Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cape Coast

Today we headed to Cape Coast; first to the Kakum National Park (rainforest) and then to the Cape Coast Castle. Kakum National Park lies about 45 minutes NE of Cape Coast. While we didn’t see any animals, it does contain Pygmy elephants, leopards, over 500 species of butterflies and many more. The tour starts at the base and we hiked about 30 minutes up. The canopy walk is at the top of the hike and consists of 7 suspended ropes bridges secured to massive trees. While walking across the bridge, you are suspended about 30 meters above the forest floor. It probably is not a good idea to walk it if you are scared of heights, like one of the hikers was on the bridge. She literally screamed over all seven bridges. There are resting platforms between all the bridges, which are all secured on the trees. The views were truly amazing from that height. After the hike down, we were heading to Elmina.
Elmina lies right on the Atlantic Ocean, so the view was amazing with a lot of fishing canoes are all over the beach. We took a tour of the castle which was a slave trading post starting in the 1500s. One could still view the jail cells in the castle where the slaves were housed. The castle had stunning views of all the fishing fleet below and one could see some being carved or ready to be painted. There were hundreds of colorful canoes, having a look of a gondola and canoe combined, and men were unloading fishing nets with fish they had just caught. It was quite a sight to see. After viewing the castle, we were heading back to the hotel, about a 2 hour drive. Tomorrow we will be working at an outreach clinic in Ashanti.

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