Backpacking from Accra to Cape Coast: The roadside stalls
We (James, Matt and I) rustled together a few essentials and set off at 10:00 am from Nmai Dzorn in Accra to Cape Coast. We had hired a taxi driven by Blessing and within an hour we had gone past Accra into a somewhat lush Central region. Ghana is administratively sectioned into 10 geographical areas and Blessing who was from the Volta region had become out trusted taxi driver and was at the helm of the controls to Cape coast. Cape coast is the capital of the central region of Ghana and approximately about 150km from Accra. As far back as 1610 the Swedes built a lodge that would later become known as the Cape Coast Castle, a World Heritage Site.
The road to Cape Coast was smooth and as good as anything I’ve experienced in a fully “developed” country. There was one main difference though. The road was dotted on either side with what I’d imagine is Ghana’s own version of motorway service stations. These “service stations” had no McDonald’s, KFCs, Holliday Inns or any other stereotypical Western motor way must haves. Instead we were treated to small fresh fruit stalls, vegetable stalls and a couple of bush meat vendors.
After a couple of hours of driving we stopped off at one of these stalls. We bought perhaps the sweetest pineapple I’ve ever tasted.
These were nicely chopped into bite sized cubes which we were then nearly packed into a small blue plastic bag.
Next up were rather huge water melons nicely balanced on recycled tin tomato cans. It was obvious some effort had gone into displaying them to get buyers’ utmost attentions.
One was grabbed for us and washed with the ubiquitous “pure water” sold everywhere in Ghana.
A quick slice of the melon revealed a rich red colour if it’s interior. Again the vendor sliced and chopped the water melons into a plastic bag
Oranges were next. A whole plate arranged into pyramids cost only 1 Cedi (a quarter of a dollar)
Each orange was peeled and sliced at the top in the typical Ghanaian fashion. This allowed the consumer to squeeze the orange from the bottom whilst placing the cut bit in their mouth for easy access to the juices.
With the exception of the unripe plantain we pretty much bought every fruit at this stall to snack on for the rest of our journey.
My favourite roadside stall, however, had to be the bush meat vendor’s stall. He waved one of his wares at speeding vehicles in hope of getting potential customers to stop at his stall.
I watched as he smoked the bushmeat. Earlier he had told me each was bout 80 GH Cedis (25 Dollars) and that he buys them from hunters who normally went deep into the forest to hunt them. His sales pitch was admirable especially as he went through the various delectable soups the meat could be put in.