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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Nigeria - 11 December, 2000

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Abeokuta (Gateway Hotel) N0708.008' E00321.014' 97 m  
Finish Lagos (Hotel Excelsior) 20 m  75 km 

Total:

14,392 km

 

Weather: Partly cloudy, sunny and very hot. Hazy. Mild breeze.  Cool in the evening and night.

 

 

Daily Journal Entry:

We have a big day ahead of us.  Some of us are planning to head into Lagos (Rick has to go in to get us our Cameroon visas), and everyone has been telling us we should not go, as Lagos is a horrible place.  But we do not want to sit around in Abeokuta for 3 nights with nothing to do and, in any case, we want to see as much of Africa as we can, and Lagos is part of it.

 

Nigeria00_Abeokuta_Gateway_Breakfast_Jac_1482_Web.gif (247346 bytes)

As it is our cook group turn, we need to get up a bit earlier to prepare breakfast.  We decide to have omeletes, and we use various vegetables and some cheese that we have left over from yesterday's lunch, along with toast and some fruit salad.  Jacqui does a great job as usual.  While Mark and Rick sort things out with going into Lagos (transport, money, etc), we hang out at the campsite and get our stuff ready.

 

At 11:30 AM, we all pile into the minivan that has been arranged - there is 8 of us going.  Everyone says good bye to us like it is the last time they will be seeing us (we hope that they are just joking!!).  The ride takes a bit over 2 hours - it is a quick express way, followed by heavy traffic as we enter Lagos.  But the traffic is not too bad, so we make good time.  We get to the hotel we are planning on staying in - Hotel Excelsior - and check in.  It is very basic, but nice (but pricey for the quality).

 

As we have not yet had lunch, we head out to see what we can find to eat.  We first checked out the internet cafe in the hotel - it was very expensive, so we just took the time to find out the status of our tent that was being delivered to us - we found out that it was being sent to Kano.  From there, we walked to the local supermarket - quite well stocked, but a bit pricey.  We then check with one of the locals where we could get a bite to eat.  He points us towards a fast food joint - Tantalizers.  We decide to try it out.  It is not too bad, but depending on what you order, it can take forever to get your food.  We had eaten before some people even had theirs.  We therefore headed out to find the nearest DHL office so that we could see how we could check on the new tent that was being sent our way.  The DHL office was very helpful, but they needed the airway bill number to track it, so we need to see how we can find that out.

 

We catch up with everyone back at the restaurant, and then wander around the streets in Apapa.  The streets are like many others that I have seen in major cities in developing countries in Asia. And the people were quite friendly.  There were some beggars, but after you said that you had nothing for them, they would smile and say "maybe next time".  What a change from other places in Africa where people would not back off like that (and with a smile).  We stopped at one "business center", where we made a call home to our parents.  The call was made over the internet, so the quality was poor, but we were able to leave a message giving our hotel and when we would be there.

 

It was then back to the hotel - went a bit around in circles as some of the streets were not straight, but no problems.  Once we got back, we took it easy for a while and waited for a call from our parents.  They called just in time, as we were about to meet the others to go out for dinner.  After a number of calls, they were able to get us the air way bill number for the DHL package. It was good to speak to them.

 

Lars then ran out to DHL to see what he could find out about the package - he discovered that it had arrived in Lagos that day at 3:36 PM.  DHL offered to try to intercept and have it delivered in Lagos, but we decided that was too risky - we plan to collect in Kano.

 

We finally get everyone together, and we head out to dinner.  We decided to go to an Italian restaurant in Ikoyi, a district in Lagos.  We hail two taxis in the street, and this is our first experience with Lagos taxis.  These were a bit run down, but not too bad.  It took us about an hour to get there.  We were the only diners, but the food was quite good (except for the calzone).  We then decide to head back to Apapa for a drink prior to heading to bed.

 

We first stop off at a new bar that was just opened.  It was quite nice, but a bit quiet.  They were very friendly and provided excellent service.  The bartender was sociable, and the manager provided us with plenty of complimentary snacks.  But we had to move on to some where a bit livelier.  We went to one of the local bars that has live music and seemed to be popping.  And it was fun.  They had different acts going on with different singers.  There were all types of people there.  And, of course, there were the inevitable street fighters.

 

Some of them were very friendly and chatty, and came up to talk to us (and remember, there are a number of women with us, so to a certain extent, they were just being sociable).  They would chat with both the men and the women.  One was from Liberia - in Lagos to escape all the fighting there.  We had a great time at the bar, and staggered back to the hotel at around 1 AM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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