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When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable. - Clifton Fadiman

6 October 2019, Tatale to Yendi, 71.38km
Eyaro’s Lodge 45GHC (R125)  


Before leaving Tatale, Charl had three small barbecued fish for breakfast. I could not face flesh so early in the morning, so gave them a miss.
The dirt road that runs to Yendi, after last night’s heavy rains, sported water-filled potholes, but considerably less sludge-mud than I had feared. In fact, it was a manageable ride during which we had to avoid almost as many goats as potholes.
In one village, I discovered my back tyre was flat. We asked some people hanging around if we could get off the road and replace the tube under a tree near the huts, and were welcomed in. There we drew a crowd of young men and children. Initially, I helped Charl as usual, but soon abandoned him to take photos of the kids. I just love showing children their own images. Such excitement as they point themselves out to each other; laughter and pleasure. When I was packing my mobile back into my handlebar bag, a young man beside me reached out, and where a small section of my wrist was showing between sleeve and glove, took a light pinch of flesh between his fingers. By an extraordinary piece of good luck, Charl snapped a shot of me just then, inadvertently capturing the moment. I could not tell if the young man was fascinated by the whiteness of my skin or by the softness or the wrinkles*, but it was obvious he had been unable to resist satisfying his curiosity. I said something about being white and Charl then showed our small crowd of onlookers his thigh. Below his cycle pants, his knees and lower legs are VERY brown; under the pants, his thighs are VERY white. A two-tone man. It is astonishing to us, though perhaps not in fact surprising, how few black Africans know what a suntan is. More often than not, when Charl performs his trick of lifting one pant leg to expose his thigh, people look confused and on occasion shocked. We have then to explain it is a result of the sun, which brings out the smiles and comments. Once explained today, there was much laughter. As good a place as any to repair a puncture!
*I once heard Oprah comment that “black don’t crack”, saying essentially that black skin does not wrinkle. The phrase made me laugh and has always stuck in my mind. If even partially true, it might explain what fascinated the young man, though I am sticking with “whiteness”.
At Sabari village we crossed a river on a metal bridge while below us three boys in a wooden canoe fished the brown water. Later on the road we met a woman on a bicycle. Miraculously balanced on her head, were a couple of basins containing something or other. She was avoiding potholes on a slight decline, yet was confident enough to raise a hand in greeting and turn her head to smile at me. I told her she was “amazing”. So totally competent. BY the way, lots of people cycle here. We saw few bicycles between Angola and Cameroon, then a slow increase in number from Benin through Togo and into Ghana. Both men and women, which is nice to see, especially lots of schoolgirls on their bikes, a growing independence.
On the outskirts of Yendi we saw a poster advertising” “Expanding Climate Change Resilience in Northern Ghana Project. Duration: January 2013 to March 2014.” And began to encounter advertising boards for hotels in town. I was amused by one for Eyaro’s Lodge which modestly offered “decent accommodation”. As it happened, this was the first place we were directed to in a slight drizzle. The two roads approaching it, incredibly littered and rough stone and dirt, nearly put us off altogether. But we persevered and are happy with our accommodation.
This evening we walked to the popular Hajia Falila Food Complex for a delicious dinner of rice and “cow meat” in a wondrous sauce. We were given plastic spoons for the rice, but had to eat the meat with our hands. Most other diners ate exclusively with their hands, washing them afterwards at a basin in the corner.
Walking home, we were conscious that we were walking dark alleys we would never dream of walking at home. Not sure if we are being naive, but we certainly feel safe. We missed the turn to our hotel and were amused to have a couple of men behind us on the main road call out to us to turn. Obviously the locals are all aware of our presence in town, and of exactly where we are staying.

For today's route see below photos
For overview route, click on ROUTE tab above…


Tatale to Yendi
Tatale to Yendi
Tatale to Yendi - puncture audience
Tatale to Yendi - puncture audience
Tatale to Yendi
Tatale to Yendi
Tatale to Yendi
Tatale to Yendi
Tatale to Yendi
Tatale to Yendi
Tatale to Yendi
Tatale to Yendi
Tatale to Yendi
Tatale to Yendi
Tatale to Yendi
Tatale to Yendi
Eyaro's Lodge, Yendi
Eyaro's Lodge, Yendi
Hajia Falila Food Complex, Yendi
Hajia Falila Food Complex, Yendi
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