A Trip to Kokrobite Beach

A Trip to Kokrobite Beach

Last Friday I took a much needed weekend vacation to Kokrobrite Beach.  The beach vibe, the food, the people, and the atmosphere were all welcomed changes to my usual routine.  Here’s a look at my adventures last week.

          When I woke up on Friday morning, I couldn’t wait to sip a cup of instant coffee, put on my clothes, pack my book bag, and head out the door to Kokrobite.  After running a few errands I was on my way.   I had first learned about Big Milly’s Backyard in my travel book.  Once I arrived early afternoon, I immediately knew I had made a wonderful decision.  The compound was clean, colorful, and warm thanks to the sun and the people.  Parents chased their toddlers through the sand while friends played pool and sipped Piña Coladas at the bar.  The place is something like a little village, with stand alone “huts” and concrete dwellings.  From the sand parking lot to the campsite, every area had been well imagined, with tiny seashells sunken into the narrow concrete path to the colorful smoothie bar.
The view heading to my room, January 11, 2015
One of the dwellings on the vacation compound.  Isn’t it cute?  January 11, 2015

Upon check-in, the front desk staff, a young Ghanaian girl and guy, were super sweet and wanted to hear all about my experiences as a Black American (as the locals call African Americans, often they just say Americans) in Ghana.  The owner, Milly, was also in the office and suggested I sign up for a massage.  And of course I signed up for that!

                       

Entrance to my room, January 11, 2015                  

Once I made it around the corner with my bags, I fell in love with my room before I even opened the door.  There was a little wooden chair outside for reading and resting, accompanied by a wooden rail for privacy.  The room itself was small, but bright, with high beamed ceilings to make it feel larger.  The double bed was draped by a sky blue canopy that instantly made me want to take a nap.  And unlike several other places I have stayed during my travels in Africa, I was given not one, but two bathroom towels.  What a treat!

Inside my room.  Made me feel like going to sleep.  Very relaxing, January 11, 2015

Once I was settled in, I changed into my swimsuit and headed over to the outdoor restaurant (I read online that dinner orders should be made a couple hours in advance).  After having a late lunch, I placed an order for barbecued meatballs for dinner.  Then, I was off to the beach!

Everyone I spoke with was right about Kokrobrite: compared to all the trash that lines Labadi Beach, Kokrobite was a clean stretch of sand with fisherman preparing their nets and women and children selling wares along the hotel wall.  The Harmattan made the beach especially enjoyable, as it wasn’t too hot or too cold, just right.  Finally, after six months of living in Africa, I finally made it to the beach, inside the ocean!  As I swam farther into the ocean and ‘fought’ the waves with the other tourists, I was quite relaxed and happy.  Upon making it back to the sand, I took 40 winks and then pulled out my book for some reading.  Shortly before the sun went down, I made my way back inside to wash up and get ready for dinner.

Fisherman preparing their boats for the morning’s catch, January 11, 2015
The sun setting on Kokrobite, January 10, 2015
Relaxing on the beach, January 10, 2015

The barbecued meatballs were okay; they were accompanied by french fry wedges and salad.  That night, there seemed to be a lot more people around than when I had first arrived which livened the atmosphere even more.  Around 8:00pm, the drummers came and put on a live performance for the guests.  Song after song they played, all with drums.  Dancers came out in their traditional attire, yelling, singing, and twisting and moving their bodies in ways that were admirable, but I certainly wouldn’t try!  As I was sitting in a reclined chair enjoying the music, one of the locals began asking me about my trip and where I was from.  He seemed like a nice young man with a good head on his shoulders, but once he started telling me about some of his extracurricular activities, I could sense he was about to ask me for money so I told him I was going to go look for a better place to view the drumming and excused myself.

Friday Night Drummers, January 10, 2015
Drumming out a beat January 9, 2015















African dancers, January 9 2015
This guy can really move, January 9, 2015

          The music was still going strong when I headed to my room for bed.  As the pulse of the music permeated my screened window, I drifted off to sleep quite quickly.  Before long, it was morning.
The next day, I headed to the restaurant for breakfast.  It was quite the cultural melting pot (as was the rest of the hotel) with lots (I mean lots) of international couples with children and folks from Europe, the U.S., and China interacting with the local people.  Culture shock hit again as I observed this interaction.  It wasn’t what I was used to seeing back home, but the cultural exchange and joy the people shared among each other was wonderful to see.  For breakfast, I ordered a pancake.  To liven it up, I asked the waiter if he had some chocolate he could put on it.  I sat there, thinking he was going to drizzle chocolate syrup or cocoa powder over my food.  But instead, when I cut open the crepe, there was a big scoop of chocolate ice cream inside!  Having learned a long time ago to go with the African flow, I went ahead and tried the sweet breakfast.  To my surprise, it was quite delicious and I was pleasantly pleased!  Along with some black coffee, I considered it a good meal. After walking around a bit, I went back to the restaurant and watched the waves in-between catching up on my Bible Study lessons.  After about an hour, a small woman came over and introduced herself.  She was super friendly and talkative, told me she’d be giving me my massage but was running a little behind.  “Will you be okay if we wait for another hour?”
“Sure that’s fine,” I said.  “Great!”  After another hour, I headed to my room to wash the sand off of my feet, then went back toward the restaurant.  She was there, waiting for me I assumed.  I waved at her and asked if she was ready.  She told me to wait for her on a bench while she got a drink of water.  Once she came over to the bench, we sat and chatted for a little while.  A short woman (shorter than me) who appeared to be a little older than my parents, she explained that although she was half Czech and half African American, she was proud to be married to a handsome Ghanaian man.  Before we began she asked me if I was a Christian.  When I said yes, she said she could tell I was a Christian from the way I walked and carried myself before she’d asked!  Once it was time for the massage, we walked through a narrow concrete path to an open space.  Culture shock hit again throughout the whole massage.  There was only a low fence and tree branches overhead separating us from passers by.  “Are you sure no one’s going to see me out here?” I asked.
         “Of course not!  You’re fine.  Relax!”
         “Okay.”  Back home in the US, the masseuse usually calmly points at the towel and tells me to disrobe to my level of comfort, then leaves the room for a few minutes so I can change.  As I waited for her to hand me a towel and walk away, she just stood there and kept talking.  “What,” She said when she caught me not disrobing, “Go ahead and undress, don’t be ashamed of ANYTHING the Lord has given you!”  Talk about culture shock!  It was an interesting experience indeed.  I wanted to just lay there and enjoy the sun and the kneading of pain out of my neck, but she asked me about my time at Legon (the University), my family back home, and she discussed her own family.  In the end it was a great conversation and by the end of the massage, I promised her that I would stay in touch.  Meeting her was really wonderful.  She was a sweet old woman who was full of life and reminded me not to ever be ashamed of ANYTHING the Lord has given me!

         After a wonderful midday nap, I again put on my swimsuit, had a little lunch, placed my dinner order, and headed out to the ocean.  There were fewer tourists than the day before, but the weather was just as pleasant.  I swam, slept, and read my book.  For dinner that night, I had lobster.  My first seafood dish since I arrived in Ghana, it was okay, could have been better.  Perhaps if they had sprinkled some salt, lime, and melted better over the flesh it would have had more flavor.  I doctored it up myself at the table as I chatted with a British man and his Ghanaian wife/girlfriend.  By the time I’d finished, I was quite satisfied. 

Beautiful artwork on the restaurant ceiling, January 10, 2015
The restaurant, January 10, 2015

Lobster, french fry wedges, and salad, January 10, 2015

Saturday was Reggae night, but the Reggae group was running late, so there was more drumming.  As the smoothie server whipped up a chocolate shake for me, I told him I was skeptical about the Reggae guy showing up.  He told me not to worry and that he’d come find me when it started.  But after an hour or so, I was headed to my room to rest.  It’s amazing when you slow down from school how you realize how tired you really are.  I read my book until my eyes burned, then turned the lights out.  Sure enough, the Saturday night “Reggae” (which was more like easy listening) began.  I drifted off to sleep as the familiar tunes echoed in my memory.

The next morning was quiet and peaceful.  I got dressed, had another chocolate ice cream-crepe-pancake, and checked out.  The front desk duo gave me a warm goodbye and said they looked forward to seeing me upon return.  I told them I’d had an excellent time and that I’d definitely be back.

My trip to Kokrobite may very well be the most relaxing trip I’ve taken while in Africa  There’s something about being near the beach and walking everywhere through soft white sand.  I will definitely be going back!

****Music Segment****

Drumming

Today begins week two of the local music series.  Since I heard some first class drumming at Kokrobrite, I thought it appropriate to share some drumming music this week.  Ghanaians pride themselves on their musical capabilities.  Their talents with music and art are obvious whenever one listens to drumming, jazz, and any other sort of sounds.  Unfortunately, I’m having some technical difficulties uploading the short clip I recorded, however, here’s a great Youtube clip to listen to.  Just follow this link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSSMAoWSb8A

****End of Music Segment****

                                     
This ends this week’s post.  Next week, I’ll discuss heading to Aburi for some sweet palm wine!

One thought on “A Trip to Kokrobite Beach

  1. Looks like you really had a great, relaxing time at the beach at Kokrobrite. Thanks so much for sharing all the photos and your wonderful comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *