Day 47… Thursday 18th May
Heavy rain and thunderstorms this morning. The shortest day of driving to date at 40 minutes to Cape Coast and the Toyota Service Garage, which oddly was located in the grounds of a secondary school. Several kids were fascinated by Greta and Allen had them enthralled with our tales of woe in Guinea and the fuel quality issues, while the mechanics got to work sorting out the minor creaks she had picked up. Four hours later Greta was fixed and ready to go. Our hotel for the night took an hour to find despite being a 10 minute drive time according to google maps who sent us around in circles, down dead ends and the wrong way down a one way street. Very stressful as the town was heaving with a market, people and tuk-tuks. Finally found our destination up a steep access road in very poor condition, at the point of almost giving up and trying to find an alternative solution. We have not yet wild camped at the side of the road. Sat enjoying the views overlooking the town watching the sunset which gets earlier every day we head east. A security guard and friendly ‘security dog’ kept watch over Greta for the night.
After not hearing from Toyota Ghana in Accra we decided to aim for a Toyota garage in Cape Coast to get the power steering leak fixed. The garage showed up on Google Maps but we’ve learned that you cannot always trust it. We arrived just as the rains had finished it appeared to be a school. Jumping out and chatting to someone opposite he was sure that there was a garage inside, so we tentatively drove around a very wet and muddy site. Initially finding a plant machine workshop they directed us around to the right place.
Thankfully the chaps could help and within minutes they were underneath Greta taking off panels and inspecting the issue. Since the garage is in fact a part of the Cape Coast Technical Institute we also had several boys in tow, watching what was being done, and asking questions to me about the car. We were there for a few hours, also getting the oil replaced, a new fuel filter (already blackened within months by the poor African fuel), and we had the axles regreased. The chaps did a superb job, hopefully the boys learnt something, and the money goes to a good cause.
On another note today was the first time in 10 years, since Tanzania, where I managed to drive down a one way road the wrong way but thankfully this time get away with it. There may have been a sign, I’m not sure due to the vast amounts of street clutter. But I was made to stop and reverse back up the road, inches from people, all amidst the chaos. Still, it was good fun and Cape Coast certainly provides another challenging level of driving skill not to be found in the UK or Europe.