Posts Tagged ‘Kakum’

Today I tried a few new things: ate some passion fruit, sucked on some cocoa beans straight from the large husk (you don’t eat the bean itself, just the sweet coating it’s in), a new type of nut  that I can’t remember the name of and touched a crocodile.

After walking the canopy bridge at Kakum National Park again (why not?) with my Irish and English friends, I wanted to stop at a hotel on the way back that had a restaurant overlooking a lake with crocodiles. I didn’t realize you could get your picture taken with one and again figured, ‘why not?’

That is, until I got within 20 feet of it! One of the female employees guided me toward it and ensured me that it wouldn’t bite me. The way it’s body was turned, though, I kept having visions of it whipping its head around and taking my arm off. So, I took a break and then tried again after Douglas did it.

It wasn’t much, just a finger, but his eyes were on me and his buddy was making his way up the banks so I figured I should call it quits.

Even though I was the one who said I wanted to touch the crocodile, she literally had to drag me at first!

As close as I got on my first attempt.

I touched him! Even though my finger is not actually proving it in this picture, it happened a second later.


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A matter of perspective

I haven’t felt very fearful while I’ve been here, and any time I have it’s mostly been attributed to driving. Which is why I shouldn’t be surprised that my scariest experience yet took place this evening in a taxi.

I guess I thought that the suspended walkways in the canopy of Kakum rainforest would terrify me most. But, no! Those weren’t too bad once you started moving and got over the fact that it felt similar to walking the plank (or so I’ve heard).

The canopy walkway at Kakum National Park.

The guide had asked us beforehand if anyone was afraid of heights. I didn’t raise my hand, even though I am. It seems to be situational for me, though, and depends greatly on how safe I feel. He assured us that ‘the only way anyone would fall is if they jumped.’ There was no way I was going to do that.

I just had to keep moving forward!

The trees surrounding us were never forested and, therefore, very tall.

So, once I got over the wobbling of the bridge it was very worth it. The view was beautiful, even though the animals seemed to be hiding from the very obvious tourist trap.

It also wasn’t too terrifying when, on our way back from Kakum, the tro-tro got a flat tire. I was confused as to why we were still driving, then realized the mate was hanging out of the window watching for the tire to completely deflate. Of course. I figured he had it under control, and sure enough he changed the tire in no time.

The mate changed the tire in about 15 minutes.

Taking pictures of the scenery while waiting in the rain.

But back to my taxi driver. I never got his name so I’ll just call him Ted. He said he’d take me for 10 cedis, which was a fair price, so I got in. Well after I closed the door he said, ‘you’re a rich white lady…give me 12 cedis.’ I laughed and told him I was a student and not rich and left it at that.

Well Ted was an interesting driver and aggressive honker. I’ve gotten used to people randomly speeding as fast as they can for a short stretch and switching lanes constantly.

Ted decided we were above that, though, and just got into the opposite lane to pass a long line of cars that were waiting for the light to change. He then got angry when no one would let him in. (Really? You’re surprised?) Another taxi finally did, though, and we waited in traffic some more.

Today was pretty hot, so I wasn’t surprised when he pulled out his handkerchief to wipe off some sweat. I was surprised when he first put the handkerchief inside his shirt to wipe out both armpits and then wiped his face. If you’re going to do that, at least switch up the order.

His disdain for congested traffic continued, but at times he just laughed at it deeply or spoke to himself. At one point he got out of the car, engine running, and it took me a second to realize he was peeing on the side of the road. The next time it happened, I understood. It’s common to see men peeing on the side of the road, I just didn’t realize it also happened while waiting for traffic. And, of course, Ted got angry that people passed his idling car while he was peeing.

Lots of honking, hard braking and random muttering later we made it close to home and I decided I would walk the last stretch of the way. And, I did end up paying him 12 cedis because traffic was bad. Then again, so was the ride. I’m just thankful that I have yet to experience worse.

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