Saturday, June 5, 2010

Should I give up, or should I just keep chasin' pavement...

even if it leads nowhere?

We couldn't stop laughing when "Chasing Pavement" started playing on Kelly's iPod just past the halfway point of our trek across Togo two weeks ago. I'm not sure why we thought it would be a good idea to attempt to walk 35 miles without stopping, but let's be honest, how often do you get to say you walked across an entire country in a day? One group from the ship had already tried and failed, so that made the challenge all the more enticing.

The plan: touch the Ghana border, walk across Togo, touch the Benin border.  We named it the Trans Togo Trek.  (I know, we're dorks.)

leaving the ship at 4:45 a.m.

starting out at the border of Ghana--5:10 a.m.
from left: Estelle, Kelly, me, Jenn, Ben, Liz, and Tim
(Jenn, Liz and Tim just started with us so that we'd have a big group before dawn.  They walked back to the ship shortly after sunrise.)

My friend Murray offered to drive a "support vehicle" alongside us for safety and, of course, water breaks.  He took some really cool photos along the way.

And then there were three...Estelle dropped out just shy of halfway because of blisters. 
the African coast...beautiful, isn't it?

palm trees along the road


Tampico break
We reached the marathon mark!

shirt change--Ben decided to change jerseys as we got closer to each country.  He started wearing a Ghana jersey, changed into a Togo jersey about a third of the way through, and then switched to a Benin jersey for the last leg of the trek.
still in good spirits at this point



Ok, this is about where we renamed the trip the Trans Togo Trudge. Our favorite lines, "How much longer?"  "Um, I think maybe just another hour and a half."  We seemed to say that, oh, about every hour and a half.

some beautiful scenery to brighten up the last 2 miles

Hi from the bridge, just on the outskirts of the border town.  We think we can...we think we can.

almost to Benin!

We made it!!!  We reached the Benin border at 5:30 p.m.

No, that's not a sock tan.  That's the line between our dirty legs and our white feet.  I'm not sure how Kelly's legs were the dirtiest when she was the only one wearing pants.

I've never been one to do stupid things just to say I did, but I think this may be the beginning of a new habit. We had so much fun, and it was a great way to see the countryside.  (I also gained an appreciation for why boys are proud of their "battle scars."  I have a bruise underneath my toenail from our little adventure, and I refuse to paint my toenails so that I can watch it turn colors.  I think I gained cool teacher points from my fifth grade boys for that...ha.)  Besides being one of the stupidest things I've ever done, the Trans Togo Trek will undoubtedly be one of my favorite memories from Togo.


  1. Wow -- 56 miles, Haley. I'm proud of you! And I think I'm doing great just doing my Jillian Michaels DVD.

    Love you and looking forward to seeing you this summer!

    Aunt Laura

  2. Oops! That was actually a typo. It was 35 miles (56 kilometers). 56 miles really would've been a trek!!

  3. Wow !! I think 35 miles is a miracle in itself. I probably couldn't walk a mile. I'm so proud of you !!! Loved all the pictures & think you look fantastic. Anxious to see you soon. Love you, Mema