ARE YOU PACKED? YOU TOOK YOUR SHOTS? LET’S GO GHANA! AND THE BEST PART IS… YOU DO NOT NEED TO GET A PASSPORT!
Coming to Ghana Day 7 – Chasing Waterfalls
Alfred asked us if we wanted to go to the Wli waterfalls as it was the tallest waterfall in West Africa. I was excited and smelt adventure. We accepted and he gave us written directions to get to the waterfall. We quickly had our showers, got dressed and ate a simple breakfast. Alfred called the motorbike taxi and we hoped on to go the marketplace where the minibuses were stationed.
On our arrival, we enquired about the bus to Kpeve and a taxi driver came over to say that Sunday will be a slow service and we should go with him otherwise we will be waiting for 4 hours. It was already 8 am and the bus station was looking empty. We were a bit nervous to take a taxi because he was charging 30 cedis to go. We declined and thought let us wait for the bus because it would only cost us 5 cedis..
A hour passed and we were getting hungry, luckily we saw some little children caring watermelons and both of our eyes lit up. We called them over and we bought 3 watermelon slices. We ate the watermelon with bliss written across our faces. A young boy got on to our bus that we were waiting for. I felt hopeful that a few more would join him.
Mid-through our conversation about how great the melon tasted, a half naked man caught my attention. He did not look like he was mentally well. He stopped in the middle of the bus station (mainly empty) and took out his penis. People including young girls were walking pass him without battering an eyelid. He proceed to fondle with his (big) penis. At first I thought he was just peeing but he was not but just showing it off. Marie got out her camera in excitement to capture the moment of his mandigo-hood. I started laughing as she said it was for her friend back in Germany who said that Marie need to sleep with a black man to experience the big black cock. I said not every Black man has a big penis, we both laughed.
It was now 10 am and we had waited 2 hours. It was around this time the main road became more lively with well dressed family heading to church. A few more buses came in to the market place but they were not going to Kpeve. A taxi pulled up near us and we deliberated if we should ask the taxi driver to take us. Meanwhile the boy on our bus came out and joined us where we sat outside. Shortly after, a men approached Marie to chat her up and touch her skin. Marie seemed comfortable with the male attention. After the fail attempts of chatting up Marie, they walked on. The taxi diver played his loud Ghanian music from his open trunk before joining the young boy next to us, they knew each other. Marie and I agreed that we will go with this taxi.
After a short conversation between us, the boy (we learnt his name at this point) called Lawrence and the taxi driver called Example, we got driven to Kpeve for 30 cedis. Lawrence, begged to pay for his ride. He was lovely and we agreed to do so. As we pulled up, we took Example’s number as we thought we may need it for our return. We all got on the minibus to Hohoe as Lawrence was going north like us. We bought some snacks and water before the bus filled up quickly and we travelled to Hohoe. It was after noon time when we arrived to Hohoe where we jumped in a taxi waiting for to fill his car. It was at this moment we counted our money and realised between we barely had enough for today’s trip.
In thirty minutes we arrived in Wli waterfalls information office where we registered and paid for our admission. We were assigned to a tour guide, his name was Happy, 60-something and a farmer. The waterfall’s stream divides the border of Togo and Ghana. Nature had put on a beautiful display for us.
There was big bight red ants, colourful butterflies fluttering in the breeze, crickets hopping through the thick foliage, cocoa trees producing their pods, pineapple plants bearing small pineapples, long vines hanging from gigantic trees, singing streams, and a soft humming sounds in the trees. It was sublime. We crossed 9 bridges with Happy leading the way. We stopped a handful of times to take pictures and for Happy to explain the different trees like palm trees and coffee trees and their uses. He was so pleasant to talk to. We passed other group tours on out trail.
As the walk got closer to the waterfall, we could hear the roar of it before we came to the opening of the base of the waterfall. We were thirsty and collapsed onto a bench close to the waterfall. Next to us was some locals and a tourist drumming and chilling out. We did not have money for lunch so we ate the last watermelon I brought and I had my starfruit before taking a few pictures of the waterfall. Above us we saw hundreds of fruit bats circling and hanging on to the side of the waterfall, it was amazing to observe. The other group got changed and ran underneath the waterfall for a swim. I wished we could have joined them but we packed up and headed back to the office. Happy asked us for a tip but we did not have spare money. We explained this to him and he was disappointed.
We waited for the same taxi to pick us up but he never responded so we wondered in to town with annoyance on our faces. The little town that was once had life had quieten down like a ghost town. There was only one taxi and the taxi rank. The driver told us that the taxis had stopped running. He offered to drop us off to Hohoe for 60 cedis, we were in disbelief and declined his offer. We decided to return to the waterfall office and wait for some other tourists and share a taxi, suddenly a small taxi was turning just before us and we flagged him down as he was working. He drove us down to Hohoe for 30 cedis. We decided to follow Alfred’s instruction and go to Asikuma to pick up a taxi to our base but the minibus conductor was charging 24 cedis. We were again shocked and in a panick because we only had 60 cedis left to get hone and if we took the minibus to Asikuma we would be stranded there with no money and a place to sleep for the night. The conductor could see our situation and helped locate a bus for Kpeve as the way we came. We paid 7 cedis each and sat at the back of the bus. I was relieved we left earlier than planned because the was starting to set.
After a long and bumpy ride, we reached Kpeve, two thirds of the way. We texted Example to pick us up but he never picked up. It was a little after 6 pm and the stormy clouds were starting to roll in and cover the sun. A man came up to us and asked where we were going. We responded, “Gemani” and he said that the mini buses and taxis stopped running at 6 pm. He said taxis were charging 60 cedis to get in to Gemani. At this point, I was just losing hope of reaching home until a motorbike taxi overheard us and took 30 cedis. We climbed on and braced ourself for a long journey back to town. We were riding in the dark, The driver had to swerve continuosly because of the pot holes. Bats and insects were flying close to us in the pitch black. It was a tense ride and to make it worse, we now had the rain to contend with and lighting was flashing and the wind was slowing us down. For the most of the journey, I was praying for safety, for the storm to pass us and that the driver knew where he was going.
A hour later we later, we happily arrived in Gemani, outside the marketplace. One of our regular motorbike taxi driver, Micah, 16 years old, came over with another young driver to take us home. Marie got on Micah’s motorbike in front and I got on the other motorbike behind. I was hungry and fatigued and was thinking of my bed. We were close to home when my driver lost control of the bike and I dropped in a muddy pool, I could not believe it! With my left side completely covered, I got back on with the help of an embarrassed an apologetic driver. We arrived a minute later and paid the boys 6 cedis. We had completed a mission impossible.
I changed out of my muddy clothes and washed off the mud the best I could in the dark before eating fried yam and a mango then bed. Upon reflection on my bed, I gave thanks for the adventure and a safe return after a day of chasing the waterfall. I think that was the day, Marie and I grew closer and really worked well as a team to get through all the adversities. As reward, we started watching a romantic comedy but soon fell asleep exhausted and hungry.
Stay tuned for next week to see what Marie and I get up to.
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