01 Apr

After an early morning taxi-moto ride along the streets of Lomé, the capital of Togo, I was dropped off in front of Onomo Hotel. Then I crossed Boulevard Mono on foot.

There is a public beach on the other side of the highway. When I stepped on the sand, I strolled around and marveled at the number of vessels waiting to dock at the port. It was too early for beach goers to show up, with soccer players and joggers being the only exception.

I got closer to the ocean and felt the sheer power of the Atlantic waves. Behind me, the whistling sound of the swaying coconut trees was fading away. On my way back to the tarmac, I bought a bottle of water from a kiosk set up in the buffer zone.

Speaking of the tarmac, it was business as usual for drivers traversing the Lomé - Aného route on a daily basis. Sometimes, their 4-seater saloon cars ferry more than four passengers at the same time. It is common to see two travelers occupying one seat.

I paid more to have the front passenger seat all to myself. En route to the border, we were slowed down by road construction works. Dubbed the Corridor Project, the upgrading of the highway connecting Togo and Benin will undoubtedly stimulate trade between the two neighboring countries.

To help recoup the cost of construction and maintenance, a toll station is built along the stretch sandwiched between the ocean and Lake Togo. "I cross the peage six times a day." My driver informed me. At a fee of 500 West African CFA francs per trip, he contributes 3,000 francs (approximately USD 5) per day.