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transportation hell
In the last 30 hours or so, I've taken 3 trips here in Ghana and two of them were hell.
Yesterday afternoon, Sampson and I left a shop around 5:30 to walk to Kaneshie market for the bus ride to Kasoa where I'm staying. As I mentioned the other day, it's only 20-30 minutes from Kaneshie on a good day. I got to my hotel at 9pm. Sampson still had a ways to go to get home to the camp, another 10 minutes on a good day, but he had to pay extra and finally made it.

The bulk of our trip was waiting at Kaneshie. The line for the bus to the camp was very long and no busses were in sight so Sampson thought we could wait for a Kasoa bus and he'd find a bus from there to the camp. The line for the Kasoa bus is on a service road to the main road, not in a station so when the first bus came, after about 10-15 minutes of waiting, mostly people from the line got on, plus a few others that pushed their way in from the other side. We thought we'd be on the next bus, based on the length of the line.

Then it got dark.

Then we waited some more.

Then people in front of us in line left to try to get on other busses.

Sometimes Kasoa busses appeared to not take the service road, but just stop by the main road instead so people pushed and fought to get on. We mostly stayed in line.

At one point we thought we had a bus stopping behind us a little ways so we ran to get on, but it didn't happen. The line never re-formed. Didn't seem to matter anyway as busses didn't stop where the line was.

Eventually we got a bus to the Barrier (a place where the police generally stop everyone for a safety check or something).

When we got out there were a ton of people waiting for a Kasoa bus so the whole scene repeated in miniature.

Then a huge open truck stopped and we all got on! Was night to ride in the open air. :-) I sure was tired when I got to the hotel.
This morning it was a breeze to get from Kasoa to the camp, 20 minutes including walking from the hotel to the junction to catch the bus.
This evening coming back was another story. It was dark and I was waiting on the side of the road at the camp with Oretha. Finally a bus came that I managed to push my way on. When it came time to pay they were upset that I wasn't going to Kaneshie (they wanted 5000 cedis even though it's usally 3000 to Kaneshie, but I wanted to pay the usual 1000 to Kasoa but didn't get change for my 2000 note.

That's not the hellish part, however. When traffic backs up, some drivers like to ride on the left shoulder (this is a right-drive country). In this case there is road construction going on so the left shoulder is graded very wide in preparation for the new road. It's not a new road yet, however and there are lots and lots of obstacles and other vehicles (including police) going both directions.
The driver tried to merge back into proper traffic several times but never made it.

The whole ordeal took more than an hour.
Off to bed! :-)

categories: Ghana Africa Humanist Movement