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Roadtrip in Ghana with Steffen „Stilpirat“ Boettcher…


Why do we write now in English? The only and one reason is because, the English film version with subtitles is ready to watch on our YouTube Channel…

You don’t have to be afraid – in the near future we will go on in German language. 🙂

Last year Valentin and Steffen Boettcher have been on the road in Ghana for quite a while. It was a great time for both and this film is just one result from this journey…

Here, here, here and here you can read more about the Ghana roadtrip.

This ist subtitle – text:

I have to say that The Volta Lake is one of the most impressive things that I have seen in my live.

It is an artificial lake which must have been made in the sixties.

What makes it so excited is that here and there the trees are sticking out of the water and that gives it an total own character.

We came on a small island in which you could have walked around in about 20 to 30 minutes.
And there was a very small village with approximately 20 houses without electricity, without tap water, without anything.

They were fisherman, and they lived from the smoked fish. There also was a small school.

I really enjoyed it a lot over there. The people were goodhearted. They invited us everywhere and we walked with them through the village and talked with them. We bought some fish of course. It was so delicious, fresh smoked fish. It was absolutely beautiful.

In this country there are other rules, another standard dictated. And that is exactly what I want once a year. It is not that important that I tell a nice story and make a photo book of my journey, that is fun of course and I publish that because I like it to share it with other people. But my purpose is to come to myself, not to be conceited or to hold fest of that what I know and not always copy myself. To see that there are parallel worlds where there are totally different standards.

It is a mental aspect and that is leading me. I want to take the photos, it is like a training for me. Going somewhere every day again, make pictures, new experiences, and that is something that I really want. There is no day where I don’t take pictures.

I had that feeling the past one and a half week – yesterday it was like a relief – where I really had that feeling I want to fly home again, because I was mentally totally down. And yesterday it was like cleansing of the past one and a half week underneath that waterfall.

A lot of pictures where made in this way, that I left me camera in the bag and that I made myself known to the situation. And after a little chat I made the picture. That was not the case in India and Vietnam. When you walked through the streets and nodded your head and showed the camera, the people showed clearly wether they want to be photographed or not. But often when I walked though a market you really take the spontaneously moment away when you always ask, therefore I carry the camera on the side of me and take pictures of the people when I don’t look at them. That is very easy with the 28 mm objective. A trick to win the people for yourself is truly total openness. Totally going into them, being totally kind, a big smile and a great communication. Try to do everything that they feel comfortable. After many years of practice, it is not that hard for me.

What happend on the Mount Afadjato? I overestimated myself again.
– Steffen you can do it! –
Last year in Vietnam in Cat Ba, I promised myself to never climb a bloody mountain again, but I think you didn’t knew this. Nobody prevented me from going to the top.

Those 882 meters doesn’t sound much, but with 32 degrees celsius and a felt 70 percent rise climbing. And when you start freezing in this moment, then you know for sure that some things are not so well.
-Steffen, your wish was to have an interview directly after reaching the top.-
-There are so many fly’s around your head, I hope I don’t have that many.-
I don’t care.
-Your belly is not sweating at all, how do you do that?-
I don’t care… The last minutes I didn’t want anymore. I really don’t care.
But suddenly we met two ladies from southern Germany which are doctors or something like that in Ghana. They do a medical internship semester over here. The diagnosis was rapidly made: short before collapse. Without the glucose and water, which they gave me merciful, would the walk downhill definitely not have been easy. I have to say that within 10 minutes I was fine again and whistle and sing already, but I will never climb mountains again.

I would recommend, the people who go to Ghana, Ado Foah before they travel on. It gives you time to get used of the climate and not have a huge culture shock, which you could have in Kpandu.

First a couple of days Ado Foah to relax first, have a nice swim. Then upwards, to lift up your eyebrows a little bit. Have a walk here and there, that is very nice. And maybe at the end of your journey I would go back in this corner of the country. Here is everything very beautiful, quite, at ease. Totally great.

My travel guide told me that Amedzofe is one of the most fascinating parts of Ghana. And as we got out of the car there, our all opinion was that is was definitely pretty, but wouldn’t care to go further directly. But somebody on the street insisted us to speak with the village chief. And that chief told us, in a slight drunk accent at 10 am, that Amedzofe is not that beautiful as we hoped for and that he thought it was good for us to move on. He gave us yet one advise. We should visit a lion cave. A real existing lion cave, but unfortunately there wouldn’t be a lion anymore. But is was the lions cave of Amedzofe. And that cave should you visit before you leave Amedzofe. We decided not to go. Unfortunately we didn’t make any pictures of this conversation with this village chief. Maybe it sounds differently, but you are suddenly in a situation that is both funny as it is sad, because he is sitting there drunken at 10 am. But maybe he drinks out of fun, it has not always to do with sorrow. I don’t know it, but he didn’t seem to be unhappy.

‚The lions cave‘ is the name of this story.

We are sitting in Keta and eat something, and at the table next to us a Dutch woman sat there, and called us to come, and she asked us whether we have visit the city of Pram Pram.

And we drove to Pram Pram, which is an hour drive from Keta. And I have to say, it was the greatest afternoon I had in Ghana. Pram Pram is a little town where everything is fixed on the harbor. And there was an unbelievable chaos, an unbelievable dynamic, you could feel the energy of it all. There were a lot of boats on the see, and the youth and the elderly people were bringing the boats on the shore with great passion.

In the beginning I was doubting whether I should continue or not and fly back home. But now I have to say, what a dream land it is. This country is offering everything to spend two or three weeks over here. There where situations where you didn’t felt comfortable, but they where not over the line, they let you feel that you are indeed in a different country. At the other hand, there are situations, like now for example, on this Volta Lake, which are very relaxed, beautiful where you don’t have that feeling that you are in a wild African country or far away from Europe. I like those different contrasts. I like the aggression a little bit, because you feel that you are somewhere else, and I like the unbelievable friendliness and heart felted people who welcome you.

And I hope I can take a piece of this feeling, a piece of this timelessness which you can feel, because the people are leaded by the sun. You notice this clearly, from the moment the sun is rising up, the people are very active, but when the sun is setting down, everything disappears. They work when the sun is not that high and not that hot, and when the sun is going down, the people are at ease.

Perhaps I should do the same at home. Just leading myself by the sun.