Busua, Western Region

Traveling to Busua knocked off my bucket list traveling to all ten regions of Ghana. By no means does that indicate I have seen all there is to see here – far from it! I have yet to see the hippos in Upper West, sleep at the Kristo Buase Monastery in Brong Ahafo, sit on a crocodile in Upper East, snap a photo of an elephant at Mole National Park in Northern, roam the grounds of the Kumasi Chief’s Palace in Ashanti, paraglide in Eastern, walk the planked streets of Nzulelo, the village on stilts in Western, tread the canopy walk at Kukua National Park in Central, shop at the Tema fish market in Greater Accra and wade in the pool of Wli Falls in Volta. You see, I have seen nothing really.

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Joe carrying his best friend

But on this trip, I got to enjoy the beach and waters of Busua. My intention was to go to Butre, which is more secluded and quiet but the company my companions and I ran into at Busua was too good to pass up. Butre will have to wait. And maybe for the better because it appears we brought the harmattan with us from the north to the coast. The overcast was so thick we never saw the sun or horizon. The main benefit being nobody got sun burned. It was still beautiful and only made me feel I was on a lost island in the middle of the ocean (that is not a nightmare to me). It was a relaxing few days spent sitting around a table, reading, playing ‘never have I ever’ or ‘shag, marry, kill,’ cuddling with the dogs, walks on the beach and crashing the waves. It does not get more relaxing than that!

Being about 250km (≈180mi) from Accra meant a shoreline practically free of trash. There are almost no plastic bags to wrap around the legs. The sand is so fine and scattered blobs of silicone can be effortlessly found. And oh are the waves great! There is even surfing and lessons are offered. Body surfing and wave crashing was enough for me. The riptide was also ever present and before you realize, could be holding you in place. The more you struggle against it, the stronger the hold. There have been deaths caused by riptide, so, do be careful. I did get caught a couple times but luckily had a strong friend standing just outside the pull to yank me out. Also, the surfers keep a watchful eye on the swimmers, acting as unofficial safeguards.

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View from our Coconut Dream room.

There are several places along the way with decent price tags, especially for volunteers: Peter’s Place (which also has attached, Okory3 Tree restaurant) and Coconut Dream (where I stayed). I split the room with a friend, making it 15 cedi a night. That is just under $4. It was not en suite but that did not matter – shower and toilet were just down the stairs and off to the side. We had a room with a view, away from noise and crowds, just above a surf shop. Okory3 Tree is run by a lady I lovingly call Ate Te. She is on top of everything and even made my special request of a garlic bread burger. It was amazing. No burger will ever be garlicky enough for me. She also provided me free of charge, a lemon (that are hard to come by during harmattan) so I could spritz my tuna meal, which was brought in from outside.

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Michael with the catch of the day.

To get to Busua, get to Sekondi Takoradi, the capital of Western Region. From there, catch a tro to Agona (about 2.50 cedi) and then a line taxi to Busua (also 2.50 cedi). The town is also home to the annual Asabako Festival, usually held in March and is all about music and dance. Busua also hosts the national surfing competition, which, so I have been told, a couple years ago a now RPCV won! I could not make it to Asabako last year as it was during my group’s site integration period. I want to make it this year and maybe this time, I will also make it over to Butre.

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