Onboard the cargo ship. Lake Volta.

Lake Volta Travel Blog

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I purchased a 3rd class ticket at the port to try and save on cash. This would allow me to sleep inside or on top of one of the crates the ship was carrying to deliver to isolated villages along the lake. Unlike when in your native country the prospect of this was exciting, as is the feeling when you're in a foreign country. I boarded and walked around the  large area where there was straw on the floor, crates stacked high and chickens doing there thing. One guy spotted me and assumed i was lost. "NO no no, this way" he said leading me up a narrow stairwell to the upper deck which was where the second class ticket holders resigned. A bit disappointed but at least there was a bit of cover over the deck where i would be sleeping. This guy later told me he assumed i was on the upper class because i was white.

.shame.  

We pulled out of port a few hours latter and i started to get talking to the people on board. I man in particular was a very friendly shaman who made his living be going into the forest to collect bark and roots. He would then give this to clients that simply can't afford proper medical treatment. 

Later we stopped at a small village where 20 soldiers got on board. Armed and smiley and up for a laugh, they gathered around me and we're talking over each other enthusiastically, declaring their love for Ghana and an interest in why i'm here. They showed me the kitchen area of the boat, which was a woman with a cauldron of rice and spicy sauce. For the equivalent of 50cents i was stuffed. The soldiers got drinking and singing just as the weather broke.

The most unbelivable pink lightening lit up the sky and rain bucketed down. I felt bad for the people down in 3rd class, they were just huddled in crates with their children and belongings. Below deck was mayhem, people sprawled out anywhere there was a couple of inches of space, people hanging off bunkbeds and a television in the corner with a martial arts movie playing. i was glad to be on the upper deck.. I couldn't sleep, so i got chatting to an elderly soldier who patrolled the boat at night. He told me he was in the army for 40 years and loved it and would not change one thing about his life... As we blabbered on we pulled into another village to drop off food and water. At night the big bugs come out, which feels like being shot with a spud gun when they fly into you... after the food was unloaded an attempt was made to hoist a truck, that exclaimed that "Jesus Is Alive", onboard. Chains were attached to its front which were attached to a truck already on-board. Engines revved , people shouted and bugs annoyed until the chain gave way and sent "Jesus Is Alive" rolling into the lake. Everyone just couldn't be arsed after that, so we left it there.

 

Life on board was easy and laid back and i will never forget the welcome i received.

I highly recommend this 3 day journey to anyone who seriously wants to meet the locals.

 

And i met a man called Elvis :)

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One of the villages we delivered to
One of the villages we delivered to
Cute
Cute
Me and medicine man
Me and medicine man
picture of health
picture of health
This truck was being pulled onto t…
This truck was being pulled onto …
Me & Steven.... He stole my torch.…
Me & Steven.... He stole my torch…
On board
On board
Lake Volta