Back in January 2010, whilst I was jogging down the road to Musselburgh, I stopped briefly to speak to a friendly old chap with a backpack who asked me for directions. His told me his name was William Cockfield, and you can read my original post here. He told me that despite having only 18 pence, he was intending to walk the length of the country. He seemed fit, warmly dressed and clean.
My blog entry of January 21, 2010 was picked up by various people who posted a number of updates about William over the years. From these I can tell that he made it to Cornwall, and then Cheshire, Liverpool and Essex, so it seems he kept walking for a long time. Later on, he was briefly in Basildon Hospital, and then a care home.
I was very pleased that so many people posted update comments on my original blog post, which they must have found by googling ‘William Cockfield’. Each of them seems to have appreciated that William was quite a character.
William ended up in one of the Regal Care Homes. The manager of the care home contacted me on Monday to say that William had passed away peacefully in his sleep that morning. She continued, “I am sure he is now lacing up his hiking boots ready for his next journey R.I.P. Will, we will miss you!!”
We enjoyed a tea ceremony for four at Kung Fu Tea, Haymarket, yesterday. We had three teas – one non-fermented Pu’er, one post-fermented, and one white. All were very nice, though I enjoyed the white the most.
I very much enjoyed the various short films shown at the Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival in the George Square Theatre on Saturday evening. The show was a sellout.
The films included: A Bit Like Norway; Stone Free; Wild Kaiser Extreme; The Ridge; Afterglow. Two were about skiing, one about climbing, and two about mountain biking. After the films, Cory Richards gave a fascinating talk.
Afterwards, we ate at Koyama, in Forrest Road.
The final place that we stayed on our trip along the west coast of Ghana was Coconut Grove Village, near Elmina. Everyone gets a cold cocunut when they arrive there, except that we zoomed off to our rondavel before I could get mine (I did eventually get one).
The previous week we’d paid US dollars, at a rate of 1 : 3 Cedis, for our hired car, so when we were asked to pay our basic bill at the Coconut Grove Village, I asked how much it would be, as the website quotes US $s. The girl at the counter said their exchange rate was 1 $ : 3.5 Cedis plus a 5% credit card charge. So I said I’d pay in US $s with my debit forex card, which she accepted without the 5% surcharge. When, the next day, I went to pay the food bill, I asked for it to be changed into US $s at a rate of 1 : 3.5 and again paid with a debit forex card.
This was the fanciest place in which we stayed. There was even a pool.
We decided not to go on a tour of the castle at Elmina.
St George’s Castle
The guys in the car park at Elmina ask you your name when you get out of your car, and then they may make a carving with your name on it and hope to sell it to you when you return to your car. I put them off by saying that my name was Tillekeratne Sangakara.
The harbour area was extremely busy.
We hired a canoe in the village and, reassured by our guide’s insistance that there were no crocodiles, ventured up the Ezile (pronounced ézilé) River for an hour or two. It was at this point that I started to really like Ghana.
Cool dude Jamie, in dulls
I was in the front of the canoe, trying to take selfies. Taking selfies with my phone is a very much hit-or-miss affair. I heard a comment from the local guide behind me, to his paddling mate at the rear which to me sounded like “Cobbledegook gobbledegook gobbledegook obruni HTC gobbledegook clearthethroat gobbledegook obruni HTC”
Kat later translated what he’d said from the Twi, which was essentially “White man’s phone is some shit HTC with only front pointing camera. Has to point it backwards and hope for best. Don’t buy HTC”
The wood sticking out on the starboard side of the canoe in the photo way above is where a motor can be attached.
We saw a number of birds, including several kingfishers.
Later on, I saw an old map of the river where we were, with an alert saying ‘crocodiles’.
We stayed at the Ezile Bay Village for a couple of nights. Nice relaxing place, with good food.
This was our wee bungalow
The old lighthouse at Cape Three Points, the most southernly part of West Africa