Wli Falls

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March 25th 2014
Published: April 12th 2014
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For our adventure this weekend, we chose to go to Wli Falls. Wli is the highest waterfall in Ghana (about 70 meters drop!) and is a part of the Agumatsa River. Wli Falls are located about 15 kilometers south east from the city of Hohoe (in the Volta Region). But first some quick definitions:

Tro-Tro: Get as many people as possible into a van with a broken speedometer and charge them some change to go anywhere around Ghana.

Taxis: Taxis in Ghana are more like buses, you go to a station, you get into the car which probably shouldn't be on the road and you share it with other people (sometimes animals), and you hold on for dear life.

Obruni: What Ghana-ens call white people.

So to start our journey which should of taken five hours, we caught a taxi from PeaceTown at 1pm to the Tro Tro station in Kasoa. From Kasoa we got straight into a full Tro Tro, so there was no waiting and made our hour long journey to Circle (like we had been told to do by a trusted source). On our arrival at Circle we found that it was the wrong station to go to HoHoe and this is where the craziness started.

There is absolutely no way to describe Circle other than it is a nightmare and avoid at all costs! We were pushed, grabbed, pulled, shouted at, sworn at, flicked in the head and the list just goes on! Not only were we the only white people in sight but also four out of about ten females in sight - not a good mix in Africa! But...we were eventually able to get ourselves into a taxi and away from Circle.

The Taxi driver took us to the Accra Central Tro-Tro Station, which is just as busy and chaotic as Circle, however people tend to have a little more manners and there were more females. We were still pushed, grabbed and shouted at but those three things have become the usual at any Tro-Tro station for us, 'Obrunis'. After 10 minutes of asking people and asking again we found a Tro-Tro to take us to HoHoe, which was a huge relief because after the events so far we were all very much on edge and ready to give up and go back home.

We learnt a valuable lesson that day, when a driver says it will be 'x' amount of time you double it and that is he amount of time it takes, for example our Tro-Tro driver said we had another two hours left it took four and half! However after a 9 hour Tro-Tro journey, through some awful traffic, terrible roads, bush toilets and the interesting smells which follow market food we arrived in HoHoe. We quickly brought some bread for dinner and found a taxi who actually knew where he was going, wasn't going to charge what we thought was a fortune (it still turned out we paid 10 times too much) and started the final half hour bumpy stretch to our accommodation. On our arrival at the lodge the first thing the guard said was "you arrive very late". After some quick apologies and explanations we were shown to our rooms, which were decorated in the major African animals - mine was the Giraffe. Just as a side note, bread at 10pm after not having eaten a proper meal since breakfast, is the most amazing thing ever! Following bread we went to sleep. For the first night since arriving in Ghana, I got to sleep with a sheet and wasn't sweating - one of the most amazing feelings.

Waking up in the lodge and walking outside was magical! From our rooms we had a beautiful view of the mountains and the falls, there were birds chirping and everything was green. Breakfast was just as much of a treat, we had eggs, cheese and tea! After a relaxing night and good breakfast we were ready to start our walk to the falls.

Arriving at the entrance to the falls, we met our guide, Charles - who we nicknamed Prince Charles. From the entrance to the actual falls is a 45 minute or 3 hour walk away - no need to say we chose the 45 minute option. On the way to the falls there are 11-log bridges that we crossed. Many of the first bridges have people washing clothes or swimming in them - Prince Charles took all these opportunities as well as the one with a guy returning from the "jungle" with a rifle to shout at them and remind them this is a conservation area.

Walking through the jungle was magic - there were so many incredible trees that just took your breath away, fresh fruit hanging off the branches and the sound of birds everywhere. Prince Charles also took us to a cave, however with my claustrophobia I did not go very far into.

Reaching the end of our walk we came to a clearing, turned a corner and was presented with this incredible, magnificent waterfall. It was simply aww inspiring! At the bottom of the falls is a natural pool you can swim in, I very quickly found myself there. There is something magical about water - it hydrates, cleans, purifies, calms, and invigorates you. You can swim in it, soak in it and float on it and maybe it's the fact that I hadn't been completely covered in water since leaving Australia but being submerged in the water was beyond words. Standing directly under the falls, blocks the World out, you have no choice but to listen to the thunder of the water gushing over you. Floating on the water you look up at moss covered rock, where hundreds of birds and bats fly over you - you see nothing but the water, the sky, the rock and the green. Floating on your back you completely forget the World around you, you forget all the heart breaking children you work with, you forget the grabbing and pulling and you just be.

After spending a decent amount of time at the falls and getting lost in our own Worlds we rounded up Prince Charles and started our walk back, over bridges, through the jungle and back to the entrance of the falls. At the entrance, we caught a taxi with 6 other people back to the Tro-Tro station and started our nine hour journey back to Kasoa - which thankfully was far less uneventful as we avoided Circle at all costs.


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