Vacation to region number 4-the Volta region!

Vacation to region number 4-the Volta region!


          Last week I visited region number 4 of Ghana—the Volta Region.  The trip provided a much needed break from the craziness of papers, projects, and group assignments.  (I was meeting with my group last Friday and had already spent much too long at the meeting.  I finally stood up and said, “Sorry guys, but I’m heading out of town today…I have to go.”)  On a bright Friday morning, I was itching to get out off campus!  Here’s a look at my adventures this past weekend.

     The Volta Region has captivated me for a few years now.  I originally wanted to do a service project with a non-profit in the region, not realizing just how far away it was from Legon.  So when I finally had the opportunity to travel there, I was very excited.  I had read in my travel book about Wli Falls, the tallest waterfall in West Africa.  Not wanting to treck or swim in the waterfall alone, I called on a friend and together we made the four hour trip—by bus—to Hohoe.
          The trip to the Volta Region was an adventure in itself.  My friend, Selasy had warned me that the road to Hohoe is in sore need of repair.  But of course I had to experience it for myself.  After about an hour of calm travel, the roller coaster ride began.  We must have hit a million potholes, and I don’t think that’ s an exaggeration.  We, along with the other 12 or so passengers were rolling around with our luggage like rag dolls.  There were moments when I was suspended in air from the jolt of a wheel caught in a pothole.  It was a bit annoying at the time, but looking back, it was kind of fun.  At one point we sat in a traffic que while we waited to be taken by Ferry to the other side of the city where we were traveling.  As soon as the bus came to a complete stop, squawkers raced to our bus to sell us food.  I had never seen squawkers so anxious to sell there wares.  My friend explained that selling snacks, loaves of bread, and other goods were these people’s main, if not only, means of income.  They had everything from lobsters to candy to meat pies to plastic bags filled with tiny fish that resembled sardines.  
          When we first stopped a passenger told me we would be there for about twenty minutes, so we took the opportunity to stretch our legs.  Little did we know we would be sitting in the que for two hours!  Although it was a long wait, it was a lot of fun.  I was in a city where I had never been, eating Abolo, completely submerged in the culture.  Riding on a dusty old bus, being stuck in a que, waiting for the ferry to take us to the other side while listening to the loud thud of African music at a nearby bar on a hot African night really made me feel like one of the locals!

Squawkers anxious to sell their wares (October, 31, 2014)

Lots of traffic on the way to Hohoe, October 31, 2014
My first time eating Abolo, A wheat-based snack made of flour, sugar, and probably a few other things, October 31, 2014

The Abolo was quite tasty, October 31, 2014

Waiting in the que to be taken by the ferry, October 31, 2014
Still waiting in the que.  Beautiful scenery, October 31, 2014
          One of the passengers got out to take a look around and never made it back to the bus.  We later discovered that he had walked so far away that he had forgotten which bus he was traveling in.  He found his ticket in his pocket and called the driver.  The driver explained that we had already left the que and he would have to meet him in Hohoe the next day to pick up his suitcase.  How unfortunate! 
          When we finally arrived in Hohoe, got a bite to eat, and made it to the hotel, I was more than happy to take a shower and go to bed.  As soon as I had laid down, I was fast asleep.  Because we had arrived late at night, I hadn’t been able to see much of the hotel.  The next morning, I awoke to serene quiet.  As I looked out the window, I saw a well manicured courtyard with green grass, colorful flowers, and a plush sitting area.  I couldn’t wait to get dressed and get something to eat.  For breakfast, I had a very large, crepe-style pancake.  Selasy had an egg salad sandwich.  Paired with two big cups of coffee, by the time I finished, I was well satisfied.  

Glad when we made it!  November 1, 2014
Lovely courtyard area, November 1, 2014
I’ve always appreciated a well manicured lawn, November 1, 2014
One of the guest rooms, November 1, 2014

Crepe-stype pancake.  It’s no IHOP, but it wasn’t bad…Oh, how I miss IHOP!! November 1, 2014

Egg salad sandwich, November 1, 2014
After breakfast we put on our swimsuits and headed straight for Wli Falls.  The tourist center was an easy 10 minute walk from the hotel.  The walk itself was special because Wli Falls is tucked away behind a community, therefore, we got a chance to interact with the local people.  Folks stared at us as we walked by (I’m sure with my camera it was obvious that we were tourists).  They shouted good morning to us as we made our way to the visitor’s center.  Our tour guide, Matthew, asked if we wanted to take the calm 45 minute walk, the hiker’s journey, or the 5+ hour trek.  I quickly said, “45 minutes, please.”  As we made our way through the foliage I was in awe of the absolute beauty before us.  Butterflies literally lined our path.  Bananas, cocoa plants, and pineapple plants were everywhere.  The sun was bright in the sky, but because of all the trees, the walk to the Falls was easy, comfortable, and enjoyable.  We crossed over seven bridges.  Matthew was very patient as I stopped every few feet to take a photo of an intricate spider web or a parasitic tree.  

Cute little house made by the locals.  Impressive how they use natural resources to survive, November 1, 2014

Visitor’s center, November 1, 2014
Path to Wli Falls!  November 1, 2014
A banana plant. the hanging object produces some sort of flower.  I never knew, November 1, 2014
Lovely spider’s web, November 1, 2014

A cocoa plant.  Too bad it wasn’t ripe, November 1, 2014
Beautiful pineapple plant, November 1, 2014

Selsasy and I posing beside the pineapple plant, November 1, 2014
One of the seven bridges we crossed to get to the Falls, November 1, 2014 
A parasitic tree.  Matthew explained that the parasite will eventually wrap all the way around the tree and suck all the nutrients out of it, causing it to die.  Then there will be a big whole in the middle of the parasite.  Sad, but fascinating, November 1, 2014
Lovely puddle crossing on the way to the Falls.  Yes, that’s my foot!  November 1, 2014

In “The Bush,” can’t remember what we were laughing about, November 1, 2014
Selasy trying to touch the sky, November 1, 2014
I was terribly excited when we made it to the Falls.  I couldn’t wait to jump into the rushing water and swim!  Visiting the Falls was one of the goals I had set for myself for my time in Africa.  It always feels good when your goals become a reality.  The rushing water was extremely cold!  One girl had gone almost completely under the water.  All that could be seen was her head.  I wanted to do the same, but Selasy objected—I think he was afraid I might not come back!  The tour guide got some great pictures of us.  I was surprised at his skill with the camera.  He had clearly done this before!

Wli Falls, November 1, 2014
Fun!  November 1, 2014
Posing for the camera, November 1, 2014

          The mist and sound of the rushing water off of the Falls was so relaxing, I wished we could have stayed longer.  It took us about an hour to get there, but it seemed to take less time to get back.  On our way going and coming, we encountered what appeared to be foreign exchange students.  Everyone was nice and just happy to be a part of nature, if only for a few hours.  As we were about to leave, a man stopped us and gave the tour guide a bag of apples I had left on the bench.  I was so glad he returned them to us because Selasy and I were very hungry!

Posing for the camera, November 1, 2014
On a dirt road in Africa, November 1, 2014
Here I am one more time, with a new hairdo, thanks to the Falls, November 1, 2014
          Once we arrived back to the visitor’s center, I was able to get some beautiful beads as a keepsake and a couple of postcards for my mom.  We said goodbye to Matthew and made our way back to the hotel.  That night, we stumbled across a woman who was grilling beautiful tilapia.  When I tasted it, I was very glad that she had listened to Selasy and didn’t put any “Pepa” (pepper) on it. Because she didn’t, I was able to really enjoy it since my tolerance for spice is 0!  We were both tired from a long day, so we didn’t stay out very long.  I had every intention of going dancing that night in Hohoe, but I didn’t realize how exhausted I actually was!
Back at the gift and crafts shops.  Why am I the only one smiling?  November 1, 2014

Beautiful tree in the community.  Selasy explained that the fruit act as gourds.  When they fall off the tree, the juice inside dries up.  Then people cut them in half and use them for bowls, saucers, or whatever else they need.  Very clever!  November 1, 2014

Tasty!  November 1, 2014
YES!  November 1, 2014
          The next morning, we had some breakfast at the hotel, grabbed some snacks from street side vendors, and began to make our way home.  Because we traveled during the day this time, I was able to get a good look at the landscape.  The Volta Region is a lovely, green, place.  As soon as we crossed over to the region when we had first arrived, I could tell a difference in the air; it was very clean thanks to all of the foliage.  

Ferry crossing on the road back home, November 2, 2014

I was terribly happy for the much needed break and vacation to the Volta region.  Now I’ve been to four regions and have six to go!  I can’t wait to see where my journey will lead next.  But for now, I’ll keep my head in the books, as there’s only about a month of classes left, revision week, and then exams!  Next week, I’ll share my experience giving my third Rotary presentation the Rotary club of Accra-East!

2 thoughts on “Vacation to region number 4-the Volta region!

  1. Hi Bruntler,you are really doing a fantastic tour.I believe you brought me some of the food from Volta Region.I was present at the meeting of Rotary Club of Accra-East,listening attentively to your presentation.
    Indeed,Rotary is good.There is no other thing more rewardintg than serving your society….Service Above Self

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