Ben's Ghana Adventures

A collection of all the emails that I sent while I lived, worked and travelled around Ghana West Africa from October 10th 2005 to February 10th 2006. Sorry thers a lot but I had a bloody good time living the experiences! Check out to see all my African Photos.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Ben's African Adventures 8

December 4th 2005
Greetings once again you lovely bunch of coconuts.
I write this email from Accra the capital city. We have all just arrived back here after spending 5 fantastic days in the Volta Region. This region is a lush mountaious area with many waterfalls and natural beauty galore.
We left very early on Wednesday morning and headed via very rickety old tro tros to Accra and then from Accra onto Ho. From Ho we went to a traditional African bead market and it was wonderful. I bought so many beads and I spent in total about 30 pence. The people of the Volta Region are the friednliest by far in Ghna. You are not shouted at because of your skin colour they just all say 'your welcome' and 'akwaaba' all the time. We were only hassled by one drunk there but I chased him away from the girls with a stick.
So let me tell you about my 5 days in the sun, climbing mountains, hand feeding wild Mona Monkeys, swimming in crystal pure waterfalls and drinking palm wine at 7am by the side of the road trying to flag down a truck to take me to Hoehoe.
So after ten hours of bone shaking travelling through the heart of Ghana we reached the lush volta region. We knew that we had arrived when we crossed the large volta river on the massive iron bridge that sticks out like a sore thumb in the remote wilds of the bush. Once over he bridge we went off to Atimpoku and then Somanya where the bead market was. It was really easy to find and I was surprised just how easy the whole trip worked out. Normally you spend houirs trying to flag down a bus only to end up travelling with goats in the back of a dung laiden lorry. But this trip went swimmingly well, it was great. So Andy and Canadian Cara and I set off from the bead market after spending about a pound on a huge pile of beads. From there we caught another arse numbing tro tro the two hours North from Ho to Hoehoe the volta regions seconds biggest city. Hoehoe is really a small town and once there we dodged the crazy people who seem to accumulate a lot on Africa town street corners and we went to Amagusta. Amagusta is in the middle of nowhere, no electricty, running water or anything. But it is the home of Wli Falls (pronounced vlee). We found a set of humble lodgings for the night and settled in and slowly got drunk on the cheap Don Garcia boxed wine that you can buy anywhere, even in the middle of nowhere here in Ghana.
The next day we emerged complete with mild headaches and set off to climb the hills to get to the Upper falls of Ghana's and West Africa's highest waterfall. Wli has an upper fall and a rather dirtier lowers falls. So up, up, up we went. It was a long climb and I was sweating like a beast. We scrambled over logs, up rock faces, down hole sin thje ground and there low and behold and most importantly deserted was the upper falls of Wli in all its glory. So I immediately stripped off to my boxers and embarrassed Cara by running screaming straight into the water and swimming around in the freezing cold, but totally refreshing waters. The hike down was much easier and I semi jogged all the way. Then once at the bottom it was the easy stroll to the lowerfalls, which was occupied by a bus load of catholic priests! So out came the pants again and this time I made them blush and swam around like a fish, or a rather demented one.
After our exploits at the waterfalls we travelling by foot for two hours to reach the small village of Tove. Mud huts and a bizarre corrugated iron and pink brickwork clinic where the only things there. But this is where two Norweigan girls (Isiline and Guru) where volunteering. Cara knew them from her orientation week and therefore we stayed with them for one night and ate cat with their singing host father! In the morning we were woken by an agitated host father and rushed to get dressed. A truck had passed the village! Yes a truck, they never see any vehicles in Tove. So the host father had flagged it down and it was waiting and slowly filling up with old women carrying baskets of vegetables and live chickens ready to take them to market in Hoehoe. So we crammed into the back of this truck and headed off along the bumpiest road with a bady screaming atme who was obviouslty terrified by me all the way. We trundled past villages of mud huts, women washing in the river and a priest up a tree! We reached Hoehoe very dusty and needing some breakfast. Luckily there was a roadside stall selling goat kebabs and chop shop food (rice and stew) so we ate their for about 15pence.
We suddenly had reached an area where you could get a phone signal so Andy's phone lit up like an xmas tree and low and behold it was a group of six girls from Swedru who had also come to the Volta Region at the same time so we decided to meet up the following day. We stood there in the tro tro station and then decided on our next move. onkeys beckoned! We caught a tro tro to the junction ofTafi Atome and walked the remaining 5 kilometers along a dusty hot road to the village. We now were in the Tafi Atome Monkey sanctuary. So we bookled into a room and paid for the evening and morning monkey walk. We settled in, had a bit to eat when an Australiangirl and a Dutch lass rocked up and were inthe room next to us. So there were five of us here at the monkey sanctuary and all eager to see the elusive apes. The evening walk was pathetic we walked about 100 yards and then out of nowhere a load of Mona Monkeys (they have silly bears) invaded a carpenters stall by the dirt track. They just ran in and basically monkeyd around. The man who was our guide wouldnt let us get too close so I was pissed off as I wanted to catch one and train him to be my personal butler. But things got better in the evening. We were sitting outside our crude rooms with no electricty or running water when the trees started to rustle. Luckily I had already procured some bananas of a naked woman on the side of the road earlier and whipped on out and coaxed a little cheeky monkey down from the tree. I have a great picture of me handing a banana to a little monkeys outstretched finger. It was great, but I could see some bigger eveil looking ones in the branches above peering down at me with evil intent. Then they invaded the roof of the dorm shack. Crash, bang, wollop they pounded on the room and made a move for my banana. Ut I managed to shoo them uup into the trees again and carried on feeding the cheeky little inquisitive ones.
Then in the morning we decided to try and get a lift into Hoehoe and from there visit Ghana's tallest mountain. Mount Afadjato. This was harder than expected and it took ages for us to flag down a bus. The locals took pity on me and gave me lots of palm wine to drink out of a hollow shell cup. Now it was early morning and palm wine is quite alcoholic, so by thwe time we did flag down a tank of a bus and get to Hoehoe I was starving. Chop shop again!
We managed to get the only truck going to Liati Wote, the small village at the foot of the mountain. Then Andy and I set about climbing it. I was exhausted going up, but managed it. It wasnt that high but the heat and l;ack of breeze was a killer. I was soaking wet by the time I summited. On the top I whipped out my union jack flag and took a photo. Then I raced two locals kids down the mountain path to the village and I won. But I was exhausted by doing so. The views were fantastic and I could see all the way to Togo. I wanted to do a day trip accross the border to the French speaking country but alas the border guards see your white skin and try and charge you a small fortune, so we decided against it. When we wandered back into town like two explorers returning from an expedition (Only Andy and myself did the climb) we found the entire group of people from Swedru in a local bar. There were six girls, two Norweigans, One German (the only nice German in Swedru), Another new Canadian girl and two dutch girls. So we all set about trying to get back to Hoehoe. We managed it eventually but were stopped in an old bus by some police and had our papers checked. The police barked at me to see my identity card, so I cooly handed it over only for them to try and mock me for being British. So I kept my mouth shut and smiled before we continued on our journey. As soon as he was out of earshot I let out a torrent of abouse to myself. I felt better after that.
So back in Hoehoe we all checked into the most rundown guesthouse in the world and I managed to explode a pipe when I turned on a tap. So that brings me up to date on what has been going on in Africa. I have had a great time away from school, but alas tomorrow I am back teaching the little bugers English and also have to do an 8km run with the athletics team. I think the head of sport is abusing me a bit, but at least I am fitter than ever now.
So I will leave you now because my time on the net is coming to an end and I have to travel back to Swdfru and get back to Kwanyaku before night falls. No tro tros will travel at night because of the police check points and the corruption of the local constabulary. So its better to get back to good old Nana's and avoid the possible police and heavy truncheon blows to the head scenes that I have witnessed on the side of the road. Oh one volunteer in a really rural village told me that she witnessed a rapist being dragged around by his penis before being stoned to deth and then burned. This was done by the villagers and not the ploice. So in some places this really is primitive africa. But here at the moment in Accra all we have to do is dodge the swerving taxis and avoid the carazy men and the street preachers.
So goodnight my little mona monkey loving chums. Til next time.
Be happy
x x x x


At 5:54 AM, Blogger LocuTus of Borg said...

Wow incredible!! That is awesome that you can go do all those things ... I am envious >:P. Hopefully you were taking some pictures and can upload them later. Have safe journeys and thanks for taking us on your African adventure!


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