Sunday, October 1

Hi all!  We've arrived in Ghana and so far, so good.  Here's the story of  the trip over and down.

First, Linus was traumatized by yet another trip.  First he tried to prevent the opening of the luggage, then he decided he'd just tag along for the ride:
Lil Bitty

Lil Bitty

We were driven down to JFK and that was pleasantly uneventful.  The American terminal at JFK is long-overdue for a renovation and there's not much worth saying about the terminal.  We'll leave it at this - for dinner we had a hot corned beef sandwich from the food court, followed by a coupla champagnes from the Admiral's club.

Our route took us from JFK to Heathrow, then on to Accra (pronounced a-CRA).  I had an inside seat for the 777 flight over, but there wasn't much to see anyway.  Route took us up over New Haven, Hartford, Boston, then up along the usual route past Greenland.  While we were approaching Newfoundland one of the passengers had an allergic reaction to something and we thought we might have to divert to St. John's but she got better so we plugged on.  BTW we got free upgrade to first class so we had pretty sweet seats that fully lay down into a bed.  That was nice.

The route - sorry it's blurry.  Inevitably when I tried to take a picture of the map we'd hit some turbulence over gray-overcast England.

We transferred from terminal 3 to 4 via a bus, but this was expected.  No customs for a transfer, but we did have to go through security again.  Our business class tickets gave us access to a special line for us elitist people... 

We had a British Airways 767 flight to Accra, and this was a unique configuration, with seas next to each other opposing each other.  The end result is I flew this flight backward, which added a few new sensations to the portfolio.  This seat reclined all the way too, but I stayed up so I could get synced on the new time zone.  BA was good about bringing around food and drinks, but not so good about picking up the empties and there weren't so many places to put the stuff so I ended up accumulating a bit for the final pickup.

This flight was leaving LHR for Hong Kong, then on to Sydney.

We had about a 90 minute delay due to weather and having to remove a no-show's bag.  While we waited I caught this rainbow over Heathrow.

Accra is almost directly south of London, but our route took us a bit southeast over France, then over Andorra in the Pyrenees, down over Barcelona, then on to Palma in the Balearics Islands, then west of Algiers and then basically south.

Here's the French coast over Le Havre, which I hear we bombed the heck out of in WWII.

Our projected flight plan.

This is somewhere east of Bordeaux, not a great show but you get the idea.

The Pyrenees, northeast part of Spain.

The south coast of Spain and the Mediterranean.  Barcelona is just off to the right.

They definitely routed us over Palma before heading south, sorry again for the blurry picture.

I had done a Google Earth flyover of the Africa portion of the trip, and the northern part is pretty bleak.  Sunset came so I wasn't able to get any pictures of the part south of the Sahara where it's supposed to be more lush, and our flight back is at night so I probably won't get any at all this trip.  So check out Google Earth if you'd like to see more of what the center of Africa looks like.

Here's the Sahara at the time I took the locating picture above.  Just sand sand sand...

You may need to view this at an angle to see the sand dune patterns.

Then it was south over Mali, then Burkina Faso, then on to Ghana.

After a very long wait in Immigration, we got our luggage and got out on the street.  One of the people we came to see had actually been on our flight so we said hi, and our local contact person called us while we waited in Immigration, so we got out to the car, paid off a few locals who thought they should get paid for asking to carry our bags, and then drove off to the Hotel.  It's right on the ocean and I'll get some pix of that tomorrow. 

The room is nice, air conditioned, and has that slight damp mildew aroma that once smelled, brought be back to last year's India trip. 

Nicely furnished, the hotel was built in 1999.

And it even has a phone in the bathroom - and what's that next to it?

The ubiquitous shaving guy I saw all over Australia and New Zealand! 

I'll move this to a money page later, but here's what $60 US gets you - more than half a million cedis, the local currency.  They handed me a pack of 100 5000-cedi notes and a few 10000-cedi notes as well.  We'll see how far this goes.

And does anyone care to guess what "Woof" and "Ball" are intended to do on the TV remote? 

  See you tomorrow- your intrepid travelers.