Living on Stilts

I decided it was time for a weekend away.

Well actually, Angela, a jhr trainer from Accra, came to stay with me during the week. She wanted to do a freelance story on the oil impact. Since she is originally from Pinawa/Winnipeg, we had some fun times. Pretty much, I would laugh like I do in Canada. Lots of fun.

Her and two friends, another jhr trainer Atkilt and his roommate Listowel were traveling west for the weekend. So, Raquel and I decided to join them on their journey.

Before traveling there, Angela wanted to do some interviews in Shama with local fisherman for her story. While there, our Fishman contact invited us onto his boat for a ride.

I love this picture.

Children organizing the fishing net

Snap Snap Picture

Canoe ride with the fisherman

View of Shama from the sandbar

Another view of Shama

Then, we started on our journey down the coast.

We first went to Axim, a town that is about an hour and a half tro-tro ride from Takoradi. We ended up staying at the Axim Beach Resort, which was pretty beautiful. After some ‘slight discussion’ about the room price, we decided to stay [and then, of course, sneak the boys in].

View from the resort

Villa at the Axim Beach Resort (we were in the 'rooms' tho)

That night, we went to the beach bar and drank (well at least I did) some local brew. This was also the night where the ocean ate my shoe. And no matter how many people make fun of me, I will always say it that way and it was a traumatic experience.

I was just standing in the ocean and the tide was strong. I looked down and the ocean’s current had swept off my left shoe from my foot. Now, these are special shoes aka my travel flip-flops. They have been with me for over 7 years and have traveled to many continents and touched many beaches. So, to say the least, I was sad. So distressed that I decided to through the other shoe in, you know, to join its brother. The ocean didn’t like that shoe tho. So, I am still stuck with a right shoe that will now forever be on the Axim Beach Resort.

I also made the staff promise that if they found it in the morning, they would keep it for me. Perhaps a little dramatic but hey, sometimes little things matter. Like travel flip-flops. The next day I went to the Axim market and bought new flip-flops (which are called slippers in Ghana) for about $1.

The ocean in the town of Axim

Kids who followed us around

The next day, we had a semi-beach day. The tide was so high and swimming in the ocean was definitely a challenge. But a fun one. From there, well after a visit to our favourite Axim resturaunt ‘friends’, we started our journey to Beyin and the stilt village.

Houses in Stilt Village

We were originally going to stay over in Beyin and just visit the stilt village, but after some disagreements with some unfriendly guest house hosts, we decided to stay in the village of Nzuluzu, aka the stilt village.

Nzuluzu, which literally means ‘on the water’ in the local language, is a village built on the water and held up on stilts. It is completely remote and only accessible by canoe through the Amansuri River.

The dock to the canoes

The swamp-like waters to Stilt Village

Heading through the 'jungle'

Jungle Madness

The changing sky as we get closer to stilt village

Almost at stilt village at dusk

I wanted to stay overnight there the entire time. So I am glad that the guesthouse man was so rude, made it easier to convince the others that staying in the village would be awesome. Which it was amazing.

Living on stilts

Another house

Stilt Village's main 'street'

My feet on the town's main "street"

A side 'road'

Guest house/bar

Guest house (also where we swam in the lake)

That night, we were invited to go on a ‘crocodile watching’ trip. I really never cared about seeing a crocodile but just wanted the adventure.

So in the middle of the night, we packed onto the canoes (with some other tourists – a Ukraine/Canadian and his French girlfriend – who met at McGill – and now she is studying Ghanaian bush-meat hunting).

I never saw any crocodiles but that doesn’t matter. It was the most peaceful experience I have ever experienced. The stars were so bright and reflecting off the still lake. All you could see were the stars and all your could hear was the insects and the paddling of the canoe.

From there, we went to the town bar, where they were having a ‘community meeting’. Apparently a young girl was pregnant and they were discussing how much the boy’s family should pay her in compensation for interrupting her education. Seriously.

After that, we decided to play drinking games with the local tour guide and akpeteshie, which is gin made in the village made from the sap of palm trees. It is very strong and smells like cheap tequila and turpentine. I have never played a funnier game of Socialables.

Then we stumbled over the flood-sunken logs to our guest-house.

Amount of water outside our door

Angela & My bed for the night

The next morning, after a peaceful and refreshing swim in the lake, interviews & a meal with the chief’s son, we made our way back to Beyin.

Sharing a meal before we leave

Silt Beach in Beyin

You don't see this in Manitoba every day...

From there was made our way back to Axim where the others were staying for an extra night as Raquel and I made our way back to Takoradi.

We did stop at the Fort in Axim for two minutes before our tro filled up to make our way to Tadi.

My new favourite tree?

The fort, behind a local football game

Overall, I think I will do another getaway next weekend.

2 thoughts on “Living on Stilts

  1. And I love the trees as well, are they Sycamore Trees? They plant their roots way down and spread out everywhere! I am going to try and grow one in our yard even though we don’t have the proper climate… oh well, it’s worth a try!

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