29 October 2011

Canopy Tour.

We took another crazy bus ("tro-tro") ride, but luckily our destination was not very far (less than 20 miles). The tro-tro dropped us off a short walk from Kakum National Park, where they have a "Canopy Walk". It was absolutely amazing. Here's a couple links: Wikipedia and a Ghana tourism site.

Our tour guide talked about the jungle and some of the issues of maintaining the ecosystem. We were told to be quiet in respect for the animals, and we were told not to shake the trees, as poisonous snakes might drop out. Then we walked uphill quite a ways to a platform. Stretching out from the platform was a wood plank walkway suspended by ropes. The walkway dipped and rose to the next platform. The guide told us to take off and enjoy ourselves, and we did! From the gently rocking walkway, we looked down a long, long way to the top of the jungle canopy. (It's about 130 feet at the highest point.) We heard a lot of birds, and a couple women in front of us were lucky enough to glimpse some monkeys. We spent a long time up there on the walkways, sometimes hiding from rain bursts on the platforms from which the walkways were suspended.

During one such rain burst, we talked for awhile to a local couple. The woman was a pharmacist, university-schooled in the UK, and seemed so smart and sure of herself. There is hope for some people in Ghana, hope to get out of the poverty and hand-to-mouth lifestyle that a lot of the population experiences. Public education in Ghana is highly touted, and we saw lots of young girls dressed in school uniforms on the streets of Cape Coast.

We finally left the canopy and walked back downhill to the park headquarters. By this time it was raining, yup, raining in the rain forest. Nothing soft and gentle about those rain drops, no, they were big and fat and they beat down with a vengeance, they beat down so hard it felt like the beat of a thousand drums. We ran for the cover of the bar (yes, there was a bar right there, at the headquarters of the National Park). It was crowded because it happened to be a Ghana holiday, and everyone else was trying to get out of the rain too. But we endured the crowds because there was Star beer and fresh local popcorn, so we were happy.

Finally the rain let up enough so that we could walk the quarter mile back to the tro-tro station. The station was a few big tables with stuff for sale set under an awning, and some little kids were pretty much running the place. The kids were cute, and they talked us into buying some palm wine. Palm wine is the local brew, and I'll blog later about how it's made. The stuff the kids sold us tasted soapy to me. Soon a bus came by, and we went back to our Oasis hut for another pleasant evening.

John on the canopy walk. Note the sweat!

John on the canopy walk.

"Isn't this amazing! And a little scary!"

That's my girl. Isn't she gorgeous? I don't know why I didn't take a lot more photos of her smiling face.

The canopy walkway.

More of the walkway.

Patty and John on the walkway.

Patty and John. This photo shows how tall and pretty the trees are.

Patty and John.

A good view of the trees and one of the platforms.

Another good view of the trees and one of the platforms.

A silhouette of Tammy and the young Ghanan woman we talked to while trapped by a downpour.

Next post: Onward to the Green Turtle.


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