Thursday, February 9, 2012
TRAVELOGUES OF THE FORMER GOLD COAST (DAY 6:DEC 21,2011)
Once again, in a bid to ensure I get to all the places I'd marked down for visit in Kumasi, Randy, my landlady's son (ah yes, I now know his name, had to ask him when I saw no way around it!)came to my rescue, taking the time to take me to the right bus-station and the right section of it since the bus-park in Kejetia is a very big one. We end up traveling part of the distance together and he even checked on me later by phone. I think the highlight of my visit to Ghana so far, is my meeting this extremely nice family.
I get to Lake Botsumtwi and wonder for the millionth time since arriving Ghana what exactly the job of the members of the Ghana Tourism Board is. I realise of course that I am only assuming here that one exists, I haven't actually checked that one does exist and I feel it's a good guess since Ghana is one of the destinations of choice for vacations in Africa. As it happens, as I wonder around the Lake and bring out my camera in readiness for picture-taking, a man who identify himself as the head of the community approached me and offered to take me round the lake. We didn't walk for long though before we were forced to turn back because of a number of guys who were having their baths on the lake.
My guide (the community head) told me the story of the lake and how some white men helped them to quieten their fears of the possibility that the lake might have been formed from volcanic substances which may prove dangerous to the inhabitants of the community. He told me the lake was formed from meteorite over a million years ago. No river flows into it nor does it flow into any river. The only contact it has with other kind of water is the rain. The water of the lake is quite fresh and I notice some little fish at the bottom.
The clean bottom of the lake
When we got back to where we started our tour of the lake, I notice a boat discharging some passengers and when I ask about a possible boat ride, I am told the boat takes 15 people who share the cost. At this time, I was the only one around interested in the boat ride. A little later though, I was joined by a Ghanaian couple but the price was a little steep still.
The Ghanaian lovebirds I met at Lake Botsumtwi
Eventually, four other people joined us and the money became a bit more shareable. This is my second boat ride ever! While the first one at Bojo beach lasted just about five minutes if that, this takes much longer as it meant to take us round the lake while someone tells us about how the lake was discovered. The man repeated much of the story that had been told to me by the community head. I noticed an interersting pattern in the forty days taboo story in Ghana because the community head told me every fortieth day that fall on a sunday is taboo day on which they do not fish on the lake.
The canoe used in fishing by the fishermen in the lake are raft-like and I was told the biggest fish that can be caught in the lake is not much biggger than the palm of a grown man.
Canoes used for fishing on the Lake Botsumtwi
A fishermen casting his net on the Lake
Boat cruise on the Lake
Beautiful scenery at Lake Botsumtwi
Before going on the boat cruise round the lake, I had met Sarpong who worked with a company which was at that time conducting some sort of tests on the lake. Sarpong invited me over to the boat of the company and he expressed a desire to show me round the Volta region if he had the opportunity on learning that the Volta region was my next stop after Kumasi.
Having never been on a boat before the one that took me to the beach itself at the Bojo beach, and not knowing how to swim (what?!!), I wasn's sure whether or not I would be afraid on the boat cruise around the lake, to my pleasant surprise however, it was as if I had been going on boat cruises all my life! So much so that I sat on the edge of the boat for much of the 20-25 minutes cruise on the lake.
Sitting on the edge of the boat on the cruise
After leaving the lake I head back to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital where my landlady works to join her on the way home. I really would have loved to stop by at the Fortune Fashion City in the Adum Business District to compare prices of clothes there but looking at the time and not wanting to miss the chance of going home with my landlady, I decide to postpone the window shopping to my next visit to Kumasi.
I met up with my landlady just as she was heading to her car. She however, very kindly exercised patience for me to visit the Komfo Anokye (pronounced Komfo Anoche)museum which houses the famous Komfo Anokye sword. The sword was set to have been put on the ground many decades ago and huge efforts made to remove it have proved futile. It is even said that the Asanti kingdom will end the day the sword is removed successfully from the ground.
The statue of Komfo Anokye outside the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi
Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital
Komfo Anokye Museum
The Komfo Anokye sword
Inside the Komfo Anokye Museum
My Hostess/Landlady on learning that I was yet to visit the Ghana Armed Forces Museum yet again very kindly offered to take me there and she waited very patiently while I went on a tour of the museum.
Ghana Armed Forces Museum
Historic pieces inside the Ghana Armed Forces Museum
A dungeon in the museum
I just can't help thinking and thanking God for the blessing of meeting this very wonderful family in Kumasi. The beautiful time and their going out of their ways to make my stay as pleasant as possible gave me a sort of reluctance to leave them. But leave Kumasi (and them) I must, if I want to get to all the places I had pencilled down for visit while in Ghan. My reluctance to leave is also compounded by the fact that very much unlike me, I didn't plan ahead on where I would stay in the Volta region. Although Sarpong gave me a number of a lady who wouldhelp me get a place to stay in Sogakope but I am still unsure.