Catching Malaria in Calabar, Nigeria

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On the way to Calabar we had some days driving from early morning to late evenings, only stopping at the police and military checkpoints where they had made it impossible to drive past and for quick pee breaks. All nights were spent right by the roads, except for one night where we were camping inside a school in a village near Benin City. Lots of people from the village came to visit, many offering their service as our security guards. Even though we kindly refused all offers we had the police visiting us drunk with sirens and guns in the middle of the night, asking for money and telling us that they would keep us safe. Noone wanted us any harm though and we did not bother anyone as we left the school before the children arrived early next morning.
The week we spent waiting for our Cameroonian visas in Calabar turned our to be quite interesting too. Since I had spent a night in the Nigerian bush puking, sweating, twisting and turning like I was gonna die, I had promised myself to get checked for malaria, which apparently I had. When we got to the hospital there were noone there as all the doctors were on strike. The reason being that two doctors with one of their wives had been kidnapped by some bandits who demanded 60 million Nairas for their release. Luckily the nurses were still there who could do a simple blood test for me and tell me which drugs to get at the pharmacy for self treatment.
60 million Nairas equals 300 000€ calculated by the official rate. Going by the black market rate it would be about 50% less. When we found out that euros were that high in demand we exchanged hundreds of euros to gain money, but what we did not realise was that Nigerian money can not be exchanged outside of the country and by exchanging back we would get a horrible rate, so at the end we had heaps of money to spend which gave us some really good last days in Nigeria.

All my photos from almost a year of travel were lost with my backpack, but I had some photos on Facebook from the Nigerian roads at least:
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Celebrating Ibara Day in Abeokuta

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We had all been expecting the worst when it came to corruption and hustling in Nigeria, which is why we chose to cross into the country at a tiny and peaceful border town called Ilawa. There were not even a customs office at the border so we had to drive into a Nigerian town to get our truck stamper in. Once we were in the country we got our suspections confirmed-every ten kilometers or so there were real police, military and even fake police aka bandits trying to stop us and trying to get some money. I have never in my life seen as many ununiformed men with guns as that day and it was more to be seen in the night which we spent in a fancy hotel in Abeokuta. Apparently there was an annual event called Ibara Day where hundreds of people were gathered to watch a masked man speak on a stage while people from the audience were holding their guns up and shooting wildly in the air. We had security guards with us, which was the only way that the hotel would let us go there, but it did not feel unsafe at all. The people were all very welcoming and set up a table for us at the front and occasionally came over with free drinks for us. It was all super weird, but quite an interesting first night in Nigeria.
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Mapping My Posts and Future Travels

I just discovered a genius way of displaying all posts on a Google Map using Map My Posts. The widget works with WordPress and can be downloaded from this page. It is really easy to install and simple for people to use. It simply groups your posts by country and add them to a clickable map like the one below:

 

I am also using a similar Wordpress widget called Map Route, which will be able to show you where I am going next: