Ghana: Wote and Wli

Documentary, General comment, street photography

Well I apologise for the lateness of this post. The past few weeks have been very busy as everything on the ship packs up and closes down. Currently there are no patients, and the few remaining nurses are cleaning and securing everything in the hospital for the sail down to Durban, South Africa (for ship repairs) on the 16th.

I actually disembark the ship on the 14th and am staying with a few locals (day volunteer translators I met on my time on the Africa Mercy) in Lomé, Togo until the 7th of September. I’m going to photograph life around the city and hopefully construct a narrative of photos that gives an insight into the lives of the people here.

Meanwhile I’ve found a small window in my schedule to upload photos I took on a trip to the Wli falls in Ghana last month. There’ll be quite a few more posts in the next week or so.

From Lomé Anna and I got a bus 2 hours north to the town in Kpalimé where we then got Zimijeans (motorbikes) to the Ghanaian border. I’d barely got my camera out until this point – I took this photo on the Togolese side of the border next to the visa office.

This is Anna, who I travelled with to Ghana – both of us wanted to do a bit of hiking before we met up with friends at the village of Wli that evening so we went up early to climb the highest free-standing mountain in Togo, Mount Arafadjato (a measly 880m). We were under the impression it was the highest full stop, until we got to the top and realised the one next door was bigger – it just had a few others attached as well. The town behind Anna is Wote, where we left off from.

At the summit the few rocks were covered with graffiti from various trekkers and hikers.

This is our guide, Koffi, with a view looking into Togo behind him.

We descended the Arafadjato during sunset and wandered around a bit before getting some food in the back kitchen of a local restaurant…

This was the dinner we got in the kitchen – they only had one portion left so we shared it – but it tasted so good after the afternoons hike.

This is the view from where we ate – with the old lady who cooked our food as well as a view into the restaurant with a couple of French guys who’d ordered their food a bit earlier.

After dinner we decided to share a zimi to Wli where we were due to meet with our friends from the Africa Mercy. Naturally prices go soaring when giving a ride at night time, so Anna haggled the price while I took a few photos of our ride and the moon. The night ride to Wli was bumpy but pretty fun, lit up by the headlamp and occasionally moonlight.

The next morning we got up to wander through Wli to start the trek up the mountain and down to the falls.

A local hunter poses before heading out to catch some animals for the day.

After finding a guide; Alfonso, we embarked on our trek up the mountain.

One of the crops that is commonly farmed around Wli and much of Ghana is the cocoa bean. Here’s a small pile that a farmer temporarily left by the side of the trail to collect later on.

Anna, Joanna, Stephanus and Alfonso overlooking the vollage of Wli.

The route we took hadn’t been walked for a few weeks, so Alfonso brought along a machete to clear overgrown bush out the way.

The descent from the top down to the first waterfall was very steep and we had to scrape and squeeze past quite a lot of brush.

Approaching the first waterfall.

The upper Wli falls.

Other trekkers soon came to visit the upper falls after we arrived.

The upper falls at Wli.

Locals mess around in the lower falls at Wli.

FanMilk is the local western African ice refreshment. Advertising takes various forms across Africa – the most common of which seems to be painted straight onto peoples houses.

Behind these houses is the cove of mountains that is home to the Wli falls.

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2 thoughts on “Ghana: Wote and Wli

  1. Great pictures, as ever! How is 3428 doing? Empty now? I guess you are leaving soon, just as Johan.

    Daniel

    1. It’s not empty! Actually just had someone move in to the bunk above – there’s an English guy who’s moved next door who’s cool which is good. I’m disembarking on Saturday. two days before the ship leaves then staying with Raymond – one of the day volunteers to photograph for a charity that helps get children off the streets of Lome. Should be quite interesting… glad you like the pics.

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