We docked at the port city of Lome. Will’s research on Togo came up pretty slim so we did not schedule a tour. As in Ghana, cruise ships do not call here very often and they did not have the infrastructure to handle ours. Busses for tours were driven over from Benin, our next port of call. There were two shuttles to run back and forth to town, about 15 minutes up the coast. The first shuttle filled fast and the second one showed up over an hour later. It took about 15 minutes just to get out of the port, which partly explains why the shuttles were late. There were container trucks going every which way and workers whizzing around on motor bikes. Part of the port is paved but most of it is packed dirt with some pretty large pot holes. The bus had to back up from one line of traffic and proceed through the entrance rather than the exit to get out of the port. Security seemed lax compared to the other ports we’ve been in so far.
The main road to town was in good condition and the beach all along the coast was clear and wide. There were fishing boats but otherwise the beach was deserted.
The city of Lome looks like a small city with a few tall hotels but everything looks pretty run down and unkempt (my western eye is creeping in.) Lome is the capital with ¾ of a million people. Looks like they expect bigger things. This construction was on the main beach road – a hotel maybe?
The bus dropped us off in the parking lot of a fairly modern grocery store. We decided to check that out first. It reminded us of downtown grocery stores in France. They had a good selection of all types of products along with an appliance department. This store was pretty empty, too expensive for the average person.
The market streets are busy and jumbled with every sort of thing. They have sidewalks on the main road but the side roads are dirt.
We took a short walk into the market area which we found to be very similar to the other markets we’ve seen. Here’s a fabric store on the second floor.
Here’s a store called Macy’s.
There are lots of cars but motor bikes are very popular, many used as taxis.
Because it was so hot, humid and crowded…. and we were not confident in the shuttle schedule, we decided not to linger. We had picked up a city map with numbers on sites but it didn’t have an index. This was a disappointment and shows how important it is to take some sort of organized tour in undeveloped countries.