The lights at Church Crescent, our little commune, shut off the night before our 5:30 a.m. excursion to Cape Coast/Elmina. Unable to pack or shower without power, we all huddled into the house across the courtyard and watched the British TV Series Misfits on a peer's battery-reserved laptop. When the power finally returned a few hours after midnight, I procrastinated by wallowing on the internet with my best friend and boyfriend. About an hour before our bus' departure, I finally packed: 3 bathing suits, 2 outfits, Neosporin, extra cedis and peanut/groundnut butter (Green Turtle Lodge has altered all future packing lists).
We arrived at Coconut Grove around 9 a.m. and were immediately welcomed by a giant, buffet-style brunch. The omelets were fantastic, and the resort was beautiful. The bungalows had individual bathrooms and showers, and we had access to a glistening pool that overlooked an empty beach, decorated with sea shells and coconut trees. This tropical paradise is definitely honeymoon status.
This vacation high was quickly sobered, however, by our following destination, the Elmina slave castle. Its white walls towered over the surrounding colorful boats in the city canals and the crashing ocean. The tour guide exuded a contagious solemnness, and the air itself--the residing, moldy stench in the dungeons--literally weighed down the atmosphere. The castle felt alive in a way I've never experienced at a historical site. I felt the death in the walls, the smells and the darkness. The emotional gravity would spike at seemingly random moments like a sudden kick in the back. But the top of the castle may have been the most disturbing for the view of the ocean was unarguably beautiful. These conflicting aesthetics created a ball of unease in the pit of my stomach.
Mood dampened and mouths silenced, we left the castle to travel to the must cheerier, rainforest canopy walk. We climbed up stairs to the tops of the trees and proceeded to walk across seven rope bridges, dangling over the dino-bird and crocodile infused rainforest.
Our canopy walk adventure was incredibly fun. We returned to Coconut Grove rejuvenated and ready to dive into the resort pool. Minus some stalking hang ups (Green Turtle Lodge found us), we spent the rest our of trip relaxing and recovering in our isolated, beach get-away before returning to Accra Sunday evening.