As it is too late to enter the Elmina castle now, we take a stroll into town in the late afternoon. Lots of activity, even on a Sunday. The boat builders, for instance, continue, putting the hulls together of several impressive fishing boats. Others are drying fish, on large metal-and-wood racks, creating a nauseating mixed smell of burned wood and fish. This must be an enormous industry, given the amount of racks, the wood and the large sacks that obviously have been filled already.
In the harbour the boats have just come in: there is frantic activity to offload the fish, some of which have been onboard for three days, packed with huge blocks of ice. Women and men walk on and off, carrying large round metal containers on their heads, full of fish of different type and size. I cannot work out if the fish is bought by traders directly from the boats, or whether this is just bringing home the catch. Every attempt to conversation quickly ends in demands for payment if I want to take pictures, something I already have given up on. Nevertheless, it is a colourful scene, and even without photos a great experience.
A little further the non-fishing part of the community is having fun at the beach. Youngsters jump up and down and in and out of the surf, slightly older men busy themselves playing football – it is still uncomfortably hot, for me, at least, yet that doesn’t deter them. It is actually good fun, here, good atmosphere.
Next: the castle in Elmina