We have (finally) arrived in Tamale. We’ve actually been here for two days, three nights now, but just now fully recovering from our especially long trek here. Our bus was scheduled to leave Accra at 6am so Sonya and I woke up at 4:30 to arrive at the STC station just after 5am. We had our tickets ready, luggage weighed- we were set. But, according to typical Ghanaian time, our bus rolled in at 6:30 and I think we managed to pull out of the station by 7am. Before we had even officially left Accra we stopped at another station to pick up several more passengers who spent their ride in the aisle of the bus because all of the seats were full- they definitely had it worse. According to our guidebook, our bus ride was supposed to take between10-12 hours. By time we arrived in the bus station in Tamale at 8:30pm we had been on the bus for a total of 14 hours. I think some of that time is accounted for by several non-STC approved stops along the way to drop off or pick up more passengers – passengers that definitely did not have ticket…or seats. Despite the length, our nutrition-bar dependence, and the initial rough road out of Accra (a very bumpy hour), the rest of the bus ride was not entirely unpleasant and Sonya and I were entertained by an adorable baby who miraculously did not cry the entire way.
Needless to say, I was very excited to arrive in Tamale. We still had one mini-adventure to go though. On our bus were two girls from Holland who needed advice on a place to stay and decided to come with us to TICCS. So the four of us, each with a bookbag and separate duffle bag or camping pack, crammed into a taxi. As we started off we noticed that the back of the taxi was open- with all of our bags piled in the trunk. The back couldn’t close. And none of our bags were strapped in; just piled one on top of the other, with nothing to guarantee that they would stay that way. So the three of us who were squished in the backseat then spent the (thankfully) short taxi ride half turned around, holding on to our bags for dear life. It was an interesting introduction to Tamale, but having been here for two days now, staying at TICCS and eating at the ‘famous’ SWAD fast food, I can definitely say that I like it here and am enjoying our break from the hectic Accra.