Its been awhile since my last update back in Accra, Ghana, and now we are in the north of Cameroon so yes that does mean we have crossed and survived Nigeria but to be honest what we experienced and saw of the country there was never a thing to worry about except for the worst, craziest suicidal drivers I have ever experienced.......besides that Nigeria was great.
Wli waterfalls in Ghana, highest in West Africa.
Before hitting Nigeria we passed through Togo where we picked up some new tires that I hope now will last us all the way to Cape Town, then it was a quick trip through Voodoo country, Benin. Before crossing the border into Nigeria we had been told nothing but bad things so were a little apprehensive to say the least but the first impressions given by the friendly border guards was nothing but fantastic, very friendly and helpful, the immigration guy even offered Dereck the english chap a wife in the form of his sister!!
Another use for a KTM!
The 150 k's to Ibadan soon remindered us we were in Nigeria with many many road blocks, check points with soldiers all cluching machine guns or shot guns from all vintages but they were harmless just asking the usual questions like where you heading, where your from, can i have your motorbike.......
In Ibaban we hooked up with a friend of a friend, Sandro and his wife Bernie, Sandro an Italian has lived and worked in Nigeria for 20 odd years, he gave us a spare house of his to shack up in, gave us delicious food and more importantly forced enormous amounts of alcohol down our throats, what more could one want! Sandro took us out riding in the Nigerian bush, he riding an XR 650 all the way from Oz, also a trip to the beach and going to Nigeria would not be complete without a visit to Lagos. Glad we were in a van driven by Sandro's driver as the expressway down there was like a computer game but you only had one life, one mistake and it was over shown by the wrecked buses, cars and trucks just left aside the road every kilometer. Something I only ever want to experience once.
In the end, almost a week later, we had to keep moving as to make Cameroon before our visas ran out, so north to the capital Abuja, more video games on the road....tiring of the checkpoints we came acustom to waving and riding straight through, at one I approached I slowed but up my hand waved they gestured to stop ut I kept going til a soldier 50 meters to my front stepped onto the middle of the road raising a machine gun at me......mmmm I might stop at this one I decided!
In Abuja we picked up the elusive Angolan visa and one for the Congo, wanting to push on we tried heading out of town to camp but only to be stopped but someone of a different nature, not a soldier but a TV news producer who wanted us on TV, it was late and I said we have no where to stay so after the interviews they insisted they put us up in a hotel, the fortunes hey! So after numerous interviews and filming us riding the bikes around the carpark we were celebs, they loved it. It was actually quiet tiring so we were glad to get outta there the next day.
The rest of Nigeria was as much a great experience as the first half, we left the jungles behind and headed to the north eastern corner where it was stifling hot and the sahalin winds blew again, back on the edge of the desert, camels, donkeys, cow hearders, it was like we were back in Mali.
We crossed into Cameroon with a few days to spare on our visa and went to Waza National park were we saw Girraffes and a load of other wild animals, but no lions yet. Cameroon seems nice thus far, from here in the north we will head south all the way now to Cape Town, still it is hot and dry but soon we will be entering into mud up to our arm pits, might be a good change from the dust we have swallowed in the past 5 months. In that time we have covered just over 20 000 k's, no serious bike troubles(must be honda) except for too many flat tires to remeber.
Just want to mention that its hard to put photos on so bare with me, remeber I am in Africa!!