Thursday, June 23, 2011

Of Camera-Phones and Long Climbs

It's not long ago that I bought my first cell phone with a camera in it.  It took me years to catch up to the mobile phone revolution, but now that there's smart-phones everywhere, even in Ghana, I figured it was time for me to leave basic behind.  If my friend can hold up his iPhone in a bar and have it tell him what song is playing, now I can finally at least take (very bad) photos wherever I go.

By coincidence, not long after purchasing this world-expanding piece of technology (I can instantly email photos of Accra's street-curiosities to all my friends?!), I did an overnight bicycle ride to a town about 90 kilometers (55 miles) from the city.

Koforidua is somewhat famous for its Thursday local-bead market, and is a base for visits to nearby waterfalls.  I, however, had already visited the waterfalls and wasn't too interested in the beads.  I just wanted somewhere to pedal to.  And, I knew the route led me through some nice hills.

Having never met a hill I didn't like, after squeezing through the crush of market-town Medina I enjoyed the my first-day climb up to the town of Aburi.  But I enjoyed even more the climb the next day, on my way back from Koforidua to Accra, a nice 35-minute pull, oft-steep, up to the hill town of Mamfe.

On this trip, I re-learned what my cousin Glen Lapp taught me - that, no matter how painful the end of the ride was the previous day, it's always good to get back on the bike in the morning.  By the time I made that climb up into Mamfe, having been on the bike for around 3 hours and 38 kilometers (about 23 miles), I was feeling better than when I had woken up that morning.

Biking = joy.  Well, some of the time.

Cameras can equal joy, too, even if they're the really bad ones Nokia crams into their mobiles.  And so, at the risk of seeming self-obsessed (isn't that what blogs are about?), I'm posting some camera-phone self-portraits I took of myself along the way to Koforidua.

Getting out of Accra.

Contemplating whether to ride, or get a ride,
up that hill behind me.

At the top of the hill:
why is it always so hot in Ghana?

In Koforidua.

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