Wednesday, October 26, 2016

16. Real Africa: Larabanga

February 12, 2007

The final stop of my little adventure was the town of Larabanga, 4 hours West of Tamale. This stop of my trip definitely had the most adventures, from the bus breaking down multiple times, the only inn in town without vacancy so I ended up sleeping on a mat in an extra room of new friend Kony's house, one of the travellers I met dislocating his sholder, me trying to learn how to drive a motorbike, etc...but these stories will best be told in person! So you'll have to wait. ;)

Anyway, all the villages along the way consist of mud and thatch huts, which to me looked like something from a book. Here is a typical village...

I came way out here to the middle of nowhere because I wanted to see Mole National Park. I was on a mission for elephants! (Here you go Sajid! And Heather, do these pants look familiar?) This is a picture overlooking just a small portion of this enormous park. Those "islands" in the pool of water in the background is a whole gang of elephants cooling off.

The first elephant we encountered wasn't so nice, he actually started to charge us! I guess that's why you're only allowed to walk through the park with an armed guide--he fired a warning shot and the elephant left us alone. Besides my encounter with some of the evil biting ants, this was quite a starling moment indeed!

Here is a better elephant shot for you! I saw a dozen or so, along with some antelope. Those are eyes of the nile crocodiles poking out of the water...
I also met baboons and warthogs!

Back in Larabanga I got to visit the oldest building in all Ghana, the famous Larabanga mosque. Many of the towns in Nothern Ghana were settled by folks from further North, so there's definitely more of a North African/ Arabic flavor here.

This is the town's mystic stone, where apparently the founder of the mosque threw a spear from to determine where to build the mosque. And the stone was mysteriously unable to be moved from this spot while the road was being built, so the road was diverted around it. There's even a caregiver of the stone. I just thought this was all entertaining, so here's a picture.

Here's a group of local women hanging out after the heat of the afternoon has passed...
Plus spontaneous soccer games!

Three pictures of me in one blog? I hope you're happy, Mom! :) This is one of the mud buildings with markings made by fingertips on the sides. The whole village was just so picturesque!

It took me a couple days to get back to Accra here where I am writing this blog, and I'm happy to have made it back in one piece! Considering I ran out of money for food the last few days and had to take the most uncomfortable tro-tros imaginable, I'm so glad to be off the road! I hope you enjoyed my little travel log within a travel log...

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