When I think back to the summer I spent in Ghana, the first memory that comes to mind is of the night I spent at Big Milly’s Backyard in the small fishing village of Kokrobite.
Started in 1995 by an English woman named Wendy and her Ghanaian partner Seto, Big Milly’s beach resort became a good place where foreigners and locals would come together. As soon as I arrived at Big Milly’s, I was welcomed with good vibes and a peaceful atmosphere. The place is home to countless coconut trees among many other exotic plants, animals, and bird species. Depending on your budget, or if space permits, there are several rooming options for you to choose from. There are a variety of unique huts and cottages that are each equipped with fans and thatched roofs to keep you cool. Most cottages are self contained while others share toilets and shower facilities.
Those with a smaller budget and desire to try a different style of accommodation can stay in an outside dorm consisting of a few mattresses draped with mosquito nets. The mattresses are lined up on a wooden platform, above ground and under the star filled sky. Not bad for $4 a night.
My time here stands out from any other experience I had in Ghana because Big Milly’s has everything to offer a traveler interested in culture, beauty and relaxation. Equipped with a fabulous restaurant, variety of vendors, a happening 24 hour bar, drumming and dance lessons, fruit stands, book swap, massage center, wonderful people, a beautiful beach and live music, this place is what I classify as a traveler’s wonderland. But what truly makes this place memorable is how everyone feels like family. The best way to experience this sense of community, is celebrating a Friday or Saturday night here. As the sun goes down, reggae and high life rhythms fill the air and attract town’s people and travelers alike to Big Milly’s Backyard. Bob Marley and Peter Tosh covers initiates crowd sing-a-long’s and friendly dance offs. True Rastafaris smoking “ganja” slowly sway to the feelgood beats while local children run through the crowd to join in on the festivities.
There is a garden gate that opens onto a long sandy beach that is clean and safe for swimming during the day and used as a dance floor at night. The beer is cheap and the entertainment goes until sunrise. Disco lights? No need! The immense amount of stars that pierce the sky add the finishing touch to a perfect setting.
After dancing until sunrise, I slept for a few hours before heading to the restaurant for a mouth-watering brunch. The elevated restaurant, which overlooks the sea, serves delicious food including traditional Ghanaian dishes at a very affordable cost. After consuming every last bit of my homemade yogurt topped with tropical fruit and banana pancakes, I walked down to the beach where I curiously watched the local fisherman haul a very long fishnet onto shore that was filled with various types of sea creatures. As the men pulled in the net, local women and children came to the beach to collect their share of fish. With fairly large bowls balanced on their heads, the women and children never fought over the fish, but shared the catch equally among themselves. This was more proof that this is a very close knit community that helps and supports one another. While helping a few children pull fish from the net, they warned me to stay away from the long snake like fish, as they were very poisonous. This kind warning was followed by the youngest child picking up a crab the size of his head and shoving it only a couple mileometers from my face. This sent a contagious laughter amongst the other children and eventually myself. This is when I looked around, took a deep breath and became overwhelmed with how lucky I was to be part of this moment. I was so far away from my family and friends in Canada, yet I felt so at home. This community and the people in it really captured my heart, and I knew then that it wouldn’t be long before I returned back to this wonderful place.
And a video for your enjoyment:)