The border crossing from Ghana is from a place called Aflao; a bustling small town with mostly dirt roads. Walk some 200 meters through the border control and you enter the capital of Togo, where the street turns into a broad tarmac boulevard lined with modern lighting and has a nicely paved, wide sidewalk adjacent to a beach coastline that stretches alongside the city.
Not only are the language and roads different, but the preferred mode of transport changes from cars and tro-tros to mostly motorbikes. Given that we’d been sat on a minibus for four hours from Accra, and enjoying the novelty of a decent pavement, we decided to walk for a while and commenced the search for a hotel.
After hiking in the heat for, what felt like, miles we stumbled upon the most fabulous boutique hotel, situated on the main Boulevard du Mono Hotel Sancta Maria. Opened only two months ago, the hotel did not appear in the brief Google search I did before the trip, so I felt lucky to have discovered it. The place is gorgeous; tastefully decorated, with beautiful, spacious rooms, a wet room-style bathroom with separate bath and shower and lots of little branded amenities. There’s also a delightful restaurant and bar. Feeling shabby on arrival, this was just the place I needed to kick-off this temporary backpacker look and revert to chic travelista.
Venturing out that evening, we headed to the Boulevard Circulaire, where it was easy to find a lively place to grab a drink or a bite to eat. The place has an easy-going feel to it and it’s clear that Togolese people here like to party! On the way back to the hotel, feeling a sudden urge for pancakes (my new favourite food), we stopped off at the Festival des Glaces, a diner serving great deserts and crÃªpes.
Next morning we got up early, enjoyed a lovely continental breakfast at the hotel before hopping a motorbike taxi (my new favourite mode of transport) to the Coco Beach resort. Now, having spent most of my beach holidays in the Caribbean, it’s hard for me to be impressed by beaches outside of the islands, but this place was decent! Not quite powdery, white sands like Barbados, but it was a nice stretch. The sea was a little too rough for my swimming abilities, so I took a dip in the beachside swimming pool instead, which was perfect!
On the motor-taxi ride back, with the warm wind blow-drying my hair, I caught myself smiling at the fact that, once again, I find myself cold-chilling and loving it!