Wednesday, February 16, 2005

On To Accra

I finally got to do some enjoyable tourist stuff. First it was the Cape Coast Fort, which wasn't incredible as far as forts go, but, once again, for West Africa... Actually, to stand there and realize that it was first built in 1650 and was the British headquarters for the region until 1872, and all the slaves that were processed. Mostly, though, there just isn't that much history here to hold on to.

Then I rented a taxi to drive me 25 miles to the National Park, realizing while I did so that car and driver is the way to go around here. I then bought a ticket for the rope canopy tour.

For once Africa looked like Ramar of the Jungle land, replete with hanging vines. And then there were the swaying ropeways right out of an Indiana Jones movie. They said that they hadn't lost a customer yet, and there's netting between your waist and the walkway, but as soon as I stepped out on the first one I didn't believe them one bit.

After all, I've got a pretty good sense of balance and I don't scare easily, but: When you take your hands off the rail, stand sideways, and try to take a picture, you feel like you're going to pitch right over the edge, and any appreciation of the ecosystem 100 feet below you is easily overwhelmed by sheer terror.

All in all, I don't think the wife would have liked it.

Anyhow, today it was into Accra. If Ouagadougou was West Africa's first semblance of a real city, it could still easily fit into Accra's hip pocket. Not only that, but much of the city is not insanely chaotic. Some of the bank offices, etc., are crisply airconditioned. All in all a nice place to be.