A Venture into the Volta Region

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September 5th 2006
Published: September 6th 2006
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Lake Volta at SunsetLake Volta at SunsetLake Volta at Sunset

From our little room in Amedzofe
September 1: After a week of lectures and scambling to switch classes, organize paper work, and pick up my school ID (I was turned back the first time because of a power outage) I decided to treat myself to another adventure to the interior of Ghana. This time, Patrick, Andrew, and I selected the Volta Region, known for its large rainforests, the enchanting culture of the Ewe people, and the magnificent Lake Volta.

From Tudu station in downtown Accra, we traveled by STC (the state owned, aging fleet of coaches that are at least more comfortable than travel by tro-tro) to Kpandu, picking the lakeside village seemingly at random. After oozing through Accra's congested arteries at a snail's pace during rush hour, we were unleashed into the Ghanaian countryside at dusk, where our inexperienced driver soon became lost. After much berating by his angered passengers, he ostensibly happened into our destination at the approach of midnight. Tired from our journey, we arranged housing with a local woman after a fast search yielded no other formal accommodation.

September 2: In the morning we ventured to the lake at Kpandu-Tokor with its colorful market, which was marvelous. After passing through the myriad stalls where women were busy selling everything from fried fish to buttons and shoes, we took time to walk along the shore of Lake Volta and watch fishermen glide peacefully past.

We later elected to scale nearby Mt. Gemi for a glimpse of the region's waterfalls. Roughly two hours later, the taxi we had chartered crawled into the village of Amedzofe. We gave the driver a small dash for driving us up to the village, which was only accessible via a narrow, winding, and rutted dirt road. The people in the village were incredibly hospitable, and as we passed through the unpaved streets, they greeted us with warm smiles and a gentle curiosity. We literally climbed our way down to the falls, which were about 45 minutes from the village, and immediately Patrick and Andrew shed their clothes and dove into the water. I took a more timid approach, taking my time finding the best places to photograph the falls and shielding my camera from the mist of the cascading waters. Quite an experience.

Returning to Amezofe, a local man permitted us to make camp at a secluded rest house on the mountain, from which we could view the forested expanses of the Volta Region, and beyond it, the lake, which looked as though it was made of gold as the sun dipped below the western horizon. We fell asleep to the distant din of talking drums, and in the morning, awoke to find the valley shrouded in a thick mist. To our dismay, our skin was also pocked with the small red bites of bed bugs. We trekked down the side of the mountain, which was amazing: alone in the rainforest, surrounded by thousands of species of plant life, strange bugs, colorful butterflies, and blooming flowers. The air was alive with the sound of birds and insects, and as the cool wind chilled the sweat on our faces, the trees fanned the smell of cooking fish rising from the small villages nearby.

After a quick lunch in the village of Fume, we caught a tro-tro back to Accra. The ride was exhilarating (as tro-tro rides often are, I suppose) because of the pouring rain and poor visibility on the roads. We returned alive and unharmed, nevertheless, and I am hoping to return to the region again next weekend to explore the mysterious region further.

Take care all.

Additional photos below
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6th September 2006

What an excursion!
Sounds so awesome. Can't wait to see those photos, especially the golden lake. What a wonderful opportunity! Hope the bedbug bites don't bother you too long--
6th September 2006

bedbug treatment
Went to WebMD and it said that you identify bedbug bites by 3 bites in a row or bites that usually are around the head and neck. It said flea bites are usually on the legs. Treat with camphor, menthol or corticosteroids. Hope you can avoid these bad bugs in the future-- Peace and love, Brenda
18th October 2010

The vivid descriptive power behind your narration is highly commendable. With your screenplay mental imageries you have succeeded in taking us on a thrilling trip of adventure into the Volta Region without being there in person. More power to your elbows.

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