Officially leaving Obuasi pulled at the heart. I'm 100% confident I'll be back in the near future, but it is sad to know there is a chance I may never see any of these wonderful people again. A place where God's love is so evident, Obuasi will never be far from my mind.
We left Coconut Grove Miners' Lodge around 8 AM to drive to Kakum National Park where we would be doing a rainforest canopy tour.
At this point it's a no brainier that not everything is going to go smoothly.
We are driving down roads for about an hour when we stop on the side of the road. We are off quickly again but driving much slower. And then we stop again. And soon again after that. And then the bus starts to smell awful like burning plastic.
Apparently the brakes were over heating and malfunctioning. We stopped again and smoke was not only puffing from the outside, but we could see it coming from the drivers seat on the inside of the bus.
Everyone was breathing through their shirts and blankets because the air was so stifling from the smoke. With about an hour and a half to go to the park, the breaks were fortunately fixed and the smoke began to subside.
We stopped for lunch at a gas station where we were served rice and chicken (of course) and it was a tad bit sketchy… But we ate.. Maybe to our demise but we ate it.
Finally after a terribly bumpy ride we made it to Kakum National Park. Kakum is a great park because it is not fenced, so the wildlife is free to move about, and it does not interfere with the environment whatsoever, leaving it completely natural and preserved, a rare but much needed rainforest preservation for our warming, threatened earth.
The tour was a short 15 minute hike to a fort up near the canopy that led to rope + wood bridges connected to platforms around massive trees through out the rainforest.
Let's just say that I literally felt like I was in Jurassic Park. The view from so high up to see the tops of all the trees was absolutely spectacular. Birds were flying above and around the canopy treetops as we walked the less than a foot wide swinging, hanging bridges consisting of a rope netting around ladders with planks of wood nailed together.
The adrenaline was amazing, and the drop off to trees below and the invisible ground was breathtaking. I kept waiting to see a taradactle flying between the trees, or a longnecks dinosaur to lift its head up with leaves in its mouth, looking curiously at us walking a few feet above its head.
Yes, I am a Jurassic Park fanatic (or Jurassic World I suppose is more appropriate now).
After much GoPro footage and pictures and staring off into the rainforest covered mountains and singing of the Jurassic Park theme song continuously, the canopy bridges ended and the hike down began.. With ire Jurassic park soundtrack generously provided by my best friend Syd and I. After we walked out we shopped in am the two gift store the park has and got some cool dove it's and gifts. Several if us also got icecream sandwiches with Ghanaian chocolate shells, which was different from American chocolate but still very good.
We drive back down the bumpy road but… Again… The bus had an issue. The air conditioning was not working. And it was awful.
The drive down was already car sickening enough, and adding zero air on top of that made the stomachs of all 22 people on the bus lurch continuously.
We finally pulled over so the driver could fix the issue, and there was a cute little boy, stick skinny wearing just a pair of yellow underwear dragging around some sort of basket. Lindsey, one of my teammates, and I approached him waving and finally got him to come over to us and take a picture with us.
Three more children lurked shyly behind the corner of the building we were stopped by and we finally coaxed then out to give us high fives and tell us their names.
Thankfully the air was fixed enough so that it blew out semi cold air, and we were in our way after saying goodbye to the kids.
Driving along, we suddenly saw the ocean. Everyone got so excited to see such beautiful beaches and we asked to stop, but were told our hotel for the night was by the water.
This hotel, though, was not just by the water. It was on a gorgeous beach with waves crashing up against the rocks as dusk approached. Some of us were at the water before we got keys to our rooms, and after putting my stuff up, I jumped in the warm, African Atlantic for the first time just as the sun was setting behind a hazy pink and grey sky.
Dinner was another mission at the beach front, hotel restaurant as the food took ages to be served and I had the worst grilled cheese of my life… Cheese and mayonnaise!? It's absolutely disgusting don't ever try it. Not to mention my stomach is churning a little bit extra tonight. Tomorrow we plan to wake up and see the sunrise, if the haze allows us to see it at all, as we enjoy our last night in beautiful Ghana.