THIS IS WHERE MY ADVENTURE REALLY BEGINS!
Up at 4:00 am! Dressed and sitting the lobby by 5:00. The hotel has this silly floral arrangement in the lobby - dried twigs, maybe 4 1/2 feet tall with round balls that light up in bright spots of color. Psychedelic, man!
|Sometimes one light was lit.|
Sometimes they were all lit.
Sometimes they blinked!
Deacon Andrew arrived around 5:30 and picked us up. We rendezvoused with IG after a heated phone conversation about why IG wasn’t ready yet, and headed for the Lagos National Airport.
|That's our little plane to Abuja, the capitol of|
Nigeria, right behind us. (Penny, Darlene, Bob, IG and Richard)
|Abuja, Nigeria, from the air.|
By the time we got on our plane the sun was up. It was only an hour flight but we were served breakfast - an omelet, and Nes Cafe. When we got off the plane in Abuja it was a bright sunny day. Ocey picked us up and we drove to the Lokoja. There were Richard and Darlene, Penny, Bob, IG and me. As we pulled out of the airport and onto the main road I started seeing very impressive mountains. They weren’t like our mountings, all in a range, but singular monolithic looking things that just stuck up out of the ground. If I were going to compare them to anything in particular I would say they reminded me of pictures I have seen of the mountains of southern China.
|The lumpy, bumpy mountains of Nigeria|
We must have driven for about 3 hours, going through villages and towns, all with the shacks and low buildings made from cement along the roads. People everywhere were selling things along the side of the road, from packages of cashews to bottles of water to spicy banana chips. It was so dusty! We stopped at a place that was very much like Mega Chicken for lunch. It had AC as well. The fare was just the same, chicken, rice, pounded yam. But there was an ice cream case and Darlene enjoyed a popsicle. She said she felt “fathered” by IG, who treated her. It made her feel special, the way she had when she was little girl and her father had bought her ice cream.
|So many of the roads are lined by these little shacks where people are selling anything they can find to sell.|
We drove along a road that skirted the mighty Niger river. So beautiful! It felt a little familiar, like driving by the Navesink. The only boats we saw were like dug out canoes. Some had one man, some two. They were all fishing with nets. The water of the Niger is brown.
|My Navsesink, Fair Haven, NJ|
(Credit Caroline Delaney Tardiff)