Our passage into Ghana at the Paga border was unremarkable bar the drunken policeman on the road into leading away from the border offices. He was harmless enough but you never knew whether they were going to be 'friendly-drunk' or 'vindictive-dunk'.
The roads were noticeably busy as we head through Navrongo and on towards Bolgatanga. What was noticeable was that neither of us was feeling great. For me, it was another stomach problem. What had we eaten this time and which bug had we picked up?
The heat and humidity was becoming increasingly oppressive and added to the dehydration we were already suffering as a result of our illnesses. Dan and I limped into Bolgatanga and found a hostal to stay in. We had a large room with space enough for our bikes and kit. The hostal was clean enough and had a 'wriggly-tin' roof and surrounded a small courtyard.
My guts were so bad that the morning after arriving we made our way down to the local hospital to get checked out. It was another embarrassing moment as we registered ourselves with the receptionist and were told to join the queue of men and women with their babies. Quite naturally, we joined the end of the line, but quite quickly, an orderly came to us and said we should go to the front. We swallowed our British queuing ethics and obliged.
The probable reason for us being bumped into the 'fast track' was that we could pay for our treatment and that we were likely to pay more than the going, local rate.
I was first in to see the doctor who was a well-spoken Ghanian with a focused manner (I wasn't surprised after seeing the size of the queue outside his office). Soon, he had listened to my explanation, provided me with a test tube and a cork for it, and said I needed to supply him with a stool sample. I agreed, paid and left, feeling slightly perturbed by the challenge of getting my sample into the tiny test tube in my hand.
My instructions were to provide my sample straight away. So, I left the main hospital building and found a secluded area to carry out the 'operation'. It was not easy but I managed it and went back into the hospital and handed over the evidence.
By now, I was feeling drained and the heat was building. Dan joined me and we made our way back up the dusty main road of Bolgatanga to our hostal passing lots of brightly coloured stalls selling fruit, sandals made out of old tyres, fried food, and the local barbecue stall selling all types of grilled offal.
I can't remember much of the rest of that day, which probably means I collapsed on my bed and slept.
The following day, I returned to the hospital to hear the diagnosis from the doctor after having been moved up to the front of the queue again (There would have been a riot in the UK had that happened). He told me I had salmonella. No wonder I was feeling so crap. He prescribed me the appropriate drugs, I paid, thanked him and made my way back, eager to get that stuff down.
The next couple of days was a routine of sleeping a lot, eating a little and walking into town to take in the sights and sounds of northern Ghana. Bolgatanga had a certain energy about it and the shop signs were brightly coloured and proclaimed divine connections whether they were selling batteries or plastic trays.
One stall holder sold us some fruit and was friendly. We got chatting with her and the next day she dropped into the hostal with a friend to say hello. It was lovely to see her but it was a bit awkward. Neither of us was feeling great and we were looking pretty wrecked. They had dressed nicely to see us and we were in grubby shorts and threadbare T-shirts, and I was still getting over the salmonella.
After a couple of days of rest, I was ready. The drugs had done their bit and we hit the road, heading towards Tamale.
Will Hawkins lives in Lincolnshire with his family, works in a technology company in London and does as many micro-adventures as he can.
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