It took us about three hours to get to our hotel on Friday. The three hours seemed like ten hours because of the traffic and the bumpy, unpaved, dirt roads that a lot of the drive involved. I am very happy I didn't puke. I tried reading for a bit, but then wised up and just looked out of the front window. We stayed in a very nice hotel, and it was nice to have a change of scenery from our compound. We ate dinner together, and made our way to the hotel bar for a few drinks before getting our sleep for the night. Club Beer is becoming my favorite here, and we saw a truck on the ride over. I'm told that if you pass a beer truck, it will be a good weekend (it was).
In the morning, our first stop was the monkey sanctuary, which was so interesting, exciting and funny. There was a long story about the significance and story behind the monkey sanctuary, but there were monkeys everywhere so I wasn't really paying attention. Here's a little history based on what I got: hunters were settling an area and were going to hunt the monkeys that inhabited the area. A god/spirit appeared and told them that the monkeys were the sons of Gods sent down, and that they must coexist. Since then, the monkeys have never been touched, and are treated like humans. They are even given a proper burial when they are found dead.
The Mona monkeys came right up to us when we walked onto the trail. They knew we had bananas and they were taking them right from our hands! They were jumping from tree to tree, hanging, eating and coming right up to us. They had great hands too. A lot of us threw bananas up into trees where the monkeys would hold on with their tails and feet and catch the bananas. I think we all could have stayed all day long.
|There were also some cool trees. This is our whole group.|
|The monkeys were not shy at all. It took a few|
bananas before we could get the picture.
|This isn't photoshopped or anything...|
The Sacred Grove is a series of rock formations. While the explanation behind this was equally as cool as the monkey explanation, I was so overwhelmed by the vastness of everything I saw to fully pay attention. Here's what I got: It is believed that he greatest of earthly Akan gods lives in this grove. The area has been protected because of his presence. He commanded that the settlers leave the area and no hunting could take place in the grove. In addition to this one place, there are other amazing sandstone formations that surround the area. They served as lookout points during war, and let me tell you, I saw EVERYTHING.
We climbed. We climbed and climbed. Up rocks, down rocks, under rocks, over rocks. I don't climb, but I climbed. I felt feelings I have never felt in my life. I boosted myself on top of rocks and felt like I was on top of the world. This is one of the things I have experienced so far that I won't be able to explain fully or expect people to grasp. Standing on top of these massive rock formations with my friends and looking out over Ghana made me swell with happiness and wonder. Sometimes it felt like we were in The Lion King standing atop pride rock. AFRICA... what?! I'll let the pictures try to do some of the talking. We had an incredible weekend.
|The view was incredible.|
|This was after we climbed the first, and easiest rock.|
I thought that would be the farthest I got.
|The group heading up.|