Nigeria – Lagos to Ibadan
We decided to enter and leave Lagos as soon as possible and make our way to Abuja. For one thing accommodation doesn’t seem to be that cheap in Lagos and because there are 2 British embassies in Nigeria, the thinking was by going to the smaller city the easier the application for a new British passport would be (I was rapidly running out of pages in my current one).
Lagos itself is a monster of a city, very intimidating when driving the spaghetti motorways that criss cross high above the streets of Lagos.
At one point we were lost trying to find the way out of Lagos and stopping at a Petrol Station we met Yinka who volunteered to drive ahead and show us the way out (very nice man). Just before we were about to exit Lagos we went with Yinka for a quick drink and it turns out that he studied engineering in Budapest and so Reka had another new friend that they could gas in Hungarian for a while!
Afterwards we were on our way to Abuja, what I realised after a few hours of driving was how big Nigeria actually was, a land mass of 924,000 sq km and a population of 140 million to get to Ibadan which looked relatively close to Lagos on the map took a good days drive to get there. Each small town we drove through was chaotic, I was amazed by the thousands upon thousands of Oil tankers that bullied their way past you on the motorway with hundreds upon hundreds of truck rest stops along the way.
It seems that every Nigerian driver has a death wish associated with themselves as drivers are incapable of showing any patience while driving. It was clear that there are no fast or slow lanes as cars, trucks and motor bikes all weave in and out of traffic with little care, and no matter how long you are driving for getting used to this craziness would take several months unlike several hours in most of the countries we have already been to.
There are no signs showing speed limits, there are plenty of examples old and new of horrific crashes that sometimes are in the middle of the road you are driving which create it’s own dangers, exhilarating it definitely is but I value my life and I wonder how many lives people really have here!
On talking to many people here you realise that many people are actually hired drivers for families/individuals who drive a vehicle that does not belong to them which is one reason for the carelessness the other being that many drivers have a fake drivers license and so most drivers are clueless on what the correct way to drive is, you will see many drivers overtake you on the right and then suddenly turn left at a junction, others will risk their lives trying to gain a one car advantage in front of you even though the lights are red, I can recount numerous of accidents along the way to Abuja which lead to several hundred people getting involved all with their own versions of what happened, its madness!!