Hiking At Ado Awaye || A Visit To Africa’s Only Suspended Lake

These days I find myself jumping at opportunities to visit new places and create new memories. It didn’t come as a surprise to my friends when I impulsively decided to join a group of people to go hiking in Ado Awaye, Oyo State and visit the popular suspended lake – Iyake Lake. Did you know that there are only two suspended lakes in the world and the Iyake Lake in Nigeria is one of them?

Transportation

On the morning of the hike, we met at the bus park in Oshodi which is right next to the railway tracks and boarded a vehicle going to Ado Awaye through Ibadan. We initially planned to go through Iseyin but after weighing our options, we decided this would be a better route and it was.

After a bit of haggling in Yoruba with the driver, we paid 1800 Naira each as opposed to the initial 2000 Naira. The driver took his sweet time eating Amala after which we were on our way to Ado Awaye.

The journey took approximately 3 hours and came with all the joys of road trips in Nigeria including bad roads and the occasional bribe tips to police officers along the way. Our vehicle got stopped at a checkpoint because my friend who you might remember from The Guy’s Guide To Natural Hair Care For Men post had braids and apparently, looked like a member of the terror group – Boko Haram. I remember saying I wouldn’t go on any more road trips this year after going to Ondo State in July but look at me.

Hiking

We were dropped off at Ado Awaye on the path leading to the foot of the mountain and welcomed by a group of chanting school children. After filling a tourist book and negotiating an access + tour guide fee of 4000 Naira for the 5 of us, we began our hike at 13:00 hrs.

Luckily for us, the weather was quite lovely but it is advisable to arrive in Ado Awaye a day before, lodge overnight and arrive early the next morning, say 08:00 hrs to start your hike. Also, wear comfortable shoes with a good grip and light, stretchy pants, no jeans!

Our tour guide was able to communicate only in Yoruba so we didn’t get the kind of education & history I was expecting. A member of our group was able to translate to English the few times we all stopped at the same levels.

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An important part of hiking is to go at your own pace. Because of the excitement of hiking for the first time, we started off at a fast pace and my burnout literally smacked me full on. I whined and refused to continue with the hike at 5 different points but my friend wasn’t having any of that, he provided the right motivation and support I needed to go on.

The Seven Wonders of Ado Awaye

If you ever go hiking at Ado Awaye, there are 7 important landmarks you should look out for also known as the 7 wonders of Ado Awaye. It was fun trying to look out for these landmarks while on the hike.

1.) Oke Ishage

This translates to Ishage Rock. It was the first wonder we came across on our hike. The people of Ado Awaye believe that it is the bringer of rain to the community and so, whenever there is a drought, the Chief Priest ties a white cloth round this rock, prays and brings down the rain for days.

2.) Esè Àwon Àgbà

This translates to footprints of the elders and can be found at different points on the mountain. I wear a size 38 and there was a footprint that was 4 times the size of my foot. It is believed that the mountain was home to gods many years ago.

3.) Agbómofúnyàké

This translates to collects child and gives to Iyake. It is a small body of water located next to the Iyake Lake and it is believed that anything that is dropped into it is passed on to the Iyake Lake.

4.) Iyake Lake

This is the main attraction – the suspended lake. Asides this, the only other suspended lake in the world is the Hanging Lake in Colorado, U.S.A. The lake is believed to be bottomless as its depth has never been truly measured, any object or person that attempts to enter the lake is dragged to the bottom and never seen again.

5.) The Elephant Tree

It took me several tries and squinting to be able to point out  the head of this Elephant tree which is made up of branches and trunk of a fallen tree.

Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the remaining two – Ìyá Aláró Lake & Esè Kan Aiyé Esè Kan Òrun because we were exhausted and needed to get to Ibadan before it got dark. The climb downward was definitely easier and the thought of finally eating kept me going without making any stops.

Accommodation + Feeding

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Because no journey to Oyo is complete without a taste of Amala we decided to make a stop at Amala Skye in Ibadan to sample their notorious Amala. See, I used to be one of those people that would be quick to condemn Amala because I just couldn’t get past its appearance but my tiredness on this day did not allow me to be picky. If you follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, wyd?), you’ll know this particular Amala changed my mind towards Amala in general. Looking back now, I’m not sure if it tasted great just because it was my first meal that day and I was starving. I’ll have to try Amala again just to be sure.

For reasons unknown to me till this day, the trip convener did not make our hotel reservation. On getting to the hotel at 20:00 hrs, we discovered the rooms were booked except the “Penthouse Suite” at Gulliver’s hotel which was slightly over our budget. After walking around and checking out other hotels, we ended up right back at the penthouse at 21:00hrs, celebrated our first hiking experience over wine and called it a night.

The next day we moved around Ibadan with Taxify. We had breakfast at a lovely little place called Chrysalis then proceeded to the bus park at Ojoo where we boarded a bus for 800 Naira back to Lagos.

Have you ever gone hiking? What was the experience like? Are you a fan of Amala or not? Tell me in the comments!

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How To Deal With The Jetlag

Traveling can be very exciting right from the planning stage. The D-day arrives and armed with your itinerary, travel documents and travel luggage, you’re ready to explore a new country then you land and the jetlag hits! If yours isn’t like one of those cheap flights to Dubai, you’ll be left wondering if the journey and expensive plane ticket are worth the discomforts that come with being jetlagged. Fortunately, a while ago I curated a list of measures to take before, during and after a long flight to tackle these discomforts and decided to share.

What is Jetlag?

Jetlag is extreme tiredness and other physical effects felt by a person after a long flight across different time zones. Symptoms include disturbed sleep, daytime fatigue, difficulty concentrating and functioning, and even the occasional stomach trouble.

Pre Flight

While planning your itinerary for your trip, be sure to schedule in extra time to get a little rest in between flights and avoid scheduling activities for immediately you land. Other things you could do include:

  • Sleep or rest well before your flight. If you’re Nigerian, chances are relatives would keep you up all night before your trip and still attempt to smuggle you into the airport a good 4-5 hours before your flight. Try to get enough sleep before the flight.
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks before your flight. Alcohol is well known for its dehydrating effect, throw in the effect of altitude and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Wait till your plane lands before knocking back those drinks.
  • Avoid coffee and caffeinated drinks

Not sure where to go on your next adventure?  Get a headstart by scanning through these cheap flights to Dubai.

During Flight

There’s not much you can do during your flight but these should help:

  • Resist the urge to take sleeping pills especially on long trips and try to get as much sleep as you can, you would feel well rested and your body would thank you when you land!
  • Try to move around and take as many bathroom breaks as needed to keep your blood circulation going.
  • Set your watch to correspond to your new time zone, it’ll help you to psychologically start adapting to your destination.

Post Flight

Try to stretch to get rid of the kinks from sitting for a long flight, get a few hours of sleep and you’ll be ready to be out exploring in no time! You’ll want to give yourself time to rest in between your planned activities and stay off strenuous activities for the first few days. Developing and maintaining a good sleeping and eating pattern would also do you a world of good.

Although these tips would be helpful in significantly reducing the level of discomforts experienced with jetlag, they won’t completely eliminate it. However, choosing destinations with shorter flying hours can completely take out your chances of experiencing jetlag. Booking cheap flights to Dubai and other nearby vacation destinations would have you enjoying all the perks of traveling minus the jetlag!

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Budget-friendly Lakehouse Vacation in Ouidah, Benin Republic

This Lakehouse was love at first sight and I just knew I had to visit upon seeing pictures of it. After calculating the cost of a road trip from Lagos to Ouidah, cost of the Lakehouse and adding other miscellaneous expenses including tours, tips and souvenirs, I knew the only way a weekend vacation here wouldn’t leave me in penury was if I went with other people. If you’re living on a budget like I am but still like to travel, you’ll understand. I put the word out on Twitter that I needed travel buddies, selected a few people from the replies I got, created a Whatsapp group and we were on our way three months later! Continue reading “Budget-friendly Lakehouse Vacation in Ouidah, Benin Republic”

Day Trip To Olumo Rock in Abeokuta, Ogun State

Last December, I went on a group trip organized by Jadesola of The Bourgie Life to visit the renowned Olumo Rock. Now if you had your primary and/or secondary/high school education in Nigeria, chances are you’ve been to Olumo Rock on one of those organized school excursions. I went while in Secondary School too and honestly, both experiences are incomparable.

Continue reading “Day Trip To Olumo Rock in Abeokuta, Ogun State”

48 Hours In Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria

During the October Independence long weekend holiday, I dragged my friend along on a road trip from Lagos to Ekiti State. The journey was unexpectedly long and tiring, we even considered going back to Lagos halfway through the journey. At a point, I got scared and had to call fellow blogger Tosinto find out if she had the same experience on her frequent trips to the area. I’ve tried to do a brief breakdown in case you ever want to visit the area, I also listed all the places we visited and put the info of our helpful cab driver; Mr Deji who took us round the town. Continue reading “48 Hours In Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria”

5 Places to Visit When in Accra, Ghana

When Cassie and I were in Ghana, we tried to do as many tourist-y things as possible and visit as many places in Accra as we could in 2 full days. Now, you’re not going to find anything about Ghana jollof or food in this post because either the one place we tried it were having a bad day on that particular day or it’s just not worth talking about, you choose. These places were my absolute favorites, we visited other places you might not find on this list but must have seen if you follow me on Instagram

Continue reading “5 Places to Visit When in Accra, Ghana”