To set up we had to move some rocks and stacked lumber and backing the Defender through a narrow gate into a lane that ran through the middle of an extended family living space. It worked, and the large extended family that called this ‘garden’ home were more than a little entertained by the rooftop tent which just fit under the mango tree. Everyone took turns climbing up the ladder and peeking into the tent.
We also enjoyed a tour of the property, which is a small livestock operation, with pens for pigs, goats, lambs, chickens and of course guinea fowl. The chickens are everywhere, fed in the morning by the youngest son. The agouti (bush rate) are caught in the wild and kept in cages awaiting slaughter when needed for a plate.
We opted for the Agouti and the Pintade, which translate roughly as bush rat and guinea fowl. The agouti is the same creature as what is known in Ghana as grass cutter, which we never liked, but this was good. Guinee fowl is a dry meat, but this one was meatier than most. We also enjoyed corn meal dumpling cooked in the corn meal jus.
There was no running water, but there was a toilet that flushed. At night they put a big barrel of (very) hot water in the shower stall in the bathroom for washing. We were awoken early by all the animals and served a breakfast of guinea fowl eggs, bread and Nescafe.
We enjoyed learning about Le Chef, as in the name of the restaurant…”La Part du Chef”. We had of course assumed it was all about the person who did the cooking, but that was not the case at all. Rather, Mr. Late did not cook, but was a minor Ewe “Chief”, or Chef en francais. He had earned his living as a primary school teacher until he retired in 1995 and set up the restaurant to supplement his pension. It was a popular place among people from Lome who would come up from the capitol on the weekend. He was also planning to set up a campground (campement) among the trees bordering his property, but he had not yet set up the services and security arrangements, hence our spot in the garden.
It was a lovely evening, which we enjoyed very much.