Ghana Day 4

June 3rd, 2012 by becky

We awoke before breakfast started, so we decided to walk around the resort and take a few pictures.

The resort had a swimming pool that would have been really nice when it was new. It was definitely showing signs of disrepair as many of the tiles in the mosaic and along the steps were missing. The pool was thoroughly cleaned in the morning, but all the missing tiles made it look dirty. We have found that pools don’t get much use. We initially thought a dip in the pool might be refreshing, but with the consistent 30 degree weather, the pool is too warm to be refreshing. Unfortunately, they would need to invest in a lot of ice to make it cool enough for a swim.

For breakfast, we enjoyed sitting on the patio looking out onto the lake. One challenge they have with it getting dark so early (6 pm, before supper is ready), is that various insects are attracted to the lanterns. This one was sitting by our breakfast table – not exactly appetizing.

Our destination for the day was the butterfly sanctuary, which involved a lot of driving. Before we left town though, we stopped in at the Cedi bead making factory. Here they handmake beads out of recycled glass. In the picture above, the owner of the factory demonstrates how the different types of beads are made.

This type of bead is made by first marking the basic shape in a mold by melting small pieces of glass. Then paint is made by pounding down the glass into a fine powder, adding dye, and water to make a paste. Someone then paints the pattern onto each bead individually. Once the beads are painted, they go back into the kiln for a final firing to set the paint.

The kiln itself is made out of clay from termite mounds. The termites do a really good job of mixing up the clay into an equal consistancy and their saliva makes the kiln clay more heat resistant. In the picture you see many molds read to make round beads.

After the bead factory, we had hoped to visit a fair-trade cocoa farm (one of Ghana’s largest export products). Unfortunately, it was Sunday and the farm was closed. This meant the long drive to our final destination was not broken up with any stops.

At one point, Fofo pulled over quickly. The Land Rover had blown a fuse. He pulled out the toolkit, made a few repairs to the wiring and after about 15-minutes we were back on the road.

Dinner at the butterfly sanctuary consisted of – you guessed it – groundnut soup and chicken. Again, it was delicious and completely different from the other varients we had tried. Dinner also included semi-cold (they called it cold but it was verging on warm) Star beer (cheap Ghanian beer that is actually pretty tasty) and bottled water.

The guidebook listed our room as a “fan” room – and indeed our room came with floor fans (our favourite type). But what the guidebook didn’t mention was that the guest house was not on the grid. They only had electricity when they ran the generator from 6-9pm. Again, we were grateful for our headlamps! Unfortunately the lack of fan meant it was a warm night. The room, however, was by far the largest we stayed in, and it was both clean and cheap.

At this point Becky had an ah-ha moment. She realized that if she thought of travelling through Ghana as “camping” with the mosquito nets as the tent rather than vacationing or travelling, then her expectations for accommodations would be more inline with reality. It is only too bad that this didn’t occur to her sooner like when she was packing for the trip, as it would have likely changed how she packed – and made for a more pleasant experience. It certainly did help for the remaining week.

 

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