Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Part 1 of: Trip to the top of Ghana and Burkina Faso!

So on February 6th the trip through Ghana and Burkina commenced! We, Asante and I, left our home in Nungua at 4:30AM to get a tro-tro (I need to include a picture of these things, will try to do so) to a place in Accra called Circle, where we would pick another tro-tro to Kumasi to then pick ANOTHER tro-tro to Nkramah and then get one more car to Boabeng-Fiema to go to the Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary! Lots of different vehicles and LOTS of sitting. But once at the sanctuary we had a guide walk us through the area showing us the different monkeys (the heat is making me forget the two, all I can remember is Mona monkey) and trees. I become very "fascinated" by the ficus trees (these are not like the house plants you probably are thinking about) but they are SO cool and you can climb up inside them, we both did this (and on a few trees). The monkeys were also cool too, but as cool as it was to see monkeys climbing in those trees simply won over the monkeys. However, the other monkeys, not Mona, are super friendly and actually go into the village and try to take food from the people; they even have it figured out what time various meals are prepared so they know when to "visit." After the sanctuary we went to Techiman, the closest "large" town for the night; in the morning it was back to Kumasi to get a bus to Tamale, the capital of the Northern Region of Ghana.

Tamale was just a stopping point for the night so we could get the 6AM bus to Larabanga (you had to be there by 4:30/5 to make sure you got a seat). Larabanga was the town/village we would get off the bus so we could get a ride on the back of a motorbike to go to Mole National Park!!!!!!!!! I think (despite how expensive it was) the park was my favorite part of the trip in its entirety. We had entended to camp at the park but when we found out that Baboon will rob you I said, "Um, one robbing was enough, I am not about to get robbed AGAIN, and this time by a BABOON!" so we sucked it up and checked into the hotel (the only one in the park). The upside was a pool, no I am not lying! So since we had been up since like 3:30 I said ok Asante you go to see Larabanga, this Jew is ok not seeing the oldest mosque in Ghana (I would see enough of them in Burkina Faso) and I will stay here and sit at the pool. Don't worry I wore sunscreen and put it on like every second because it kept being sweated off every other second.

Anyway, we met two guys, Conor from Rochester New York and Mike from Germany; we made friends (I think Asante got excited to have other guys around hahaha) and they invited us to go on a Jeep Safari with them the next morning at 7AM. We were going to do the walking safari the next morning at 7AM, but thanks to the WONDERFUL Mr. and Mrs. Hoechster we were able to go on the Jeep Safari!!!!!!!! So the next day we woke and got on a Jeep, we were the first car that left the area of the hotel, and that was a very good thing; within less than 10 minutes we saw TWO elephants!!!!! One had large ivory tusks and the other was just BIG, we were about 50 meters from them and it was like nothing I could have expected! We also saw a ton of other different animals (not including birds, and no Mom they did not poop on me!), some were: antelopes, baboons, warthogs (puma from the Lion King), buffalo, waterbucks, 2 types of monkeys (different from those seen the other day).

After the Safari we went back to the hotel and relaxed by the pool, watched the landscape, just relaxed. Saw a baboon attack a man for his lunch (the baboon won, and I was thankful we decided on a room and not a tent), and there was ANOTHER elephant that we saw, walking literally like 12 feet from our room! This elephant we got even closer to and I was just inert with my mouth hanging open, if it wasn't for Asante being like GIMME THE CAMERA there would have been no pictures of the third elephant. Anyway, the next day we were on the 4AM bus back to Tamale, with new friends Conor and Mike in tow.

In Tamale we walked around to see the "sites." Basically we had the food local to the region called TZ, don't even know how to describe it! Walked the market, making a well-intentional stop at the fetish stalls (where you go to buy things to be used in medicine or other assorted things/doings), saw the mosque, I almost got my camera taken along with myself to be used as a sacrifice (DO NOT TAKE PICTURES ANYWHERE NEAR A CHIEF'S COMPOUND!!!!!!!!!!!!), their National Cultural Center (it is just a more expensive crappier version of the one in Accra, which I went to today!). I was very excited to leave Tamale to go to Bolgatanga, the capital of the Eastern Region. Before we left Tamale, the four of us got supplies to make spaghetti jollof with vegetables, which was very good (thank gosh we were successful in getting a family near our hotel in Bolgatanga to let us your their pots and things to cook it all!)

The following day we left Bolgatanga for Paga, the last town in Ghana before you get to the border and go into Burkina Faso. At Paga we went to the Chief's compound (I was not almost abducted this time!) and went to the Chief's crocodile pond... Then we parted from our friends and went to get our passports STAMPED!!!!!!!!

I will end this post here and come when more battery to finish the Burkina Faso part of the trip (promise, as long as they don't have lights out tomorrow!)

1 comment:

  1. Amazing stories - amazing photos! Noticed the bandage on the foot/ ok?? And...what?!? you didn't make that gator into shoes and a purse??? Love you, can't wait to read and see more!