Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Osogbo to Benin City, Nigeria, February 12, 2019

It was 266 km to Benin City-

and for the most part the roads were really good so we made good time and got here about 4 PM.  A few of us went in different directions looking for possible hotel/camping spots. The hotel where I went, and where we eventually ended up staying, was not thanks to me. I could only get them down to 10,000 ($36) / room whereas April moved in and got our rooms for 6000 ($22).  She is definitely a master at bartering.

Along the way-

We went through a lot of police checks.  Most smile and wave us through but some stop us and want to talk. They are curious about why we are here and where we come from. The odd one expects a bribe but today all they got was a bottle of water.  Generally they are friendly and in uniforms that vary in colour and pattern with many different styles of hats, however there are some bandits trying to collect "tax" money. They are not in uniform and carry 2 x 4s filled with nails that they put on the road so you can't drive past without getting flat tires.  We were stopped for about 10 minutes with one of these groups today but they got nothing from us –

April bought a donut but it had a boiled egg inside. The bread was sweet and the egg was not. It was very gross –

There're many interesting things at the roadside stalls including huge cassava-

And fruit-

Many towns have weird weird sculptures in their traffic circles –

Even a mother nursing her baby –

It was another smoggy day and we drove through miles of the same boring scenery –

They burn a lot of land, probably to get rid of the garbage.  We passed through numerous villages but there was absolutely nothing to eat so we had to pull over and make tuna wraps and bean salad. It seems that we are only surviving on Sprite and Coke Zero and other sugary drinks!  Six of us went to The Marriot for supper where I had a burger which wasn't so good because their bread is sweet and that didn't go so well with the cinnamon or strange spice that was in the meat. Oh well it was awesome to be in a nice place for a couple of hours.  
Tomorrow I hope to go to Brass Casters Street to see brass sculptors/sculptures but who knows what I'll find, if anything!  The only other thing to do in Benin City, according to Lying Planet, is visit the National Museum but apparently it's closed.  I've got a nice room with AC so may spend my day relaxing and reading.

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