Mt. Afadjato - The Roof of Ghana
In the chapter on Mampong I had written that I had probably never sweated so much in my life before on this day of chief enstoolment. For many years this may have remained valid – until the ascent of Mt. Afadjato. I cannot say that I was not warned. A photographer, whose work I greatly appreciate, reported in his travelogue to Ghana about the conquering of the mountain and how incredibly finished he had done that, that he was on the summit on the verge of collapse. I may have ridiculed him a little, a lack of getting used to the Ghanaian climate, a lack of fitness – something may not have been right. Where does this arrogance come from? Probably because of the deceptive effect of numbers. Mt. Afadjato is the highest mountain in Ghana, at 885 metres. This makes it only a few metres higher than the highest peak in Thuringia and significantly smaller than the Brocken. If you have been travelling in the high mountains many times, it was almost just a little bit of a hill. But arrogance comes, as we all know, before the fall – or in this particular situation before Ascension.
Due to a road closure, we do not start our tour as originally planned, but from the village of Liati Wote. There, as usual, we register in the visitor's book and we are joined by two young companions, who on the one hand show us the way and on the other hand carry our luggage and especially the drone. As it turns out later, it's an outstanding idea, because I'm not sure we would have gotten the thing alive on the summit. The first part of the trail is very comfortable and leads on good paths through the forest and offers the opportunity for one or the other nature photo. In a good mood and joyful courage, we also go up the first meters on the slope of the mountain, until the first signs of exhaustion show up quite quickly. The need for water increases and the legs quickly become much more tired. The combination of Ghanaian climate and the steep ascent pays tribute. But it can't be that bad. Surely a few more meters, then you are already up. In fact, signs were put up for the ascent, which are always intended to point out the current progress and to encourage with their inscription. When we reach the first sign, which indicates that we have already made 1/4 of the ascent, I am no longer sure that things are more of a mockery instead of encouraging. At some point in the tour, the rest periods become almost longer than those of climbing. The only thing that makes me think is that our guides also have to make obvious efforts – so at least the somewhat reassuring feeling remains that it is not only due to the miserable fitness state.
Countless drops of sweat that fell to the ground later, we finally reached the summit of Mt. Afadjato, where a simple wooden sign indicates this achievement. But the view from up here is fantastic and after a short moment of breathand and the consideration of never climbing a mountain again, the fascination for the overwhelming landscape that now lies at our feet – this wide view over the green mountains of the Voltaregion and the small scattered villages that show up again and again between the forest sections. According to the rigours of the ascent, we enjoy the time up here and take full advantage of the moment before we set off for the descent again.
And what is the reward for the efforts of the ascent of Mt. Afadjato? For the descent we are surprised with a decent downpour. Actually this fits perfectly to the surrounding rainforest and maybe I could have enjoyed it a bit, but of course we were not prepared for such a situation and besides us also the equipment gets really wet – fortunately the technology comes just like we do without any damage from it. So it remains a tour that definitely stays in the memory positively and the pleasant feeling of having a done.