Friday, September 7, 2007
Tuesday, August 14
This was an action-packed day. We drove back to Cape Coast, and then north to Kakum Nature Preserve. There, we did the canopy walk, which takes a certain amount of nerve, walking over 100 feet above the forest floor while zephyrs of wind vibrate the wires separating you from a fatal plunge. Does one scream when one falls head-first? They say not. The total walk is almost 1 km and there are 7 suspended bridges.
If you can suspend your fear, you can truly appreciate the beauty of the environment in the canopy of a rainforest. I looked up from time to time, but mostly I was concentrating on not feeling fear.
After our escape from the Jaws of Death, we also took a little hike through the rainforest, which is pretty much in pristine condition. We talked about various types of trees growing there, including one whose bark fosters virility, another used for deworming, and another pounded to make clothing.
In the early afternoon, we drove south to Cape Coast and then took another northward route to Kumasi. This was a long drive--over 5 hours. We were stopped once for speeding (although it’s almost impossible to know what speed to go because it’s hard to know where a village starts and where it stops.) The officer started to write us up for a court appearance in Cape Coast on Friday.
I explained to the officer that we would be in Ada Foah, about 200 Km east of Cape Coast on Friday, and that we had just visited 5 villages, donating boots and machetes to them. He stared at us, saying “that’s nice” and then asked us to give him $20. I did this quite readily and thanked him profusely.
The last 50 km before Kumasi was murder. The road had been removed from last year and was abominably rutted. We had to drive very slowly, so our progress was frustrating.
It was dark when we entered the city limits. It took a full hour to find the Treasure Land Hotel, located in a small neighborhood just off the road to Accra. Peter was in contact with the owner of the car, who graciously provided us navigational information.
We spent the night at Treasure Land Hotel. There was a computer with internet in the lobby, and the connection was the fastest I’ve seen in West Africa. My room was quite nice--roomy, excellent appearance, balcony, and gorgeous Ghanaian furniture. However, the plumbing didn’t work--no hot water. Most Ghanaian hotel room bathrooms have a large bucket and a small bucket in the corner. You fill the large bucket with cold water, then you use the small bucket to pour the cold water over your formerly warm skin. Of course, in the tropics, this really isn’t the torture you might think.