Friday, 28 September 2012

A Quiet Retreat

Last year, Jeny and I visited this remote and beautiful forest that teems with gorgeous butterflies amid huge and impressive trees. We vowed on a future trip to stay a night here. Electricity is supplied by generator and is limited to 3 hours each evening. Bedtime is 9pm, ready or not! When it is turned off, with a warning, the darkness is total. Needless to say, on a clear night the stars are incredible and so many that they almost appear to join together. The Guest House has a distinct Germanic feel to it, simplistic with plenty of floor tiles and opaque glass. Our hosts were very welcoming and our evening meal was delicious. In fact the breakfast was the best I have had in Ghana.

The silence and calm of Bobiri Forest, except for the inevitable singing of insects, encourages you to take in all the wonders of your environment. In the morning we were taken for a walk through the trees to discover species very unfamiliar to the three of us. This is virgin forest and when trees die they are left to rot and for the wildlife around to inhabit as they wish. There are a number of routes and we travelled a different one to our previous visit.

We were shown various trees with medicinal properties. One which cured madness! This required you to gather clear sap by cutting the bark in the early morning or late evening, when there were no shadows or the sap would run as blood. The sap should drip onto a raw egg underneath the tree. This concoction should be taken with a strong slug of Apoteche (very strong spirit) twice a day. There were cures for everything naturally produced in this small area of virgin forest. We didn’t feel the need to test any but our guide was in no doubt that they all worked!

The profusion of butterflies was even more impressive than last time due to the season and although they were just as difficult to photograph, the memories and snapshots with a naked eye were good enough for me. 

We loved this place and each felt we could come back for some weeks of solitude to    read, write, walk, watch and listen. Quite a retreat!

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