The first time I went on a waterfall hike
Easter Monday: April 21, 2014.
I was set to go on vacation in May (back to America beeches!!) and my homologue really wanted me to take home awesome pics of Togo. He really wanted me to impress my parents with the beauty of our region, so he was like— Easter Monday, we’re gonna go to the loveliest waterfall in Togo.
It’s tradition in village for people to go see this waterfall during Easter Monday. I asked why, and he just said it was part of the fete/celebration.
So we’re all ready to go Monday afternoon (more like noon-ish), but before we leave, my homologue insists that we need some drank. It’s the way we celebrate here. I’m like okay, “yayy drank” I don’t mind. We get to the boutique and buy a box of boxed wine. At this point, I’m thinking this waterfall hike is gonna be serene and chill, and we’re gonna stroll a bit, get to the waterfall, and meet a bunch of people from village, then just drink and be merry picnic style. Sounds like blissss
We get on his moto off to the waterfall. The ride is about 14k out of the village going towards the Ghana border. Upon arrival, we meet up with my homologue’s friend (a stunning Togolese woman by the way) and they chat, and ask me "which waterfall do you wanna go see?" I say, "the prettiest one of course." There are 2 different spectacular waterfalls at this area, one is on the Ghana side (in Ghana) and the other one is on the Togo side (in Togo). They agree that the Togo one is the grandest, but the hike to get there is crayy.
I’m like, well, I’ve been in village for 8 months at this point and have yet to see a waterfall… “a crayy hike” isn’t going to discourage me. My homologue really supports going to the Ghana one but I’m like, wouldn’t I need my passport? Amusingly, he’s like “you’re black, you pass for Togolese, they’ll just let us through,” and as tantalizing as that sounded (illegally going to Ghana muahahahaha) I was like nahhh I wanna see the grand waterfall, the one’s that in Togo that requires the ridiculous hike. The up-side about him supporting the Ghana one was that with that one, you can moto straight to the fall. At this point in time, this meant nothing to me because once again, I WANTED TO SEE THE GRAND WATERFALL!
Once agreed, we embarked on our journey to the grand waterfall in Danyi-Yikpa! We tried buying some purewaters for the trip, but of course, none were available. We then tried getting bottled water (voltic or vitale) but then again, none were available (getting things in this country on a holiday can be a task sometimes).
Anyway, we start hiking and I’m in macho mode like I can do this. I walk 10k to the market every week, what’s a waterfall hike? Yeah, what’s a waterfall hike? We ascended for what I’d like to recall as an hour. 1 hour ascending steep rocky mountainous paths. I WANTED TO DIEEE but never accepted weakness en face my homologue. He’d be like "are you tired? do you wanna stop?" & I’d just be like, “no on y va.” At some point (like 3 some points) I did say, I’m gonna stop because I NEED take a breather. We got to the top and then the descent began. STEEP, rocky & slippery. It was then that I discovered I have a REAL fear (it was mental yo) of descending steep paths. I wanted to cry. But, we’d gotten to far, and my homologue offered his hand to help me start the descent. I INTERNALLY CRIED THE ENTIRE TIME.
can’t you just see the tired in my smile? — this is on the 1hr ascent
We finally descended right until we got to the waterfall and it was magnificent. We took some pictures—didn’t drink the wine because there was NO WAY I was climbing back up that descent on a tipsy state of mind (though now that I think about it, I wonder if it would’ve made me more courageous). In any case, had I drunk wine, I’m sure I would’ve vomited at some point.I did enjoy the waterfall scenery though. Got to run into some of my students among other people I know from village. It was fun. I was glad I took the hike and chose to see the Togo side. Oh yeah, also, during the descent, we were able to see the Ghana side waterfall and I was very glad with my decision to go Togo side (haha to go Togo). Not that the Ghana one didn’t look impressive from afar, the Togo one was just that much more impressive.
my homologue (see the waterfall? isn’t it magnificent?)
me, taking in the beauty of the waterfall. see the rainbow?
The hike back was so much easier. I guess because this time, the ascent wasn’t as long and the descent not as steep. We got back to village, had some fufu and finally shared the wine.
I got back to my house, it was almost dark (like around 18h 00) and just passed out on my couch—because of tiredness, not the wine. The next morning, my thighs were screaming, but oh it felt great!