Published: May 3rd 2011May 3rd 2011
Since I last updated my blog I have done a bit more travelling (down south this time) and so have a few new things to fill you in on.
As you can see from the location, me and Louise went down to Cape Coast (a prime tourist spot, with no other tourists) and met up with the other 2 Brits who came at the same time as us, Rus and Christa. I think it is fair to say that I didn't hugely like it; I don't quite see why it is considered a tourist spot. It's dirty and grimy with very little to it (apart from a castle and a few dirty beaches) and the entire time you are just being constantly hassled, 'Oburoni, Oburoni where are you going?' 'Oburoni, Oburoni come and look at my beads/masks/cloth' etc. etc. The castle was the only enjoyable thing there really. It was quite grand and was built by the British about 350 years ago, with the primary purpose of slave trading. For a mere 5 Cedi we were given a full tour including being taken into the slave dungeons, taken through the 'Door of No Return' (although we were allowed to return) and seeing the contrasting Governor's quarters.
We also went along the coast to Elmina, where there was another castle used in slave trading. Elmina, although touristy, felt a lot nicer than Cape Coast and is now a major fishing town and it was quite impressive to see the hundreds of small wooden craft they use all in the harbour and pulled up along the beach. Naturally, we had a look around the castle as well. This castle was a lot older (about 550 years), originally built by the Portugese and then used by the Dutch for hundreds of years. It was principally built for trade of things such as cocoa, gold and spices, however, when the slave trade kicked off its primary trade turned to slaves. Again, for 5 Cedi we were given a full tour matching the one I described above. Because the castle wasn't built for slavery, the slave quarters were actually far nicer - far less cramped with a lot more light! The castle also had a far different feel to it - it felt more like a fort than a trade hub, but then I guess that would be necessary to protect their interests.
The highlight of the trip would definitely have to be Kakum National Park. This national park is a rainforest with the main attraction being a 40m high canopy walkway. Unfortunately, we arrived to late to camp in the rainforest and all of the restaurants had closed (even though it was only 6pm) but luckily some local guys were making some Fufu for themselves and said we were welcome to join them. The walkway itself was quite amazing. It was made up of 7 rope bridges in a semi-circle, normally attached a little above the mid-point of emergent trees. Sometimes you can see monkeys apparently, but I didn't see any. I have plenty of pictures so I will upload them when I get a chance!
Next weekend I'm going to go to Lake Bosumtwe, the largest natural lake in Ghana and then next week my host sister is getting married! Who needs a royal wedding when you can go to a traditional Ghanaian one eh?
Until next time,