Monday, June 16, 2008

Trek Through Africa: NIGERIA (Day 86-90)

Day 86 : Tuesday 16th Feb - Benin / Lagos, Nigeria

All the camp was a real mess with people trying to dry things out. Rode in the dog box all day to the Nigerian boarder. The border post is almost a small town and very busy, took two hours to get through. Very hot and not much to see. Got to the suburbs of Lagos a massive city while it was still light. By the time we found the YMCA it was dark, parked the truck on a car park next to an office block. Andy and Kristin cooked a good meal then we put up the tents in a compound round the back. Nigeria was playing Ghana in the world cup qualifiers, the locals did not bother going to bed they just kept arguing all night long, one even started washing pans next to our tent at 4:30 in the morning, not a wink of sleep.

Day 87 : Wednesday 17th Feb - Lagos

Walked round the block in the morning to try and get rid of a headache, then into town to get some Nira from a Forex bureau, got 1270 Nira for 15,000 CFA = ?30. The visa for Cameroon cost another 15,000 CFA, sat in the cab guarding the truck at the embassy. Bobbie and Julia are flying to Enugu to stay with some relatives, we will be meeting them there in a few days. Into town centre for a burger with Lars from a fast food place, then to some banks and a supermarket. Decided to stay in a Hotel tomorrow, can't tonight because it is our turn to sleep on the truck. Got a taxi to a hotel in a guide book, luckily it was a fixed fare, journey took a couple of hours in the traffic, booked in for Thursday. Back to the truck and a bit more shopping in the chemist and a supermarket. Went for a very nice Indian meal with Jo, Charlie and Lars. Slept in the truck with Charlie, Lars and Jo in the cab. Used Bobbies mosquito net, very warm and humid all night. Lars slept on the floor of the truck and got bit 1000 times all over his body.

Day 88 : Thursday 18th Feb - Lagos

Made cornflakes and toast for breakfast on the gas rings. Into town with the truck, then got a taxi with Andy and Kristin to the British Airways offices to buy a flight home but they were too expensive, $1200 from Cape Town. Got another taxi back to the town centre, changed some money on the black market in the main street, always get nervous about getting ripped off but it was OK. Bought a camera from an Argos for ?20, did a stint of truck guard while it was parked on a side street with no shade in very hot sun. Got a taxi to the hotel with Charlie and Lars. Had a sandwich from the bar then a bath and a sleep. Had a meal in the hotel but it was not very good, went out but we could not find anywhere to go, back into the hotel bar, drank them out of brandy, 20p per shot. Some ugly prostitutes came over but they left when we said that we did not want anything from them. Finished off the remaining brandy in the room watching CNN and football on the TV. Excellent nights sleep in an air conditioned room, almost forgot what it feels like to be cool.

Day 89 : Friday 19th Feb - Lagos to Ijebu-Ode

Slept in late, had another bath then got a taxi into town. Found an English cafe and had a breakfast of pies etc. Spent the last of my money in a supermarket on 10 Mars bars as an emergency store if things get bad in the Congo. Did truck guard then sorted my locker out. The girls have spent hundreds of pounds out of the food kitty restocking the stores on the truck, we have managed to get most of what we need. Up on the dog box heading east out of Lagos, soon in a thick rain forest, it is the hottest and most humid day that I have ever experienced. While collecting and storing wood I was drinking three pints of water an hour, didn't think it was possible to sweat this much. Had a large vodka with Charlie before we hit the tent.

Day 90 : Saturday 20th Feb - Ijebu-Ode to Enugu

Up later than everyone else, grabbed a bit of bread for breakfast. My back is killing, could not ride on the dog box without it getting worse, listened to my walkman all day until the batteries ran out. Stopped in Benin City, helped change a wheel with Patrick, had a short walk round, took a photo of a statue of British soldiers getting shot with bows and arrows. Made my own lunch of hot dogs, the weather is overcast but still very hot and humid. Stopped at a modern petrol station and spent the last few coins left on some crisps. Arrived in Enugu at 7 and parked in the main street and waited for Bobbie and Julia to meet us with George and Isabel. Followed them back to their house, very large in a decent suburb, made a large chilli with 3kg of meat in the middle of the road in front of their house. Had a couple of cold beers from a bar, then spent ages walking round the streets looking for their two lads who had gone out for more beer, found them very late on with Metta and Julia. Slept in a bedroom upstairs with Bobbie and Julia.

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