Always in the deep woods when you leave familiar ground and step off alone into a new place there will be, along with the feelings of curiosity and excitement, a little nagging of dread. It is an ancient fear of the unknown and is your first bond with the wilderness you are going into. What you are doing is exploring. -- Wendell Berry

The TRIP: GUINEA - wonkifong --> MALI - bamako, djenne, douentza, Dogon Country --> Burkina Faso - ouagadougou, bobo-dioulasso, bala, ouagadougou --> GHANA - tamale, mole national park, tamale, yeji, volta lake ferry, akosombo, accra, green turtle lodge, elmina, cape coast, accra, hohoe and wli falls --> TOGO - kpalime, atakpame, lome --> BENIN - cotonu (transport stop) --> NIGER - niamey, tahoua, agadez, camel trek in aiir mtns, niamey --> BENIN (abomey, grand popo, ouidah, ganvie, cotonou) --> CAMEROON (douala, buea, top of Mt Cameroon, limbe, sangelima, yaounde, kribi, douala) --> MAURITANIA (nouakchott, atar, chinguetti, camels into the sahara, terjit, choume, ride the coal train, nouadhibou) --> MOROCCO (western sahara, dakhla, agadir, essaouira, marrakesh, imlil, summit of jebel toubkal, fes, chefchaouen) --> cross the Strait of Gibraltar --> Malaga, Spain --> fly to Geneva, Switzerland --> Les Grangettes, France
Click for a map. Updated April 30, 2007

vendredi, avril 20, 2007

Hiking Ghana’s Highest Mountain (April 3, 2007)

Mt. Afadjato is located east of Volta Lake near the Togolese border. To get here, Patrick and I boarded a tro-tro (minibus) in Hohoe, Ghana that would supposedly take us to the base of the mountain. The drive out included beautiful scenery in Ghana’s lush Volta region on a mixture of paved and dirt roads. Soon, we came to a junction that had a sign pointing to the area where the mountain is located, 7 km away. The tro-tro stopped and the driver tells us that he will be continuing in the other direction. Our hike would be a little longer today…

Arriving at the base of Mt. Afadjato, we registered and were given the obligatory guide for the hike up. The trail was steep and in minutes I was sweating in the heavy, humid air. Nearing the top, the guide turns around for the “well, here we are” announcement and I expected to end on a towering peak with gusts of cool, refreshing air.

The sun was baking on the top and the air was barely moving. Some nice views were available but haze prevented me from seeing Volta Lake.

“I though this was the highest peak,” Patrick said to the guide. “What’s that peak there?” he continued, pointing to a nearby and much taller point.

“That is Advadu Peak,” the guide replied, “and it is the tallest point in Ghana but not considered a mountain. The peak is part of a ridge so it does not count.”

“What about over there?” Patrick asked again, pointing to a set of taller peaks.

“Those are in Togo.”