untitledSomething I forgot to write about while I was up in Kumasi was how insanely lost I would get walking around. It all started with arrival on Mass Metro Transit from Cape Coast which dumps you right in to the fury and fire of the smaller street markets in Kumasi. They are, in a word dizzying. But, you eventually find your way when you ask multiple people which way you go.
I brought a copy of the Rough Guides map to Kumasi. Let me tell you though, this map is toxic. For one thing, they tilted it to not sit on the North South axis. The scale and placement of landmarks is also off. Then they simplified the streets to fit in to their format, which was a tremendous mistake as the corners and streets don’t format to this well and you turn a corner, which should go one place according to the map, you end up in another place. It seems like every time I walked somewhere, I got extremely lost when I turned a corner. I thought that this was the only option, but if you can get access to it, the Google Map is considerably better for guiding you around.
But it doesn’t begin and end with the maps. I realized that there were actually three looks to the streets. There is morning which isn’t too busy, afternoon which is a madhouse, and then evening which is completely dead. Each of these phases makes the streets look different and be very hard to find your way in the same direction twice as that guy selling cellphones in the morning where you know to turn for your hotel is gone at 18:00.
Ultimately, it’s the roundabouts that are best for orientation. Each of these has a different statue in the middle. While a great many streets come in to them, they are all well-marked and you can save yourself by aligning to these as you can see below. Also, look out for Pempeh II Road. That cuts right through the center and you often cross it when walking around. I can’t guarantee that this will save you, but it’s your only hope for navigating things better than I did at first.
Lost in Kumasi