Adulka Mountain near Ho

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Written by:Zoe on: June 22, 2013

I woke up at 5.45am yesterday morning and climbed a mountain – Adaklu mountain – before breakfast. I felt pretty buff afterwards – and exhilarated.

Adaklu mountain is approximately 12 Km outside of Ho in the Volta region – I took a taxi – it sounds like a weird thing to do I know but that was the advice given. The tro-tro’s can take up-to an hour and half to make that journey along the dirt roads and there is no reliable transport back if you tro-tro it. A taxi will wait for you to climb the mountain and bring you back – if you pay them of course. I paid 40GHC (approx £12) for the journey there and back and I also paid the extra 5GHC (ridiculously cheap) for Jonah my driver to join the climb – I could see he really wanted to do and waiting in a taxi for 2 hours is a pretty rubbish way to spend anyone’s time.

Adaklu village was pretty deserted when we arrived – there isn’t very much there and so it’s serenely quiet. We got to the ‘Hiking Office’ in less than 30 mins – the doors were swung open in a welcoming embrace, typical of Ghana, so eagerly bounced in. The office was an empty room with a red clay floor – no desk, no chairs, no information about anything at all except an old school exercise book was tossed on the floor with a biro on string attached: the visitor’s book.

We wandered around the back and soon we were greeted with “Woezo” Ewe for ‘you are welcome’  (everyone we met or indeed didn’t meet but just strolled by or were on the opposite side of the road to – hailed us with this. Very friendly for such a sleepy small village) “Agbe” I replied – Ewe for Thank you.

This was Simon who was to be our guide up the mountain – after greeting us he went to find the chief of the village – Togbe Agbi – whose blessing you’re supposed to receive before making the climb – but he was no where to be seen. Simon, pronounced the German way like Zimon, said he had to get changed. I wondered what the outfit of a mountain whisperer would look like. He returned with a different football T-shirt on, same flip-flops and shorts but a cutlass in hand.

We set off on the trek and I was very excited to be led with a man with a cutlass. The lower part of the mountain was awash with healthy tall vegetation and long grass on a manageable slope upwards. I was feeling confident that this wasn’t going to be too bad at all. Within ten minutes Simon was skipping up the stone half-steps that began to form the path upwards. He’s pretty nimble I thought and kept pace. Another ten minutes later a babbling brook was forming at my hairline and streaming down my face. Simon it transpires makes this journey about three times every day – not with tourists but for vital supplies of food. The village below is a red dustland with a few straw huts sparsely placed among each other. There is no vegetation in the village itself and so Simon and other villagers have farms on the mountain. Yes, on the mountain. His brother has farm about mid-way up (that’s about 300m above sea level) and he can skip in out carrying a large bowl of corn maize and plantain on his head in 42 minutes – I guess the village folk have competitions to time eachother as he was very precise on this point, there isn’t a great deal to there otherwise.

As you get deeper and very quickly higher the climb become almost vertical and nimble Simon was in something of a hurry it seemed. The vegetation became darker and taller and trees thicker and fruit stranger. We caught a glimpse of a monkey swinging by but no other large mammals crossed our paths. We passed a bat cave, many large snails, about 30 different types and colour of butterflies, giant millipedes and all this was very pleasing. We had a few water breaks that lasted no longer than about 60 seconds and each stop was conveniently timed at a decent look out point so was an opportunity to take in the stunning views below while catching your breath. Jonah the taxi-driver I could see was beginning to regret joining the climb after three-quarters of the way up – asking in Ewe at every opportunity “how much further?” with rivulets of sweat streaming down his face.

We passed a plateau named ‘Agadome’ where people from the village regularly come and congregate when up the mountain near which Simon dug me out a toilet with cutlass. When we were near the summit a resting place had been built by the locals from bamboo,which was wildly overgrown – we trekked onwards and very soon reached our pinnacle after 55 mins climb. I’ve since read that this can be a 3-hour trek so I’m pretty impressed with our effort.

From the top you can see the winding red road out to Adome on your left, the village of Axlkpe or Helekpe in English below, from which we could hear the rumbles of a rousing early morning church service taking place and the town of Ho is to your right, high on a hill it seems. Below and before you is the lush land of Adaklu behind it’s village stretching out to the horizon. A bargain view for only 5GHC and a thrilling journey up.

The journey down was a lot speedier but also a lot more dangerous because of the steepness of the descent but we made light work of it and I got to meet the Chief’s dad at the bottom which was a bonus.

If you like walking and hiking you’ll love this.

Journey In

Bat Cave

Bat Cave

Adaklu mountain

Me and my guide Simon

 

Scary Ass Spider

Scary Ass Spider

Chill Out Spot

Chill Out Spot

View from the top

Simon and Jonah

Simon and Jonah

 

Adaklu mountain

Victory is mine! Fifty-five minutes trekking like a cheetah up the mountain and we made it.

THINGS YOU CAN’T EAT FROM THE JUNGLE FLOOR

 

Mysterious Fruit

Mysterious Fruit

Huge fungal mushrooms

Mysterious Fruit

Mysterious Fruit

THINGS YOU CAN

 

Akutu

Akutu – little orange fruit

Plantain

Plantain

Large Snail

Large Snail

 

Simon also gave us some maize from his brother’s farm situated half way up the mountain but I forgot to take a photo.

Some other mountain related stuff …

Akula Hiking Centre

Akula Hiking Centre

Me and the Chief's Dad

Tough lady farmer with cutlass

Tough lady farmer with cutlass

Tough lady farmer with cutlass

Tough lady farmer with cutlass

Cool kids from the village

Cool kids from the village