Crikey Mate

Trip Start Feb 21, 2010
Trip End Apr 18, 2010

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Flag of Ghana  ,
Sunday, March 28, 2010

After the intensity of the Cape Coast Castle, a trip to Kakum National Park was just what we needed. Kakum is less than an hour from Cape Coast and covers an area of 607 km2. It protects 40 species of mammals and its rivers provide water to 130 towns and villages. The draw for visitors is a 350m long & 40m high canopy that you pay 5 cedis to walk across. Most of the guide books recommend that you arrive early but we are now officially on Ghanaian time and arrived around 2pm thinking that it would be no problem. Wrong. We waited over three hours in 90% humidity for a 10 minute walk above the forest, but let me tell you, it was worth it! Being pretty much the only white person in the cue of over two hundred, I was busy practicing my Fante and making friends with the young school kids. Looking back, I can't believe that I had the patience to stand in one spot that long, I guess it helped that the crowd was so lively. They were singing, dancing and taking turns snapping photos of each other in a variety of poses with over sized sunglasses. When we finally made it to the front of the line we were told 'don't be lazy' and walk faster. As mentioned, the canopy is 40 meters high so being rushed to walk onto a skinny plank of ratty old wood and told to hurry up was not so cool. I wondered what the hell I got myself into a few times but then I figured if Harrison Ford can do it at 50, then I can too! Whenever I had the courage to look up, the view was breathtaking. Considering the amount of people on the walkway, it still felt peaceful and serene.

On the way back to the park entrance you have to walk down a steep hill while trying to dodge roots and rocks. The Ghanaians had no trouble doing it and a few even ran down. Most people passed me and I started to feel like an old lady until I noticed a fellow Abruni walking in front of me clinging to a Ghanaian girl in front of him. I made sure to pass him nonchalantly and look like I was walking effortlessly like the rest of the people. After I passed him, I had a huge smile on my face and thought 'sucka'. At the bottom of the hill, I turned to give him a thumbs up and noticed that he was blind - which put me right back into the old lady category all by myself and made me an asshole on top of it. I can't believe that he walked the canopy and down a huge rocky hill without vision, he's my hero!

After Kakum we were dying for a beer and visited the Hans Cottage Botel . It is called a Botel because the restaurant is suspended by a wood platform with a wrap around walkway over a small lake that is home to a dozen crocodiles. That evening there was a live band, buffet dinner and a group of over 60 students from around the World studying slavery.There is a trail around the lake that we followed and were able to get a few good shots of the crocs. I was kind of a snob because I remembered the crocs in Australia and these little ones wouldn't stand a chance against their ozzie relatives.

On the ride back, we got into a crammed taxi and a little girl who loved my sunglasses sat on my lap with a huge smile the whole time.
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auntie g on

Love your stories and your pictures Mel.What a wonderful experience for you and all the lucky people you meet. Never mind the taxi driver---You look great. I just finished reading The Book of Negros so your Door of no return blog was very timely. Take care . xoxo

Twin A on

Did you get that dress made for you? Lookin good Mel.

Bran on

Ahhh Mel!
LUV this story! Reese especially liked the 'sucka' part and laughed out loud once he found out about the blind man.
Have fun and stay safe!
Luv ya!

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