Thursday, August 12, 2010

How not to climb Mt Afadjato in 2 hours

Ok, so thought I could simply just walk up 850 ms in 45 minutes as both the guide and guidebook said. Guess again! Started off quite well enough. Took a half day from work and went with a group of friends to the Volta Region for the weekend with the sole purpose of climbing Ghana's highest mountain - Mt Afadjato. The reviews in the guidebook and online didn't make it seem that bad, and considering I have been spending the last five weeks working out three times a week I had to be good to go. Right? Wrong!

There were several warning signs that I ignored :
  1. the snickers of disbelief in the office and from my friends (note to self there are no longer categorised as friends) - and this was even before the trip! They know the extent of my athleticism.
  2. the old man in the village who expressed some concern about AC. (a friend of mine) and I. His exact words were ' oh, well the young people will make it, but as for you two...'
  3. the state of the people coming down the mountain - we kept wondering why did everyone look so dirty and simply exhausted.
The walk started well enough as it is quite flat from the point you start at in the village. Then the actual climb started! Parts that I didn't know I had began to protest. Panting was beginning to replace normal breathing. Bad signs. Hoping to get some encouragement from the people returning from the top we kept asking ' so how was it?'. Responses varied from barely audible grunts, suggestions of turning back, to keep going - its just a bit further.

Half an hour into the climb I was really beginning to think that Ghanaians have a problem with telling distance and time. It was not 'just a bit further' and it certainly was not ' just up the hill'. Finally my friend AC and I sat down and told the others in our group to proceed without us. Enough was enough! These two ladies were going no further. Reputations be dammed! Two hours later (forget the 45 mins! it's a lie) the last person in our group made it to the top! From the stories we heard this was not without struggling, crawling and virtually giving up.

Anyway, to cut a long story short (as we would say in Jamaica), AC and I finally made it down after we managed to commander a guide who was on his way back to the village, ordered him to bring up two icy cold Star beers (that was for the reviving part) after which we slowly descended then went back to wait for the rest of the group.

So alas, alas, what can I say? I did get half way - yes glass half full and all of that - I am convinced I will attempt this again in another 6 months - in the mean time back to the gym, and attempting to climb smaller hills first.

5 comments:

posekyere said...

Oh no. Denise!
Are you telling us that you just gave up?

Tetekai said...

At least you tried. Maybe next time you will finish it.

Denise said...

Posekyere - prefer not to think that I gave up, but rather have postponed to another time. I will climb it before the end of the year!

Denise said...

Thanks Tetekai - I plan to! Thanks for the vote of confidence.

posekyere said...

Oh yeah sure!
Talk your way to the top of Mt Afadjato all you can, my dear. That is so awesome!