Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Kpalime Adventures...

This past Saturday (12th June) a group of some of my closest friends went up to Kpalime for the weekend. It was especially special as Ali's parents, Al and Fi, staying onboard as guests, were able to come and experience some of life far from the Mercy Ship. We left the ship early (for a weekend) and travelled in a minibus taxi the three-hours to Le Geyser Hotel just outside of Kpalime.

In the afternoon, after we'd settled in, we caught zimis (motorbike taxis) and drove to the top of the mountain range to catch the view. From here one could look right across the border into Ghana - and the view was simply stunning. But as the storm clouds were gathering, we decided that it would be wise to head back down to the hotel. The road we drove was the same road that I cycled back in April - and where I met the tarmac at speed. But this was a distant memory as I enjoyed the scenery as we sped through the tropical forests and lush vegetation.

The rest of Saturday we spent browsing in town at the market, before coming back to the hotel to catch the England-USA game in the evening. Even a power failure during the match did little to dampen our spirits as we enjoyed each other's company. It just added to the atmosphere of the weekend. After the game (that ended 1-1) we swam and relaxed in the hotel's lovely pool. It was what could only be described as a perfect day. Wonderful friends and memorable experiences together are always a recipe for a good time.

Sunday dawned with the prospect of more adventure on everyone's mind. And so it was that we caught zimis and a taxi to a place deep in the mountains where you can hike to a picturesque waterfall, Cascade D'Agbatoe. We passed little goats tethered by a village, and were shown the bountiful crops growing freely on the slopes of the hills and valleys in this area, including cassava, maize, coffee, pineapple, and many more. At the waterfall we swam and sat in awe of the powerful beauty of God's creation. A cascading waterfall is certainly an awe-inspiring sight.

But soon it was time to head back to the hotel and from there make our way back to Lome. Although this trip provided even more adventure. Initially there were ten of us yovos (white people) along with the driver and his 'wingman' (who is there to lend support to the driver should he need it - such as opening doors and collecting taxi fare) in the minibus taxi. But our number soon swelled to twenty as we picked up passengers along the route - making for a rather squashed ride. It was a truly African experience.

By suppertime we were safely back onboard our home, the Africa Mercy. This weekend ranks up there as one of my best weekends here on Mercy Ships - and I am so thankful for the amazing friends that God has blessed me with here. Here's to many more times of fun and fellowship in God's creation!

Some of the photos here thanks to Big Al and Ali - and check out Ali's blog for more on this weekend.

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