The ride to Tamale was about 166 kilometres which would mean camping in the bush or finding a hostel to stay in on the way.
We cycled steadily along on the first day and found ourselves a few kilometres short of Tamale to make it in the daylight but in a small town on the way.
The town was lacking in two things we needed, a hostel and a camp site. After asking around, we realised there was nothing nearby. However, a friendly local said we could stay at his place. We would have to sleep on the floor (we were used to that after a few months on the road). We accepted. He looked like a decent enough fellow.
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.
Dan on the road south into Ghana
Making our way south from Ouagadougou, we could sense that the atmosphere was changing as we neared Ghana. The countryside was becoming greener and the temperature was rising as we headed towards the sea, which was still a long way to our south. We were heading out of the Sahel and crossing into tropical Africa.
We made our way down the main N5 road towards Po, where we aimed to be by 9th January. We stopped in Kombissiri to drink tea and catch up on some writing, buying handmade cards of local children.
The people were friendly and many of them carried tribal scars on their faces. Some of the scars looked horrific but other people's scars had a certain style to them.
A particular aspect of Burkina Faso we were enjoying was the yoghurt sold in many places we cycled through. It was a dream after the plain food of Algeria and northern Niger. Ouagadougou was a nice enough, dusty old place, full of mopeds running you down and 'overlanders' complaining that “There's not much to buy here”.
Our plan was to continue on the main road into Ghana, crossing the border at Paga, and then heading along the main road through Navrongo and towards Bolgatanga. From there, we planned to head south and onto the northern shores of Lake Volta.
Will Hawkins lives in Lincolnshire with his family, works in a technology company in London and does as many micro-adventures as he can.
Don't miss a thing! Sign up to my free newsletter
Posts by Country