I’ll start off by saying that Ghana has definitely been an amazing port in our voyage thus far. Of the four days that we were there, I traveled to the city of Accra for the beautiful markets, visited rural villages in the countryside, and saw the Slave Castles located on the coast. Out of these three things I listed, I am going to discuss the rural villages in the countryside for this post because boy do I have a story!
The third day in Ghana began with two SAS girls coming up to my friends and I at breakfast asking if we wanted to rent a bus with them for $5 each to go see monkeys and a waterfall…we didn’t really have any plans for the day, so we agreed to go with them.
We left the ship around 9:30am and walked throughout Tema trying to find the area where the vans are parked in order to rent one. On the way, we ran into the Prime Meridian, which was located next to a Presbyterian Church. We stropped there for a bit and two hours later from our initial leaving time, drenched in sweat, we finally found the vans! We were able to negotiate a price with the driver and we quickly loaded into the van on our way to see monkeys and waterfalls. Some tour guides told us that the ride would just be about 45 minutes…however, that was not the case. Instead, we arrived 3.5 hours later at a monkey sanctuary and immediately were greeted by sheets of rainfall. The village people were so nice that they let us into their huts until the rain stopped! We went out into the forest of Ghana to find monkeys when another sheet of rain came down, apparently, when it rains, the monkeys are less inclined to make an appearance. Needless to say, we stumbled across four of them, fed them bananas, got a few photos, and went on our way, running through sheets of rain the entire time. Funny what a group of Americans will do just to see some monkeys! After we were soaking wet from the rainfall, which we endured, we drove another hour in a typical Ghana van to get to a waterfall.
Apparently, getting to the waterfall required hiking up a mountain. We arrived around 5:45pm at the bottom of the mountain and needed to get up there…In Ghana, the sun sets at 6:00pm…needless to say…it quickly became pitch black. I was completely fine with turning back and forgetting the waterfall, but the people in my group were literally running up this mountain at dark…so I followed them up the rocks, over the bridges, and through the trees. We somehow made it up to that waterfall and it was a pretty cool sight…but it was dark so we could really only see the outlining of it and hear how powerful it was. After about five minutes of staring at it, I rounded up the troops to go back down the mountain and head for the van…lets just say that I had NO idea what we were in for…
As our group headed down, it began to pour sheets of rain on us yet again. Imagine this: Pitch black, rocky, slippery, raging waters on each side, and rain falling horribly accompanied with huge lightning bolts and 10 lost folk and you’ve got the situation.
The group got separated at it became only four of us together in the mountains. We couldn’t figure out how to get out when all the sudden, a small, barefoot man with a large lantern came out of nowhere and told us that it was his duty to save us and demanded that we follow him. I seemed to be the only hesitant one in the group, as I was not sure about the good will of the man. However, following him was one of the many leaps of faith that I have jumped while being in Ghana. In my mind, this man could have been very good or very bad, but with no real other option, I just prayed to God that he was a very good man and indeed he was. The small man with the big lantern lead us over bridges, under trees, over rocks, through river streams, and out of the storm (literally and figuratively). All I can say is thank God for that little man. He came out of nowhere in the midst of my fear and came to the rescue.
We didn’t arrive back at the ship until 1am and I hadn’t eaten all day! The funny thing is, the only time I noticed I was hungry was on the ride back to the ship. I suppose when you’re in survival mode your brain forgets about the fact that you are starving!
After that third day in Ghana, I can definitely say that we had quite the adventure and some leaps of faith that kept us going!