Nigeria redeemed

Nigeria redeemed ……

I am sitting in the dark outside the border control at the exit of Nigeria, the friendly and funny guys who man the border are in the little mosque behind me as the Inman has just sung the call to prayer at the door gathering them. We are safe and well in good company amoung gentle and generous people.

Last night we slept in the middle of another friendly Muslem village in the hills, shaking hands and asking for a place to park until dawn, everyone made us welcome.

The countryside here on the way to Cameroon is beautiful, green mountains, cool air, super friendly people a complete contrast to the coastal areas, here we are greeted with shouts of “welcome to Nigeria” and the soldiers salute and wave us through. We are back in the land of thatched huts and happy waving curious children, and we love it.

Today was one of the most epic and challenging days of all my travels in Nelson, once we turned off the main road and headed to the village of Mayo Ngada (the only road to Cameroon) we hit some of the roughest roads I have ever driven, deep mud pits, steep rock climbs (think driving up a river bed at 30o angle) and some very technical slopes with big drop offs which would easily roll the car if you get the line wrong

Ten hours later we reached the Nigerian border with Cameroon. In the whole drive we met only three local Land Rovers and four six wheel drive ex military Pinzgauers, no normal cars attempted this road and three different locals said “well done” when they saw us. Thankfully Nelson was a total star, all the weight out of the roof, differentials locked up, low ratio engaged and we powered up and through things that amazed me, even after all the travels I have done.

A real adventure, in a beautiful place, with genuinely lovely welcoming people

The approach to the highlands on decent roads with layered mountains hinting at adventure to come

In the village of Yelwa the folks let us camp outside the police post for the night
Tony will have better shots than mine, he was busy snapping all day as each corner opened up a new vista
We could just squeeze between the two rocks and scraped our steering guard on the next rock up
Mud glorious mud, thankful for good mud tyres
Stopping to buy yam chips and local doughnuts quickly draws a crowd
Finally exhausted from 10 hours of hard core driving we are at the border, Cameroon visas come live tomorrow and we only have 30km of bad roads to go and a few river crossings before we are on normally bad roads rather than the really hard stuff of today

About Gerry Mulligan

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