My Stage is the World

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive

The Water is Wide… I Can’t Cross Over

on September 6, 2014

An even earlier start this morning, as I needed to wash my hair, but the lack of hot water meant I had to do it over the bath using soap and cold water. After my swim yesterday the soap actually made my hair feel dirtier. I also had a large scratch on my nose from the branch that whacked me in the face!

Mole National Park Motel
As my shorts were still wet from my hurried attempt to wash them, I had to wear my pyjama shorts for our walk – a great look. My Converse were pretty dirty, but I figured they were only going to get worse so back on they went.

I was right.

With Robert as our guide, we climbed down sandy slopes, over rocks through bushes and across mud. We saw baboons, warthogs and more springbok. Plus a rare creature that looked like a deer to me…

Pumbaa Warthog
After climbing into a hut to look for crocodiles we approached the water and Robert pretended to push me in. He was being very protective of me and kept pointing out animals for me to photograph.

At times we had to cross the river with nothing more than a fallen log as a bridge. Each time this got smaller and there were fewer branches to hold onto. In fact the last one was simply a branch Robert floated in the water that made very little difference. At least it cleaned our shoes from the mud!

It was definitely worth it though as we saw quite a few monkeys which made me very happy! We may have seen a crocodile, but personally I wasn’t convinced.

Back through even more mud, we climbed up a rocky cliff and took in the beautiful view of the park.

Dancing in the Street

After packing and getting changed, we headed over to breakfast and to say goodbye to the Dutch girls and meet the Americans who we were sharing a trotro with.

Apart from me cutting my toe open (sigh), it had been quite a pleasant morning and we met Ibrahim eager to see Larabanga.

It was a scorching day and the village was quiet. The huge mosque, dating back to the early 15th century, dominated one side of the village and is used by the village on Fridays and special occasions. Larabanga Mosque
Sadly we couldn’t go inside, but Ibrahim told us it was made from dung, wood, clay and honey. Naturally we had to give away some more Polaroids and even some of the few JK wanted for himself were lost to the villagers.

During our visit to the orphanage, the children held our hands and showed us some of the local dances. I almost signed up for volunteering there and then!

On the Road Again

Back on the bus, listening to Rihanna, we continued our drive to Tamale, which was fairly mundane until the driver ran over an animal, that “was just a dog.” Another sharp reminder that we were “not in Kansas anymore”.

At the airport we bumped into the German couple from the previous day’s safari. They’d got the bus at 3.30am and it had taken more than 4 hours to get to the airport. It had stopped in Larabanga, Damongo and all sorts of other places. We felt bad, because if we’d known they could’ve shared our trotro (saving them time and us money).

Saying goodbye to them and the American girls, we headed to the nearby Officers’ Mess for dinner – jollof rice and chicken. It was expensive and disappointing, but at least we knew we’d get a snack on the plane!

Smooth flight, but no Adolf to meet us so we braved a taxi to Shoprite (driver warned us about armed robbers) to get supplies and then a taxi back, for a dinner of super noodles and wine.

Despite the empty house, Frenchie and I decided to sleep in the twin room because the beds in the others hadn’t been changed. Unfortunately our shampoo, razors and body wash had vanished so the tepid shower was a bit of a letdown. Never mind – back to England and (hopefully) hot showers the next day!

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