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Dec
06

Off We Go!!! 5 Days in Eastern Ghana (part 1)


I wanted to make sure my mom got to see more of the country while she was here, so we sat down and plotted out a five day trek through the Eastern Region. We left from Accra on Tuesday and headed towards our first big destination, Wli Falls (pronounces Vlee.. don’t ask me why.) Our bus left from the Tudu Station at 3:30 and we had some time to kill, so I decided to introduce  her to my friends at the Center for National Culture. You may recognize Jackson from earlier blogs, he is my friend who shared the same birthday as yours truly. He lives and works at the art market making drums and masks with five of his friends. He’s such a sweet guy and now refers to my mother as his American ‘Mommy’. ‘Mommy’ is term of respect and endearment here and is used when referring to female elders of a village. Below is a picture of Jackson and Francis fooling around while we are hanging out at the drum shop. I had fun learning the drums, too!

My mom and I later hopped on the bus to Hohoe (pronounces Ho-hoy) and began our six hour trek out of Accra into the rural area of Ghana.

We arrived at the Evergreen Lodge at Hohoe late that night. The Brandt Guide to Ghana had given this hotel great ratings, but I think things must have changed since then, because this place was a dive. To top it all off, there was an amphibian chillin’ in our shower.. I thought it was kinda cute, it was about the size of a dime. This incident ended up being a trend because the next night at a different hotel, we found a newt in our shower.. Here is the pic of the tiny frog.

So the next day we travelled to the legendary Wli Falls. Wli Falls is famous for being the tallest water fall in West Africa. It also happens to be on the border of Togo. My mom got a great shot of the entrance to Togo, though the immigration officers chided her for taking the photograph.

We checked into the Waterfall Lodge, which was stunning! We had our own little chalet at half the price of the dingy room we had the night before.

The lodge is owned by a very friendly German couple and lies just a few hundred feet from the entrance to the falls.  The falls are actually two separate waterfalls, the higher feeding into the lower. The lower falls is 60 meters high, and the walk there is gorgeous. Among the wildlife that nests in the forest there, are 450 species of butterflies. My mom, who is a great photographer, took fabulous shots of the butterflies and dragonflies.

The lower falls were breathtaking, and the cold spray that hits you as you approach was a much appreciated respite from the heat of the African sun.

The upper falls are much harder to get to, as they like 400 meters above the lower falls. My mom stayed behind as a guide,  although begrudged, led me on the path up the mountain. I could tell he didn’t want to go, as he kept trying to persuade me to not go. He started with, “It is very steep, and a seven km round trip.” I was not deterred, though I soon realized that he wasn’t kidding about the incline. Large boulders and upturned tree roots made the climb arduous. There was a halfway mark where you could see both the upper and lower falls. He suggested then that we turn back, insisting that it only got steeper as it went on. I figured we had gotten this far, no use it turning back. But I was panting non-stop and could tell my legs would kill me in the coming days. Below is a shot of  us at the halfway mark.

One hour later, we finally arrived!! The waterfall was enormous! I planned on swimming in the pool it created, but the water was so cold! Instead, I waded in the water while taking in its enormity. The water spray created a beautiful rainbow at the base. I took a picture of it here, but it is hard to see, so look carefully. :) Below is also a picture of me in the waterfall pool.

 

The returning descent was not as easy as I thought it would be. Usually downhill is easier, obviously, but because it was so steep, I could feel the front of my legs burns as I steadied myself trying not to fall forward as we came down the mountain. The guide did share with me a really cool treat! He picked a plant that he called a tomato cacao. It has gelatinous seeds, which explained were very sweet. What’s more, is that they turn everything you eat or drink for the rest of the day sweet as well. I remember hearing about this once in the states. So I tried it. The seeds were incredibly sweet, and 15 minutes after I spit them out, I took a swig of water. It tasted like Gatorade!! No lie, the seeds must have coated my tongue with whatever the sugary substance was. My mom tried one, too, when we got back to the lodge, and it was fun to watch the expression on her face.

Th next day we set out for the Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary! Will post in the next few days about our awesome experience there. Thanks for reading!!!

5 comments

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  1. Lisa says:

    Great posts! Keep ‘em coming! You are definitely NOT sending too much. I love them.

    L

  2. David Powell says:

    Thanks Syambra this is really cool

  3. Bertil and Alicia says:

    We enjoyed seeing your pictures. Happy travel……….

  4. Bertil and Alicia says:

    We enjoyed seeing your pictures. Happy travel………. and catching up….

  5. Jen Jackson says:

    What a feat that hike to the upper falls was…sounds like something to put on your list of life accomplishments when you doubt what you’re made of!!!

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