We survived the night in Poki, despite the heat and set off on the long drive to Agordeke Landing site, where we are to take the barge across Lake Volta. The barge operates once a day at 10.30. We will overnight at Agordeke Landing, so we can catch the barge tomorrow morning.
Lake Volta, located completely within Ghana, is the largest artificial reservoir in the world, in terms of surface area. Over 8,500 square kilometres. It was constructed in the mid 1960’s behind the Akosombo Dam. It is the fourth largest in the world in terms of volume. The construction involved the inundation of some 15,000 homes and of 740 villages and the resettlement of 78,000 people.
The lake now provides a navigable route from north to south, a major fishing industry, irrigation water for farmland and the hydroelectric power plant provides most of Ghana’s electricity needs.
The journey started well, although the traffic was heavy leaving the city of Kumasi. The road, however, was good. It was the N6 the main road south to Accra. At Konongo we left the N6 and from here the gradual decline in the roads began. At first still surfaced but with increasing pot holes to unsurfaced red dirt. Some of this was terribly rough too.
There are constant small settlements all of which have a series of totally unnecessary concrete sleeping policemen. This makes the journey even slower, uncomfortable and tiring. The scenery was also disappointing. I had expected hilly, jungle scenery. Sadly the jungle has been destroyed either by cutting or burning. In some places attempts seem to have been made to cultivate the soil, but nothing seems to have been planted. It is a sad scene.
Adam had left before us and we agreed to meet at Agordeke Landing. We had sent him a message wishing him a happy birthday. His 79th. We heard from him later in the day. He had taken a different route which meant a ferry crossing over a part of Lake Volta. This took longer than our drive, so we arrived at Agordeke Landing first.
It was a long, hot, hard day and Dennis was not at all well. There is nothing in terms of accommodation at Agordeke Landing. It is in the middle of nowhere. We parked in a small forested area close to the landing site. We watched the barge come in and unload and anchor for the night.
It is not a nice parking place. When Adam arrives he tries to persuade us to move but Dennis is just too exhausted. The captain of the barge and another gentleman who says he is the ‘harbour master’ come and talk to us. They say we are safe parked where we are, but people keep passing and wanting to stop and talk. We heat up some leftovers from the previous evening and retire early. It is unbearably hot and sleep is very difficult.