My feet are sore, my body feels thoroughly exercised, my muscles ache and I know I definitely lost some weight. When I woke up this morning, it appeared to be an ordinary day. Little did I know that before the day was done I’d have climbed 660 steps back and forth, visited an ancient oba’s palace, shielded my eyes from rude figurines with their well carved genitalia, climbed mountains and put my feet in sacred rivers. No I didn’t dream it all up, neither did I get kidnapped thankfully. I blame PHCN aka NEPA for pushing three girls to the edge.
We’d returned from NYSC’s weekly community development program to meet the fridges as hot and humid as the rest of the house. This would be our third day without light. Maybe NEPA didn’t hear that NLC had called off the nationwide strike. We tried to make do for a while. Phone’s almost off, laptops dead but soon it became apparent that if we didn’t find some entertainment fast we’d be tearing at our eyes or would have probably resorted to playing ten-ten since we’d run out of gossip. And then we had a brainwave… We could go to Idanre hills. Now anyone who knows me knows I do not enjoy taking public transport unless it is necessary i.e. to work. I feel it ruins the fun of an outing and besides God created boys with cars for a reason and till I learn to drive, I ain’t embracing the women’s lib nonsense. My friends eventually defeated all my arguments. Got me into a pair of jeans and a tee, called a colleague for directions and we were out of the house in 15minutes.
Now Idanre is another town about 30minutes away from Akure but we weren’t gonna let that little detail deter us. We took bikes to the bus park and weren’t even deterred when my bike was involved in a mini-accident. We escaped without a scratch and so missed the daily statistics of casualties caused by okada accidents. We got to the park and got an almost full cab or so we thought. It was a small cab and there were 2 other people so when the 3 of us got in we thought the driver was good to go till he informed us that we were gonna be seated 4 at the back, 2 in the passenger’s seat in front. The car was a minuscule 1950s Datsun and I prayed the last passenger at the back would be a malnourished child. Well that prayer wasn’t answered as a hefty man with quite a large ass became the last passenger. We were all squashed like sardines, the windows at the back were bad and permanently up and the driver moved at snail’s speed giving us time to properly inhale the body odors and carbon dioxide circulating in the car. This still did not deter us. The driver stopped at a filling station and after buying fuel the car wouldn’t start. He and a good samaritan tried pushing it but it was obvious that the car was a goner. I saw it coming but nevertheless it was amazing when we were asked to all come down and push the car. Three hot-looking girls in designer glasses, skinny jeans and polos. Well we had no choice, we pushed and pushed and pushed and the car finally croaked to life. I haven’t pushed a car since primary school but yet I was undeterred. Slow and steady wins the race must have been the guiding principle of our tired old driver in his tired old car but eventually we got to Idanre.
We took another bike to the hills referred to as Oke-Idanre. There was a festival going on in town and some dare-devil bike man who called himself an ‘Ijaya rider’ entertained the villagers with stunts I’d only seen on tv.
The mountains were breath-taking, the village was picturesque though it had a strong smell of akpu permeating the whole place, I later learnt it wasn’t fufu, it was dried cocoa beans. Ugh! We were given a guide who introduced himself as ‘face’. I sense he may be the next tuface, I wonder how many kids he’s got already 😉 Idanre hills can hardly be described. It had so much history and culture that I found myself transported back in time as our guide enthralled us with stories from another era. We were cheated by the gala woman and so at this point I’d like to say don’t buy gala and drinks from mama Tinu at the foot of the hills, she’s well aware of the fact that she’s the only shop for miles around and her prices are outrageous!!! Her slogan must be buy my over-priced viju milk or die of thirst on the mountains and have the goats pee on you! Hours later and almost 300 pictures later, we were back at the beginning and it was time to leave. We tipped our aspiring musician cum guard and got bikes to take our aching limbs to the park headed for home, hoping our adventure was at an end. Sadly it wasn’t!
The cab we entered was trouble with a capital T. The first inclination we had to what lay ahead was the over-excited driver. He welcomed us cheerfully. Using words like ‘Iya to jasi’ and commenting on our ‘oyan!’. The guy was on a weed/cheap alcohol high and had to be about sixty years old. All our instincts screamed get down but there wasn’t any other cab in sight and it was getting late. The driver kept us praying and even chorusing Jesus at regular intervals. He sped past two police check points without even attempting to slow down despite the shouts by the policemen and their guns pointing right at the car. I feared greatly at the thought of an accidental discharge and quickly perished the thought cos this chick ain’t dying till she’s a billionaire and on the cover of Forbes magazine! What made the journey worse was the driver’s incessant chuckling. The laughter just wouldn’t stop. Whatever he was on was the sheett!!! We got to akure and got beaten by some freakish rain that started suddenly. Abeg where’s harmattan ooooo?!! It was rush hour and we practically walked home cos there was no bike in sight.
There was still no light when we got home but we are hopeful and the remainder of the adrenaline in our blood coupled with the memory of our adventure and the lovely pictures is enough to keep us preoccupied and if all else fails, our aching limbs and apparent exhaustion will send us off to bed early! Have a lovely night peeps….xoxo