. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: December 15, 1998

Tuesday, December 15, 1998
Lomé to Aného, Togo
Togo's Flag

Aného, Togo:
Latitude: 6° 13' 52" North
Longitude: 1° 36' 17" East
Altitude: 12 feet
From Seattle: 8241 miles
Lodging: Hotel - Hotel Oasis

Today's Travel:
Country: Togo
Region: Coastal Togo
Route: Land Rover: Lomé - Aného - Vogan - Togoville - Vogan - Aného
Start: Lomé
Stop 1. Togoville
End:Aného, Togo
Linear:23 miles
Weather: Overcast

Click on map to Zoom in...
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 614
Linear Dist: 130753
Countries Visited: 43
Regions Visited: 174
More stats...
Hotels: 188
Friends / Family: 155
Camping: 64
Hostels: 145
Transit: 55
Other Lodging: 6
Beers: 2131

Journal Entry:
Up early again (between the Larium induced insomnia, sleeping outside, and the dogs barking I've become an early riser). Did some push ups again (as if it could help - I'm thirty years old today) and went for a swim before going to the restaurant for breakfast (fresh pineapple and fresher bread again) and to enjoy the solitude. Today's the third overcast day in a row. Yesterday we were told that the haze was a result of the northern winds this time of year - called the Harmattan - and that it will be like this for two or three months straight. I'm starting to believe it.

Went by Nigeria's embassy to find out about the visa but once again they told me to come back later. So now I'll hopefully find out at one o'clock. We want to leave Lomé today so hopefully this time I'll find out. While waiting went shopping for new sandals (my Tevas are falling apart) - but no luck.

Went to the embassy again, and... I got the visa!! I was hoping that the longer I got delay the more likely I would get it, but with bureaucracies you never know.

We drove South around Lake Togo through Aného (The capital of Togo until 1920) and Vogan (site of Togo's largest voodoo fetish market) to Togoville. It was here that the chief signed away Togo to Germany one hundred and some years ago. More interestingly it was here that voodoo spread (with the slave being exported) to Haiti and beyond. To this day Togoville is supposed to be the center of Animalism (voodoo) in Togo with a number of important fetishes. I was pretty excited to see Togoville and maybe not surprisingly I was very disappointed. In 1986 the Pope visited Togoville and I got the impression that nothing has been done maintenance wise since. The political unrest of Togo in the early 1990's killed Togoville's steady tourist stream, and probably it's major source of money. The fetishes we were shown were interesting at best, but mostly because of the various decomposing "offerings" - the fetishes were made out of aggregate cement, somehow I'd imagined more traditional materials. All in all Togoville was a disappointment and an hour there was more than enough.

We drove back to Aného. Arriving at dusk we started looking for someplace to camp. There is no camping in or near Aného (when we asked we were directed us back to Robinson Plage in Lomé). We ended up staying in the nicest hotel in town right on the Lagoon (the owner gave us a steep discount - we might be the only ones staying here). The rooms are nothing special - unless you count the smell or the size of the cockroaches (lot's of rats too, but only outside). I tried the battery eliminator I bought in Lomé and managed to fry my H/PC's charging circuit (had it on 12v instead of 6v) - so now I have an excuse to buy a new one (or I'll just have to use disposable batteries). We walked into down town (one street mostly paved - this was a capital city at one point) for food. Diner was at a bar and was surprisingly good - and cheap. We paid a blues guitarist a dollar to play while we were eating and hanging out (two hours). A few beers on the veranda over the lagoon back at the hotel to celebrate my birthday then stumbled off to bed.

Related Sites:
US State Department ConsularInformation Sheets: Togo
CIA World Fact Book: Togo

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