Some updates from Karen who is busy climbing the highest peak in several West African countries. These posts are from her own blog: http://noeksie-soap-westafrica.blogspot.com/
Note, the days should be read from the bottom up.
Day 32: 9 May Sunday
Day 31: 8 May Saturday
Day 30: 7 May Friday
Day 29: 6 May Thursday
We took motorbikes across the border and were just in time for the bus leaving for the Capitol of Berkina. Initially, we had 5 seats to ourselves, but the bus filled up along the way. The change in scenery was dramatic and in my opinion, overgrazing has taken its toll. We saw loads of bicycles, donkeys and even a camel. The people were friendly, offered us their food and even offered their seats. We took a taxi to another hotel since we arrived at 20h00 and were then told that the hotel we intended to stay in was demolished (they are rebuilding the capital city). I had lost my sense of humour in the dust covering me but felt so bad when the taxi driver gave me change.
Day 28: 5 May, Wednesday
More laughter followed descending and back at the village, we were offered food. Yabara was so grateful when we gave him some money and a peaceful ride back followed, where no one insisted on getting more dash from us. We couldn't believe how lucky we were to find the peak and since it was a very remote village, we decided it was a good idea to charter the taxi.
Back at Kara, we had to try the African rum before going to the market to buy food. Amen promised me a pizza but the cheese was very expensive so we decided on a traditional dish. Before heading for his home; they stopped at the shebeen for more rum and Codliver told Al that he liked him very much but that he disliked me. Al refrained from telling him that the feeling was mutual. When i was kissed by an old lady that’s been sitting in the shebeen since we arrived, i thought it was time to go to Amen’s home.
We all hopped on motorbikes to his home where his daughter Bella cooked a vegetable soup for me before adding the fish for the rest of them and everyone had more rum.
I was taken back and then Al and Amen followed. Amen gave me mangoes and two of his drawings before leaving for more drinks at the pub and shebeen. It is so heartwarming to see how generous he is, especially since he has not had a steady job for over three years. He lives in a tiny room, yet he never demanded anything and just offered us his laughter, food and love. Yet another amazing day in Africa!
Day 27: 4 May Tuesday
Day 26: 3 May. Monday
We carried on to Aduadu, the highest point in Ghana, passing several Silk Cotton Trees and Kofi had to use his panga to clear some of the path. Luckily there’s not a lot of tourist going to this point so there was not a lot of litter to pick up. We returned the same route and what a pleasant surprise to see Ghana's highest peak cleared from all the rubbish. We didn't have any containers with us, but Kofi promised me they will clean the rest of the mountain that afternoon, which seemed unnecessary because the clean-up team was so inspired, they cleaned the whole path as well. We only picked up the odd plastics left behind.
A big church group from Accra was racing to the top and i told them not to litter. It was not long before Alan turned around to tell me not to shout at them, but Kofi overheard and said i should carry on - someone should prevent them from littering. I promised Kofi i would look for sponsors for his baskets to put along the way.
3 People and 2 heavy backpacks turned out to much for the motorbike guy and after dropping me at the border, he fetched Allan. Once through the borders, Al (never keen to get on a motorbike) got the price dropped from CF5000 to CF1500, we were after all seasoned travelers by now. What a way to end an awesome hike on a beautiful mountain. We travelled once again past the forest with the big trees, this time on the back of a motorbike with the wind in my hair.
Back at the Bafana Bafana guesthouse we were treated like long lost family.
Day 24: 1 May, Saturday
Before we got to the top, I received a lecture from Al about the security guy expected at the top and keeping my mouth shut, luckily, just as the security guy was escorting us to top 5i was told no pictures by Al), two french guys arrived in a taxi, distracting everyone’s attention by taking pictures left right and centre from the communication towers on top and no one said anything when i got the picture from the sign with the South African flag. We didn’t linger too long and just before we got our passports back (only paying C1000), we chucked the rubbish that was lying around the dustbin into the dustbin.
The descent was just as pleasurable. At the Agblodone village we were invited in by Evelyn and were given Avos for lunch and to take with. Back at the start, Al and Joe had some homemade beer before we got a share taxi back to Kpalima. The 14 km hike to the top and back was really something special.
After a quick shower, we were on our way to Mt Kloutse. The guide was not the friendliest and once again, a Rasta was lurking in the background. We ended up paying a fee to be on the mountain and hiked to the top before descending to Agome Tomegbe, Joe’s village. The hiked involved some bundu bashing and i thought Joe was weary of snakes, but it turned out to be snares he was weary about. Safely at the village, we went from home to home where he introduced us to al his family. Al got more chilies (for his garden in Australia) from the market and then we headed back through the spectacular road again.
For supper, we had bread with avos and lemon juice and salt. Definitely the best meal so far.
Day 23: 30 April, Friday
Day 22: 29 April, Thursday
It was so hot; i did some laundry at 4. Went to Ghana embassy and paid CF 15000 for a visa. Then it was off to the internet cafe where i spend 6 hours trying to download pictures and send e-mails. But it had aircon so it was super fine. Then it was off to do some shopping; Bread, avo and bananas. The night was once again hot but who needs too much sleep.