With my weekend off 4 of my housemates and I traveled into the Western Region to visit Nzulezu, a stilt village near Beyin. At 6:30am we made our way to the tro-tro station to start the fisrt leg of our journey. Tro-Tros are the unofficial bus system in Ghana and are usually shabby vans that 12 people stuff into for longer trips through Ghana. Two long, hot tro-tro rides later the girls and I made it to the middle of nowhere town of Beyin. The driver took us to what is the welcome center for the tours to the stilt village, although there was only one small sign advertising the place. The stilt village is located on the edge of a large lake and was built almost 500 years ago. It is exactly what it sounds like: a village on stilts. The legend goes that the tribe who built the village over the lake was running from a war in Mali and they were being led by a spiritual snail to a place of safety. The snail stopped above that point in the lake and the tribe got to work building a sustainable village balanced above the water. It took us 45 minutes in a small canoe to get there, one of us paddling with the guide, the others bailing water from the bottom. Getting there was better than the village itself. The canal to the lake is manmade because access to the village became impossible in the dry season. The vegetation made the water black and really reflective, so as we went through small areas of jungle everything ahead was reflected into the water. When we finally made it out of the second jungle the canal opened up into a huge lake, the stilt village barely visible in the distance. The lake was so quiet and there was a nice breeze. Making it back to the visitors center some 2 hours later, we headed toward the 1 tro-tro station in town. There were already a bunch of white tourists there waiting on the same van. When it finally arrived there was nothing else to do but stuff all of us in. So with 16 people in a van barely meant for 12 we made our way back toward Green Turtle Lodge, where we'd be staying for the night. I've noticed that the worse the car you get in to travel somewhere, the worse the road ahead will be. This couldn't have been more correct. We got into what was left of a van: the seats were reclined because they were broken, the trunk was held shut by a cord and there was no side paneling anywhere inside the car. The road we went down was the worst road I have ever experienced. If we weren't going downhill into giant mud puddles we were climbing up roads covered in large rocks. I have no idea how we or the van made it to the lodge. The sore butts were well worth it though because when we got out at Green Turtle Lodge we walked right onto a beautiful, secluded beach. The restaurant was completely open air and beach sand served as the floor. We put our dinner orders in at a large boat made into a bar and even had chocolate fondue with fruit for dessert. I miss chocolate a lot...