Friday, March 22, 2013

Jungle Fun - Kakum National Park

March 15, Cape Coast/ Kakum National Park

Today was a new day and we enjoyed some lighthearted fun. We went for a jungle hike - both on ground and in the air. We walked through the lush forest and our tour guide expertly pointed out the various trees and their traditional uses. The ingenuity on the traditional forest people is incredible. The fact that one tree can cloth you, heal you, and shelter you is so cool. Other uses were primitive telephones (hitting on hollow bark with rocks), tooth brushes, mosquito repellant, fashion canoes, shoe glue, and make your stomach "flat" after pregnancy!! There were hundreds of students at the park and we were celebrities for the afternoon. One group was guessing our ages as we walked by, most of us were 14 except for Rose who was 15 (for those who don't know, Rose is 6 feet talk). We got tons of high fives, photos, and a few marriage proposals - Robyn was quite the hit with the Ghanaian teachers. We made it safely over the canopy rope bridges. They ranged from 18-40 metres above the ground although the forest is so dense we could never see the ground. All the views were impressive but one in particular stands out as we saw an endless expanse of tree tops. We were sad to learn though that this conservation area is one of the few remaining "old forests" with much of the forests in Ghana having been logged or clear cut for agriculture use or poaching. The weather was cooler than the previous day and we were treated to an African rain storm on the drive home (accompanied by some Toto). We are missing rainy season here but caught a brief glimpse as red rivers formed on either side of the road.

Back at our hotel we took advantage of the main attraction - the crocodiles!! We took turns getting our pictures with one and thankfully all walked away fully limbed and full of giggles and adrenaline. A few of us took a dip in the pool but got mobbed by various school groups coming to see the crocs.

As we write this we are out to dinner at a beautiful beachside restaurant. We are enjoying the ocean breeze and the waves one last time before we head inland (most of us have wet bums from playing in the surf). At the end of dinner we got to enjoy an amazing performance by a young man and a little boy. They did a mix of cultural dancing, acrobatics, and fire tricks. The show had cameos by a few beautiful girls in our group - Tori got to help with some of the fire show, Lisa showed off her jump roping skills, and Megan got called up for some pictures at the end. We're heading home soon to pack and have a quick rest before getting up at 330 to catch our next bus to Kumasi. Bye for now!

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