Everyone who knows me is well aware that I have never been a very ‘beachy’ person, beaches with their sand and water and gorgeous girls in bikini have always left me quite cold – I’m just not into laying on the beach tanning all day. That was until I found myself living on a natural bamboo village right on the beach at Cape Coast, and it was then when I realised how stressed out I had actually been in Accra.
We set out towards Cape Coast with Asha (Alaska/Canada), Ina (Norway) and Steph (Canada) on Thursday after our classes and made it there in darkness around 8pm. The trotro ride from Accra to Cape Coast was actually nice, we got into an A/C Ford trotro which felt as if I was back in Europe. Except for the plantain chips and juicy mangoes we ate….
Asha and I stayed at Natural Bamboo Village, and I would be lying if I said that this place was anything short of perfect. The owner and host Kobi is such an amazing free spirit and made us amazing vegan food all the time. The bamboo village (a couple of bamboo shacks and the beds plus a second floor balcony/terrace) was built by him and his friends and I believe he said it took around 6 months. I honestly loved it so much. The place make you go back to the simple pleasures of life and I completely de-stressed at Cape Coast. In fact, I fell in love with the place so much that when others left on Sunday, then I decided to stay until Monday. That’s how amazing it was.
Cape Coast itself has a very sad history, as just next to this amazing beach and bamboo village you can see the eerie Cape Coast castle hauntingly looking down on you. We went on a guided tour there on Saturday and all I can say is humanity fucked up. That’s it. The evil and indifference towards human life that came out of the stories that we heard was simply saddening. The whole castle was built for the sole purpose of storing captured Africans before they were put on slave ships and sent to the Caribbean or Brazil or some other place, to live their life in slavery.
So after a walk in the museum and after actually reading so much more about the slave trade, the castle started looking even worse than it has. There’s also ‘the door of no return’ there, which is the door where captives walked out of when the left the castle to board a ship, to never come back to their land ever again. As someone who’s been quite far away from this part of the history it made me realise how little we actually learn about this
at school in Estonia for example. Besides the very general ‘slavery was bad, Africans were taken from their homes and put on ships’ then I don’t really recall learning anything more and deeply about this. The most shocking part for me was the utter disregard for human life and basic needs. And standing so close to it all here really makes me want to know and learn more about this side of history.
We spent most of our evenings at Cape Coast hanging out and talking. A couple of beers, some dancing, bonfire, ocean – it was amazing. What really made me enjoy myself and let go was the fact that my internet connection was utter shit in Cape Coast. Honestly, Vodafone are you even trying? … but at the same time it meant that I couldn’t check my phone at alll times, so I didn’t even know what was happening in the world. And it was nice.
On Sunday early morning we decided to go to Kakum national park (some 1h drive from Cape) which was insanely beautiful. We were supposed to get there at 5:30 but because we’re in Africa we got there around 6am instead. But still, our tour took us for a jungle walk, and even though we didn’t see any animals it was amazing. I’ve never been to a jungle and just walking around and looking around it was amazing. So many beautiful trees and so many beautiful green colours. We also met the oldest tree in Central Region in Ghana, over 500 years old!!! And so tall, and proud. Imagine if this tree could talk! And then our tour went on to the canopy walkway. And wow! WOW! Seeing the sun rise while you’re walking some 20-40m above the jungle, simply WOW! I will upload a couple of videos from this walk to my youtube and share these here a little later too. Because I can not express in words how amazing it was. I’m sure every single one of you would’ve loved it.
Now I am still me and that means that bad luck sometimes follows me around, especially when we talk about my ankles. And this means that 15-20m before our tour ended, I slipped on the last stair and sprained my ankle. A little badly as it was hurting like a mofo, but I have amazing friends here who halfway carried me to the taxi, and Kobi (the owner of the Babmoo place) got turned into Dr. Kobi who put ice on it and helped me with any single thing I needed to do for the rest of that day. I mean talking about getting back to Cape from Kakum – it didn’t go as smoothly as we would’ve liked. At one point we got pulled over by the police, and as it turned out then our taxi driver’s licence had expired. However, the other taxi driver we had, didn’t have his licence with him at all, so when the police let us drive away then the other part of our group had to take a trotro onwards, and our driver went and picked them up from somewhere then. Honestly Ghana, how even?
For the rest of my time at cape coast I just hanged out on a bamboo balcony, read a little, talked about the universe, and was not looking forward to coming back to Accra. And as soon as I got back, I was already stressed out and also managed to fall ill. But memories of the beach, sunrise at 6am, the crazy ocean, and Kobi’s amazing vegan cooking have kept me going. I’ll be heading back to Cape Coast in April I believe, if not earlier than that.