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.
Fight the Good Fight
To Go Where no man has gone before. - Star Trek
Outside the box
The cutting edge
I do not know, I am trying to explain what happens when you get to the edge of known knowledge of travel. Traveling in France or the USA, most of Southeast Asia is like traveling in a swamp of known knowledge. In South America, every Tom, Dick and Harry is making the soon to be next world travel guide to South America in his or her delusional minds. There is list upon list of hotels collected and placed on internet pages. It is easy to find hotels.
It semi-appears that the velo people, I think that is the word, the people that ride bikes for travel are the explorer of much of West Africa and Africa. I keep thinking of Stellan the man I met on my last trip to Togo.
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.
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.
I then had a page sent to me about riding bikes in Togo by Eric.
There is that really special man on a motorcycle that has traveled many places in Africa.
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.
I Travel North to Adeta Togo
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Friday, April 20, 2007
I will leave the city of Kpalime and probably take a Moto to the city of Adeta, Togo or somewhere close to there, I am guessing it is about 30 Kilometers or about 18 miles.
This is a very short distance; however, I hope it is full of small mountains and a winding jungle cool road. I am going towards the mountains to buy time until it starts to rain, to cool off the Hotel rooms. There is very little Jungle in West Africa like you think of in the moives.
I made a mistake on the map, oops, too late now, I just cannnot see them, my brain does not focus in that method.
This is a map of my route between Cell Phone Cells or Antennas. I have fours maps I am using.
1. Encarta Encyclopedia on the computer.
2. Roughguides.com Guidebook.
3. GsmWorld.com Togocel.tg cell phone map, the one above.
4. Carte Routiere Et Touristique - A paper map, purchased in a bookstore for 5000 CFA.
I would say the Carte Routiere et Touristique is the best, and seems to have the proper size of the city names, to coordinate with the size of the real cities.
Richard Trillo of the Roughguides.com recommended the Michelin Map and I really did not have time to buy in the USA before leaving. I do not know if it was in English or French. I prefer French because it is the language of business here.
My Encarta Encyclopedia is handy, easy to use, however the cities, roads and what is big or small is always suspect. The guidebook tends to keep with the main cities mentioned in the guidebook and guides. I not so fond of tourist, therefore I like to leave the guidebook routes and travel different.
What is really a benefit of this map from Togo or the paper map is all the symbols, the Hippos, the Cacao, the Teak, the various symbols to help me leave the normal tourist routes and wonder around Togo.
I normally do not prepare much to go to a country, I try to snag a guidebook for hotels, but the other information and ideas, I learn or pick up along the way. I sort of call this the sport of travel, if everything is planned and figured out, then where is the sport.
Itinerary West Africa, Togo Itinerary, Togo, Planning Africa, West Africa Maps, Maps,
Travel North to Adeta Togo
Map to Amlame Togo
Amlame, Togo West Africa
Monday, April 23, 2007
I left my Danyi Apeyeme, Togo Homestay for a strange reason, Chris has been writing me about my battery project, I want to get to Atakpame to play with the motorcyle batteries. I may have some toys sent from the USA, I need to find a Peace Corps person to find out how to have things sent, I am sure they know about care packages from home… I can always return, but also more quiet than I need with no books to read.
I came down the hill from the Danyi Plateau of something like that, and entered the village of Adeta. I am thinking all the cities started with Danyi; therefore, I just left the city of Apeyeme, Togo, maybe it still on the map as Danyi Apeyeme, Togo.
The taxi drivers are a pain, I asked him the price, he said 1500 and I thought, Ok, the Issa boy at the Chinois Pharmacy said the price was 1000, I knew I was going to be hard pressed for 1000, and so 1500 was ok. I said yes to the price, and the whole way down the driver kept whining about 2500 or something and 2000, I started saying 1000. I now know, I should have negotiated and complained, tried to get him to take 1000 so he would be happy with 1500. The longer I am on a ride, the more they think to themselves, this is a white guy, I could have gotten more.
I got off the bike in Adeta, held out 2000 CFA and did not give it to him until he gave me the change, all went well.
I was going to stay a night in Adeta, but thought to myself, what is the point in staying in a boom boom Chambre de Passage, nothing interesting although the girls of Adeta appeared better quality than the mountain.
I thought, I would go to Amou Oblo of the village where the Issa man or boy lives with his wife. There was a group of motos; this is always a problem in many ways. I sort of thought, it looked like rain, so I would go and look at the car. This man, as best I can tell claimed me, so he assume I am his, and for sure, I have learned not to get into a car. I opted for a bike, one has said 3500 and I ignored that driver. One said, 2000 so I said, yes, gave him my front bag and got on the back. They proceeded to ride their motorcycles in front of use, and five guys grabbed my bag. The driver was overwhelmed; I finally got of the bad, grabbed the bag and cleared out the five boys from the bag. The whole areas starts to laugh, I was not playing games.
I cannot get them to calm down, so I started walking, it become tiresome to walk and argue with me, and all but two give up shortly following, and the one is my driver I chose. I kept walking, the want to fight and argue, but to work is not what they want to do, so I walked less than 50 meters and was ready to jump on the bike. Finally, I threw the bike, to the drive and said,
- Partir -
He takes off and they all start to holler, and one starts to give chase. The driver starts to slow, I start to pinch him and grab him, in and effort to say, you stop, I will whop you side the head, he takes off again.
There is this African cultural thing, which somehow the people believe they need to listen to a person holler.
After that the life was great, the ride was fast, cool, and on the left side was some taller cliffs and very pleasant. I get to Amou Oblo, a nice city with a river by the name of Amou and try to find an Auberge. I do not want to leave; however, I am not in the mood for room hunting in homes.
Amlame is big, in big letters on the map, and only 500 CFA more, I am from Adeta to Amlame for 2500 CFA, and probably 1000 more than the going rate.
It is not big, seem long, but there is two hotels, one says, Auberge and that normally means cheaper. I find a room, needs a mosquitoe net, all the rooms have nails for mosquito nets, hard to imagine. The toilet and shower are shared, only with a girl though, and she is ok, the Petit Soeur of the owner, or smaller sister.
She likes to walk around with just the beads on around her waist, so I am not complaining. She says she is 19, looks like 30 and I can see the whole thing, I do not know why they always lie, and they want to young so we will marry them, but 19 is too young in my country.
She asked me already for a Portable, he brother says he will give me a Cadeau if I take here with me. Non.
Togo Maps, West Africa Maps, Maps, Togo, Togo Itinerary, Itinerary West Africa,
Map to Amlame Togo
Lome to Malabo Flight
Lome Togo West Africa
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Someday, I will make this trip, as of yesterday, it is again delayed, who knows when I will go this way…
I can fly from Lome, Togo to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea one way for about 125,000 CFA, this is about 250 US Dollars. Africa is a pain in the butt, the routes are not clean, mis-representation is rampant, and every person acts as though the trip is extremely dangerous.
People drive in countries where it is safe to drive, 95 percent of tourist in West Africa drive a car or motorcycle and many bike trips. It now is the only continent of the developing planet, the 80 percent majority of the planet where I am thinking about buying a motorcycle. It is like Europe, you need a van or motorcycle in Europe to avoid the tourist traps, here, you need one to drive to the great places where they have not eaten the animals of cut and burned the trees for firewood, plus avoid the aggressive taxi driver fights.
It is semi-amazing, I have now been in West Africa for about five months of my life, I have not sat in any major city in Africa and had tour companies offer to sell me tours of something in West Africa. I was remarking to my German friend, if a person here in Lome would put me in an Air Conditioned car and take me to see Hippos, I think I would pay between 100 and 300 US dollars to avoid the pain. In contrast, I think I will buy a motorcycle for 600 and just go myself.
Nigeria what a bad reputation this country has, it is the stone in the middle of the river of Africa. I am not so much afraid or worried about safety in Nigeria, I just do not like to listen to the continually scam offered, it is like listening to a use car salesman 24 hours per day, that you know 100 percent is selling a lie and junk.
Note, I have given up on miles, it is just ridiculous to talk in mile when only about 300 Million people do so…
Map of Route I will try to take, when I get around to it.
Itinerary West Africa, Planning Africa, West Africa Maps, Togo Maps, Togo,
Lome to Malabo Flight
Itinerary West Africa
Lome Togo West Africa
10 years of travel, and I finally learned, the itinerary, the route, a trip path, a map inside a country is not important to me, I only want to know how a person traveled across many countries.
To plan a trip, there are maps, never give them out or tell anyone, this is the Traveler Creed, and the Movie The Beach is the bible of this idea, however, let them shoot me, here are many pages with maps on them of west Africa. Africa is about Visas and avoiding Nigeria or maybe now the Sudan, Chad and Algeria.
MAP A motorcycle trip around the world by Peter and Kay Forwood on a Harley-Davidson
Africa Travel Guide and Bicycle Touring Guide
Link Community Development [ Events - Africa By Bike ]
starting in Australia Feb 1996.
MAP Keio University SFC - Student Spotlight
My Travels - Mark Moxon, Travel Writer
Niger to Burkina Faso Plans
Peter & Kay Forwood trip on a Harley-Davidson around the world - Planning the 7th Section
Photos-Pictures of Mali (West Africa)
Steve Bougerolle - Travelogue (West Africa 1995-96)
UniMaps.com - West Africa Explored - PRINT
I would assume and believe Richard Trillo the editor and expert from the Roughguides.com West Africa guidebook and a bike rider would also have something good to say.
Itinerary West Africa