Saturday, July 29, 2017

Ghana 2017 - Day 22. Outing to the Volta Region

I am a couple days behind in my blog on account of a trip we made to the Volta region (Ghana’s easternmost state). We started at an unbelievably late 8 am, because we started by traveling north from Accra, and thus away from the traffic jams. We then turned northeast, flanking the eastern edge of the Akwapim-Togo range, which as the name implies roughly follows the border between Ghana and Togo. It is very pretty country, with extensive mango plantations and a pervasive coastal feeling.

Eventually we reached the estuary of the Volta River, just downstream of the Akosombo Dam. We got down of the bust to cross on foot the Adomi Bridge, a two-hinged steel arch bridge with a deck suspended by cables, which gave us some very pretty views of the Lower Volta River. This is also a great place to taste Ghanaian “tamales” (very much like the tamales de dulce we have in Mexico, wrapped in banana leaves), “boquerones” (tiny fish that are sold deep fried and are normally eaten with the tamales because the poor folk here have not yet discovered the many advantages of tortillas), and brochettes of land snails grilled with small Habanero peppers. They taste pretty good, although a bit chewy.

Farther to the northeast we reached the city of Ho, capital of the Volta Region, and finally reached our hotel high in a ridge of the Akwapim-Togo range. From the terrace of the hotel we had a beautiful view of the city, and of the delta plain of the Volta River to the south. After a tasty lunch at the hotel we moved farther north to reach the Tafi Monkey Sanctuary, which is home to the Mona and Patas monkey species. These monkeys do not only live in the nearby forest but have also made the Tafi village their home and the people have accepted them as a part of their lifestyle. The little town of Tafi is a very typical African town, but has taken positive steps to become an ecotourism town, with home stays, jungle walks, and of course banana feeding to the monkeys. The idea is to hold a banana in your hand, just as if you were going to eat it, to encourage a monkey to jump on your arm and help itself to small pieces of fruit. Unfortunately some of the monkeys have learned that it is easier to knock down the banana from the hand of a skiddish tourist, so pretty soon there were pieces of fruit flying all over the place.

Baby monkeys are particularly adorable, as they cling for dear life to mama’s belly as she jumps from tree to tree.

Tomorrow promises to be a tough day, so we were happy to retire to our very comfortable rooms at the hotel.

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