A fascinating structure purported to be the oldest in Ghana, the famous mud mosque of Larabanga dates back to the 14th century. As it was right along our path to the Mole National Park, we couldn't avoid paying a visit. But although the mosque itself was incredible, this was one of the most irritating experiences we had in Ghana.
After having conquered our fears at the Crocodile Pond in Paga, we felt like a more soothing experience, so wandered over to the nearby chief's palace, which has been set up as a touristic primer to the housing style of the Kassena people, a tribe of about 160,000 people, found along the border between Ghana and Burkina Faso. We were met at the gate by a guide who brought us into the labyrinthine complex.
After hopping out of the trotro, we stopped for a lunch of Tuo Zaafi at a roadside stand, and then asked the 14-year-old girl who had served us about the location of Wulugu's famous house. Rather than simply point out the way, she grabbed her brother and the two of them led us there directly. They also hunted down the son of the local imam, who was in charge of tours. In Accra, we had been impressed by the friendliness of the people, and were discovering that this hospitality is no different in the north.
We were excited to learn that Ghana's National Museum was located just minutes away from our house. But our actual visit turned out to be a disappointment. The museum was under renovation, and apparently has been for years. The tour guides said that it would be re-opening in grand fashion later this year, perhaps even July. But that's a ridiculously optimistic prediction at best, and most likely a lie. This place looks closed for good.
Accra might live and breathe in neighborhoods like Adabraka and Osu, but its monumental heart is at Black Star Gate. We were standing in the shadow of this gate when, just meters away, an accident occurred that will play a starring role in our nightmares for years to come.