Nigeria – Lagos (again)
There is only one reason why we had to come back to Lagos from Abuja and that was because the British Embassy in Abuja send all passport applications down to Lagos to process (A new british passport cost 36,000 Naira (£180) at the time of writing).
On our search for some cheap accommodation, the cheapest we could find was 2500 Naira (£10-12) but these were in areas that had no parking for Maggie and I wasn’t going to risk anything happening to her for the sake of a cheap room, so after a few unsuccessful attempts we decided to hit the big hotels and see if we could camp in their grounds, one if the biggest if not the biggest in Lagos is the Eko Hotel (rooms start around £150 per night).
Reka managed to weave her magic when she met Danny the General manager of the hotel who said
‘why would you camp when you can have a room for free’?’
So thanks to him we had a swish room fully kitted out for one night courtesy of him, thanks to Danny and the kindness of the Eko hotel for that.
While Reka was sorting out the paperwork I managed to find the bar and within a few minutes a guy called Connie approached me asking if that was my land rover outside. It so happened that Connie (an Irish guy) now an owner of a large Air-conditioning business did a similar trip in a Landy from South Africa up the east coast a number of years back. After listening to his stories and sharing ours he wanted to know if we had a place to stay after this, Connie said that there is a compound where some of his key workers stay in Lagos and there is enough room for a Landy and it’s tents to park up for a while, it was an offer we couldn’t refuse.
Connie like many other people I have met along the way have the kindness and spirit that is so welcoming for travellers like myself, and based on one beer and a nice chat, he was willing to put us up, again, amazing! It was here in the compound that we met Alan, Paul and Mark. Alan works for Connie’s company VACC and he has recently moved to Nigeria from the UK after spending a good 28 years in Botswana.
On our first night of meeting everyone, we spent several hours by their swimming pool sinking beers, Paul and Mark from Northern Ireland work for another engineering/construction company and we all had a nice time, these guys were great. Alan offered a couple of spare rooms that he has in his house and the offer of a fully air con room over a sweaty tent was to great to refuse.
We would like to thank Alan for his hospitality and his trust in us while he has been working for us to stay in his house, again some amazing hospitality from someone we have just met! He has also given us some great places to go and see when we get to Botswana at some point in the future.