Saturday, 1 December 2012

Cabbages and cannabis


Yasao
Walking in the hills around Accra is an opportunity to get some fresh air, enjoy some exercise, maybe see a bit of nature. And of course a chance to get high.

Having battled with the ants to climb two of the four hills around Nsawam, a large group of Ghana Mountaineers returned to see what the other two were like. The Kevin-made route led us steeply uphill through farms, thick undergrowth, a short and slippery rock climb … and right into a clearing full of small cannabis plants.

Climbing
Anyone familiar with the ‘The Beach’ will understand our sense of unease. Discovering secret cannabis farms in the tropics is not always a good thing…would armed guards burst out of the bushes and gun us down? Fortunately this is Ghana, not Thailand, and the only farmer nearby simply smiled, waved and pointed us in the right direction to get down.

Breakfast
As the temperature began to reach its ludicrous midday pinnacle, we were grateful for the relative simplicity of the second climb of the day - Bomofore.* We soon reached its breezy summit. No illegal activity here, just a convenient rocky perch for breakfast, with impressive views of the three other tops. Yasao, the first peak we climbed in the area; Mamidi, with its ferocious ants; and the rasta’s favourite Botosure just to the west.

The fire tree
Below, a clear path led back through farms to where our cars were parked. After walking past a striking, bright-red fire tree, then navigating the edge of a quarry, we headed along the track, thankful for the shade provided by the trees.

Cabbages
On the way, Lucy, Alice and Vivienne greeted a farmer and were rewarded with some organically grown cabbages. It was a typically generous Ghanaian gesture; a poor villager only too pleased to share his produce with strangers (who insisted on paying). 

As no one had thought to be so friendly to the cannabis farmer, we had to make do with beer instead, and quickly made our way to Nsawam in search of a spot to quench our thirst.

 
* This is what I think they were called when I asked a man in the village. Severe heatstroke may have affected my memory.

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