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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Togo - 6 December, 2000

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Lome (campsite east of the city) N0609.088' E00118.125' 0 m  
Finish Lome (Auberge La Gallion) N0609.088' E00118.125' 0 m  

Total:

13,799 km

 

Weather: Clear, sunny and very hot.  Cool in the evening and night.

 

 

Daily Journal Entry:

We are awake early, as usual.  After lazing around in our tent for an hour, we get up at 6:30 AM and pack up our stuff.  Following a simple breakfast (toast), we pack up the campsite and head into down town Lome for the day.  A number of us have decided to stay in town for the night, so upon arriving in the city, we go check out one of the places listed in our guide book.  It turns out to be great - simple, but clean rooms with air con and a nice courtyard where we can have drinks and meals.

 

From there, we take a quick look in a artifact shop to see what they have - there are some promising things, so we plan to come back in the late afternoon for a more detailed look.  After changing some money - we are now back in CFA country (and it is interesting to note that they gave a better exchange rate for travelers checks rather than cash) - we head over to an internet cafe.  We have been having some problems with the tent that we had brought along, so we wanted to get in touch with the retailer in the U.S. and see if they would send us a replacement.  We sent off the email with hope.

 

Togo00_Lome_Fetish_1407_Web.gif (215182 bytes)

From there we had lunch in a Lebanese restaurant - but the menu seemed more Italian, so that is what we went with in the end.  After lunch we all headed back to the truck, from where we drove out to the fetish market in the Akodessewa.  This fetish market is supposed to be the best in West Africa and where all the locals come to from all over Africa to get their fetishes.  Well, we felt that it was just a big tourist trap.

 

Togo00_Lome_Fetish_1411_Web.gif (270616 bytes)

When we drove in, it is contained on a small street with stalls lined up on both sides.  There are no locals shopping there at all (unlike in all the other local markets we have been at, which are always very crowded), and it felt like we were on a movie set or at a perverted Disney Land.  You have to hire a guide to show you around, otherwise you will not get much attention and they will not let you take pictures.  The place is filled with all kinds of gruesome stuff - animal skulls, skins, heads, teeth and what not (do not expand the picture on the left if you do not want to see such things).

 

After a short talk, they split you up and take you into a small room where they tell you about some of the fetishes.  We were shown ones that will make you smart, sleep well, guard you against poison, African viagra, travel charm, house protector, and "say yes" (have your love love you) fetish.  All very interesting, but then at the end they said we could take what we wanted, but would not tell us the price until we had told them what we wanted - not my type of shopping.

 

We then spent some time walking around the market, with everyone trying to sell us some strange fetish.  It was interesting, but not some thing for the faint of heart.  From the fetish market, some of returned to town.  We first went to the post office to buy some stamps and cards, after which we did some shopping.  We picked out some material that interested us, and asked the lady to set it aside.

 

We got back to the hotel shortly after 6 PM, and spent the evening in the hotel courtyard having a drink, writing Christmas cards and having dinner.  We got about 20 cards done, but still have more to do.  Dinner was excellent.  We had spaghetti, prawns and guinea fowl.  We had an early night, but we had to nap at first, rather than sleep, as the water did not come on until 11 PM and we wanted a shower before going to sleep for the night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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