Hikin' & Visitin' Caves
Trip Start Jun 21, 2012
17Trip End Jul 21, 2012
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What is Lipke Todome? The name sure sounds odd. At first glance, it looks like it says as 'Lip like to dome', eh. Let me brief what Lipke Todome is! It's in the village of the original town of Hohoe where Ewe villagers lived off in the caves, or they're known for ancestral caves. They hid there and were chased by the rule of Chief. For many years they lived in the caves on the border with Togo (the country next to Ghana) and near to the Wli Waterfalls. They fetched water from a small, local waterfall. After years spent in hiding, they finally emerged from the caves and formed Likpe Todome", or "Sharping stones from under the mountain" because they came from the caves or "under the mountain." Dat's accordin' to one of travel blogs I read about
We left our home-based early in the mawnin' so it won't be hot & sweaty when we get there. Upon our arrival in Lipke Todome, the town was not as big as Hohoe. The dirt road consisted of one small grocery shop which is half size of my classroom, a few huts, chickens, a cat, and a tourist gatehouse. The gatehouse held a few plastic seats for us to sit while the tour guide detailed the history of the town, how we get to the six caves, and safety. The tour guide was a young man, probably a high skool kiddo but he looked physically fit, no doubt. I expected him to wear hikin' boots but just a pair of sneakers. It's good to note dat other volunteers didn't wear flip flops like they did at other places. I had Puma sneakers, not Chaco sandals, when I wore 'em at Kakum Park. The mountain didn't look tall, intimidatin', or too steep to climb but I didn't let the height fool me thinkin' the hike was as easy as pie. We paid $6 Cedi, or about three U.S. bucks.
We followed the tour guide & zigzagged through the village where it housed several huts n shacks along w/ a burnin' campfire. Some villagers stood outside and stared at Yevu hikers. I felt trespassin' but there was a worn path, so other hikers must have gone there thousands of times. Maybe we're their entertainment to watch as there's not much goin' on in their village. Out the corner of my right eye, I spotted a maternal dog w/ 8 or so puppies madly suckin' its udders. Holy Moses! Too many puppies and the mother didn't look healthy. A depressin' sight. Probably a dingo like the one in Australia. When I turned my head back to the path, there was a stray puppy on my left side
Back to the path combined of dirt n granite, it started climblin' upward, which I cudda handle it. The altitude started to increase slowly but surely. Some other volunteers were behind and stopped for a few minute break but I kept goin'. One of the volunteers, who wuz a smoker, was way way way ahead of us. No shittin'! Mawusi, offered to carry my cross-body purse as my balance wuz off when I walked. And besides it's pretty heavy: a bottle of water, a tube of repellent, a camera, & whatnot. Probably saw me walkin' like a drunkard. Or probably he feared for my trippin' over the cliff, eh! It wuz a good thing dat I applied some 12-hour Ultrathon insect repellent cream, recommended by my travelin' nurse, 'cos there were a swarm of buzzin' mosquitoes. My clothin' started to get soakin' as the altitude increased. I'd feel the humidity weighin' down on me but it wuz not as hot as the bottom. My deodorant didn't withstand enough to hold against perspiration. We kept hikin' up until we stopped at the half way for a snapshot of town of Lipke Todome, as ya see in the picture. Eventually everyone caught up at the spot and we proceeded to climb some more. There were villagers comin' down & passin' us. Women carried their baby on their back wrapped in a sheet around their breasts and waist. I didn't see one stroller since I arrived in Ghana
Climbed, dragged, hiked, strolled, trekked, & trudged until we reached at the site where the swing from the tree awaited us. I didn't see any of caves there. We waited until other volunteers arrived before another set of hikin' began. I grabbed the sturdy rope and hopped onto the stick where I sat on. Asked the tour guide to push me. He held the rope at the bottom under my booty, started to sprint, & pushed me 'till I went higher. Yes, yes, yes! I felt coolness sweepin' me, aaah. I don't remember when the last time I swung & it sure felt nostalgic. The volunteer kept takin' pictures of me while I wuz swingin'. I saw the pictures dat didn't show me, showed half of me, or only end of my hair. Ha! We relaxed under the tree while others took their turn to swing. Muwasi naturally climbed the tree & rested on the branch. There were some sittin’ flat stones for me to sit. I really liked the background where ferns were standin’ up, not from the stems.
The tour guide reminded us about the safety when we were about to begin hikin’ again. He said we’ll see the first cave out of 6 caves. I thought the safety wuz to walk slowly, or not to trip over, but when we got there, I’d see what he meant! Gettin’ to the first was no big deal. We just moved a few feet upward. We entered the cave, which was not as big as the ones I visited like Inner Space Cavern in Georgetown, TX and Longhorn Cavern State Park in Burnet, TX. It wuz small & its capacity wuz good for about 10 people. I imagined myself inside the ancestral cave as one of villagers escapin’ from the rule of Chief. The cave #2 took a physical challenge: we had to climb the ladder to get onto the rocky cliff. It wuz difficult to climb onto protrudin’ rocks out of the cliff ‘cos they’re not big enough to step onto, and we had to hold ‘em steadily, or we’d fall off. We entered the cave #2 and it was dark. We sat together and waited for somebody to take pictures of us. The camera flash helped seein’ us where we sat. Carefully we went down where we came from. Goin’ to the next cave, we had to carefully go down on the slippery descent. We were in the dense rainforest and there were some vines where we’d grab and hold ‘em while we climbed down. Some times when there were no rope or vine, I had to squat and lean toward the ground to keep myself balance