Monday, 30 April 2012


After that short "aside" in Jirapa.......back to the travels.

Togo’s name comes from an Ewe word and means “behind the lake”. We were punted across Lake Togo to Togoville in a dug out canoe one day. I don’t know how many times a day the ferryman made this journey, but it was a long way and the currents meant he needed to be skilful as well as strong.

The village itself has huge historical significance as it was here that a treaty was signed in 1884 that gave the Germans rights over all Togoland until they surrendered to the British & French at the beginning of World War1, the Allies first victory.

There didn’t seem to be much activity in this village. Although true to form, we arrived in the midday heat.

 However, when we came to the large and very prominent cathedral it was busy with nuns preparing for the Easter Sunday celebrations the following day. This was a vast site with an outdoor shrine and seating commemorating the reported appearance of the Virgin Mary to sailors on the lake. This attracted a visit from Pope John Paul 11. 

The decoration in the cathedral was beautiful and it was so cool and welcoming we sat there for some time watching the preparations and admiring the windows and frescos.

On our return to Lome we found the well that marked the Last Bath of slaves in Togo which here was situated close to the beach, in contrast to the location in Ghana many miles inland, where slaves were sold a great distance from their final detention in coastal castles.

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