Thursday, January 16, 2020

The Last Post?

Kejetia Market, Kumasi, Ghana
Words and photographs
It was a surprise that I found myself taking this blog seriously. Though a record of the journey would be good, I didn't want a 'job' to do while travelling. But I came to realise I wanted to do it well. 

I owned a photography book when my children were young. I've tried to remember the basic tips from it: consider framing, composition and the 'thirds'; look for movement; be aware of light; remember the compositional principles of the filmmaker Ozu. It counselled that a photographer should try to make every photograph special. I only had my phone camera, I would have to try hard with my snaps.

Also, for twenty years I've been telling students how to write. Now I'd have to follow my own advice. Or that of George Orwell.

It seemed more complete when Angelika decided to add her typically warm and frank 'From The Pillion' pieces.

If you have enjoyed some of these posts we're both very happy.

At the Ashanti Palace
The Ashanti
We have been visiting Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti region. It is five hours north of Accra by road.

The people here belong to a larger ethnic group, the Akan. Their language, Twi, is the most widely spoken in Ghana. As with Wolof in Senegal, Twi is the lingua Franca of this country.

The Ashanti are warriors. Once they controlled a kingdom that encompassed much of Ghana, Togo, Burkina Faso and beyond. They claim to be peace-loving. It seems, though, that the peace must be on their terms and that they are ready to fight if it isn't. Their fighters carried a special sword into battle. It was explicitly for use on their own comrades should they be seen retreating.

They were significant in providing prisoners of war to the British for export to the Americas as slaves.

Eventually they were defeated by another fighting tribe from far away. The Anglo-Saxons were better equipped.

Market scene
Markets have been a theme on our travels. In Kumasi, Kejetia has the largest in West Africa. It's my favourite. 

Journey's end
We are flying home in three days. I've been reflecting on the trip.

It's clear now that my original plan meant riding too far, too quickly. Reaching South Africa may have been possible, but would have been gruelling. Looking through the Noonpics, I'm struck by the intense urgency of our journey through Europe.

We have no regrets, though. We wanted a new experience and we got one.

The Pillion
I'm full of admiration for Angelika's willingness to uproot her life, jump on the back of a motorbike and go exploring. Her 'plucky little Bavarian' persona - when she was the least scared of the two of us - will be one of my abiding memories. Another will be the number of times her fun-loving warmth lit up a room full of fellow travellers or local folk.


In case this is my last post, thanks for coming on the journey with us. Your company has been welcome and the trip has been richer for it. See you soon.

Coming home!


  1. It's been wonderful reading the blog. Sad that this is the last post but looking forward seeing you soon and hearing more tales in person!

  2. A fantastic achievement which has left us all jealous! The blog has been really lovely and I'm sure you'll appreciate revisiting it. Looking forward to seeing you both soon. Xxx

  3. My brother Dave has been sending your blogs to me in the US and I've looked forward to each episode. I admire what you and Angelika have done, so many people do very little except go through the hum drum of life, but you both decided to go for it. Life is for LIVING and you certainly have done just that in this trip. Well done and enjoy the memories 💜


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.