with three others people from the USA. I was able to talk natural English for three hours and this is a rare experience for me.

It was a humorous day, one of them days where I remember, the journey is more important than the trip. I plan my travels like a chess match or a round of golf, although I do not really play golf. I plan my moves and hope to anticipate the moves of the opponents, or avoid the sand traps.

There is all game playing, hypothetical thinking and strategic planning; sometimes the military jargon is best.

Yesterday I lost, it was a complete loss, and maybe one of them SAPFU’s for Travel Gaming.

SAPFU - Surpassing All Previous F-Ups.
(Togo Travel Only, I am sure I have done worst.)

Normally, I am playing the game alone, however, I do have to admit, and it more fun to lose as a team than as a solitary independent traveler. There is an enjoyment in losing together, however, I suspect the other three Americans thought it was a victory, hard to say, the game is my game, and normally everyone around me is oblivious I am playing or see travel as a challenging game.

In Travel Golf, one needs to remember and focus on a couple of simple assumptions.

1. Five Star Comfort is the goal.
2. The opponent will give me MINUS five star comforts to make money.

The African people want to make money; I want to go simply from point A to B, quickly, efficiently, in comfort for the least amount of money, yet the most amount of enjoyment. I want optimize my travel by playing a great game of Travel Golf. I see there is a fight in my mind, the games is easier to explain as Golf, but the thinking to me is more of a Chess match.

I got a real thrashing on the trip from Lome to Kplime and for sure, I am not happy about losing a long-term goal of mine. I have this goal of not paying for my bag, yesterday I lost and was abused into paying. I paid 500 CFA for my bag; I have prided myself if refusing to pay for baggage in West Africa, now I have lost one bragging rights.

This explanation is now being interrupted by another game starting, as I need today to travel from Kpalime to Atakpame, Togo.


I would say the three major ways to say I won or lost.
1. Total Travel Time from Hotel to Hotel.
2. Total money spent.
3. The smile on my face. (Priority number one.)

Comparison of winning and losing matches.


3 Hours and 1800 CFA

6:09 AM, I Left Auberge Mandela, in Kpalime, Togo
9:11 AM I arrived at Relais de Plateau Hotel in Atakpame, Togo
Three hours more or less travel time.
95 Kilometers
Cost 600 to Adeta and 1200 from Adeta to Atakpame or 1800 CFA Total


5 hours and 2350 CFA
I had a Smile on my face so I only lost 2 of the three signs of victory and the smile is most important.

9:50 to 12:34 then 3:00 to Kpalime
5 Hours
110 Kilometers
1750 and 500 for bag Total 2350 Total


List of Hazards, Problems and Variables

- Porthole to Porthole, I define this as Hotel-to-Hotel.
- I cannot be Bothered, there are trips when the work needed is too much to be bothered with and afterwards I wish I would have skipped the trip. I want a trip not overwhelmed by working, this often happens to me in Europe as my ability to wonder is reduced from my normal 95 percent ability to wander around to 5 percent. In Europe, I need to plan and reserve everything or I end up sleeping on the train or in the airport…
- Lies - Did I believe any lies and accept them as truths.
- Annoyed by other passengers
- Food, was I able to eat naturally.
- Care for others and not be selfish with my decisions, there are times when I must desert the new friend for safety reasons, or they are going so far off track I am wanting to slap them. This is when I remind myself, nope, do not slap them and do not chastise them. They are not trying to make my life difficult by the constant bad choices. If the travel partner is angry afterwards, then a point loss.
- Safety. I make only safe decision; if I have a choice and all things are, equal I take the safer trips.
- Do not allow lesser to make decisions, there is a problem when I allow the less experienced or a local to make a decision for me, I must think is this person knowledgeable or are they just talking this way. A local does not know about hotels, they do not know maps, they may know about the food.
- Do I have the correct change ready to pay the transport so they do not try to keep the change?
- Saying goodbye to Friends was I able to depart, say goodbyes, thank you ok, and did I leave the Hotel gracefully.
- Interference or willing to sacrifice creature comforts for good trip. This is the number one reason travelers lose at travel gaming, they refuse to wake up early or skip breakfast to travel at the proper times. West African people wake up at 4-5 am and catch a car just after sunrise from city to city; this is the best time in Togo to depart.
- Did I have to rush?
- Did I have to react to people and jump for them?
- Number of Call Audible, this is a change of plans while on the trip. I made a call audible while leaving Kpalime, I was going to grab a car direct between Kpalime and Atackpame, however it was starting to rain, so I took a car to Adeta to avoid the rain and hope it stopped.
- Preparation the night before.
- Which hotel am I going to, what is my next projected porthole or hotel, what is my target.
- Weather - Normally I abort any trip for rain, if caught in rain it for sure is a loss.
- Alcohol problems, this is a hazard for sure, whether the driver shows up late because of drinking, travel partners are hung-over, or there are passengers on the bus who are drinking and annoying.

This was an off the top of my head list and for sure is not complete, I think I would need to sit down with a few cockroach level traveler who have been out for over a year and I could refine the list.

I think on the trip from Lome to Kpalime, I failed the majority of problems listed above. Note, it is not acceptable to blame anyone for failure, as the choices were mine, the big hazard is people.

I suppose I could say, I travel par from Kpalime to Atakpame, I was not under par, I was only a par trip, but acceptable.

Togo Travel Golf or Chess

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