How long is the ideal holiday?
A week, two, one month? Who has all that time for a holiday when there is the constant hustle of modern life?
Holidaying in Nigeria is hard, no glossing over it. Roads are not all good, information about holiday places is scarce and may be out of date when you get to your destination, but, the rewards are so high one should not even think of not doing it.
Take an adventure holiday in Nigeria and you will be hooked, before you know it, you will become the evangelist at the office/party/gathering and can not just wait for your next getaway.
I went hiking across Obudu Mountains in April 2018, we stayed on some trails and sometimes went off trail, it was three days of hard hiking, fun and fantastic camping with some of the best landscapes in the world.
The Sankwala mountain range is at the South-eastern corner of Nigeria and the mountains run into Cameroon where it rises to become the Bamenda Mountain range, going North East, it merges into the Taraba mountain range which has the highest peak in Nigeria (Obudu is second). Elevations are from 1400m up to the 1800m.
The 3 days trail exploration started on Saturday, starting off from a hotel in the village next to the mountain resort, we headed west towards our first target of the day, a waterfall, nestled in a deep valley. Just 1km into the hike and my knees were not happy at all, hmmm, what could be the problem?
I have been on point with my weight workout and reasonably fit, aha, going down was the problem, where is my trekking stick? Stick sorted and it was ok from there forward. We made the waterfall in good time, doing down was not easy though, quite steep and we went off the trail to cut right to the rocky outcropping at the top of the fall.
An early break for a meal and brief rest then we forded the stream that was the source of the fall and headed up to the next ridge. My first real climb and the sweat was flowing freely, this was a good test of my backpack (10kg load and 2kg camera kit). We made it to the next ridge and then it was a long stretch to our next rest point by a cattle holding.
Water taste so sweet when you are boiling and really really need every drop. Campsite identified and we left our packs with the herder-person, then headed to summit the big one, 1750m and it appeared to be the highest peak in the range. The middle section was a tough one but without our packs, it was not just head down, leg in front of the other until we made the summit
Then the weather gods turned against us and the clouds rolled in. Ok, that done and dusted, time to go down, well, that was the plan but the rain had other plans, cold water started coming down right close to a herders hut. No one at home but we invited ourselves in and waited out the worst of the rain
Headed down and made it back to camp in good light.
Camping right by a stream had its privileges, lots of water, nice and cool. Dinner was by the campfire, then the rain started up again and drove us back into the tents. Good reason to have an early night, and head down and drift off……
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- You can be a miner and produce some, be prepared to invest in hardware and the power to run in or
- You can buy Bitcoin or your preferred cryptocurrency on a cryptocurrency exchange.
- use your present hardware and join a distributed mining combine, this is a decentralized group of people/computing resources that took together their processing power to solve the puzzles and the rewards are distributed back to members in accordance with their contribution.
- build a specialized mining rig and join a mining combine to pool together your computing resources.
- run mining software on other peoples machine over the net either with their knowledge or without their knowledge.
Their current value is based mostly on what people think they will be worth in the future or will do in the future, not on the present usage. If you are buying a cryptocurrency, a little research helps.
Bundle of Money
A cryptocurrency is simply currency/money that is based on strong cryptography to secure its use for transactions, to control the creation of additional units and to verify any operations done with it. Most definitions like to add that cryptocurrencies operate independently of a central bank, but there is no intrinsic reason for it to be so.
In part one, we defined cryptography as a way of encoding or hiding information so that only the person with the correct key can have access to it. No one else can access your encrypted information without the key. Now, this single way of accessing your information is very important to keep in mind. In a traditional banking system, you can access and recover your account even if you lose your bank account details, as far as you can satisfactorily show proof of identity. But the very nature of cryptocurrency means that proof of identity is not required. The only way to show you own your cryptocurrency is to have the digital key!
With currently available technology, the present cryptographic systems are for all intent and purposes immune to hacking and other methods of compromises. This makes cryptocurrencies a very secure way of keeping your valuables safe and secured!
What is the link between cryptocurrency and the blockchain? The validity of the cryptocurrency coin is provided by the blockchain. Currency creation, management, issuance and control is all done on the blockchain. Since there is no central bank managing the cryptocurrency coins (for now), the blockchain provides the security and database that any form of currency needs to satisfy the users that it is actually worth using as a means of exchange and store of value.
Chained to a bank?, not anymore.
Just face north and drive, there is only one road out of Kisi in Oyo across Kwara then into Niger state if you are aiming for New Bussa. The Garmin GPS and Google maps both agreed I was on the right route, my compass showed I was heading north, but my eyes had a time believing the track I was on was really a major interstate road.
Broken bridges – check
Rough road, washed out portions, ruts – check
Mokwa to Bida was pure bliss! Smooth roads, with enough curves to keep one busy and little traffic to worry about. My target in Bida was the Federal Polytechnic, I did my national service there 30 years ago.
Once in a while, you get pleasantly surprised, not a normal occurrence in Nigeria but this was one of those. The school was bigger, neater and hopefully better. I stayed longer than planned, going around the Mechanical Engineering department, talking to students and lecturers and poke-nosing into the labs and workshops.
School tour over, I headed over to Pategi to cross into Kwara state. Summary- 42 km took slightly over 3 hours! and to use the ferry, I had to pay for 10 cars! For a ferry that takes a maximum of 4 cars, long story…
One thing with camping out is you just have to wake up early!
Ready to go but the sun was not out till 0645, finally headed out and arrived Ado Awaiye in the early morning. The hills were shrouded in mist, just the way I like them!
Climbing the Oke-Ado Mountain – another name for the hills – to the hanging lakes was not as simple as driving to the foothills and going up, I first had to go see the ‘Kabiyesi’, the chief of the town, get permission then go with my guides to the entrance to the climb and start going up. I had a guide and three additional chaps who came along on their own, oh well.
40 equivalent floors later, we had reached the top and started making our way to the first lake. The stands of trees up here were quite big and thick, surprising for such a rocky place.
Have you heard of Ofada Rice? If you live or have visited Nigeria, it is likely you have heard, seen or eaten Ofada Rice, usually served at Upscale Restaurants trying to give diners that home cooked feel, with designs and National Geographic simulations of how we should have been eating back in the good old days.
I looked up Ofada on the map and it is really close to Lagos, under an hour if you exit Lagos at Ikorodu and take the expressway leading to Ibadan. But that timing is on paper and getting it in real life is a dream, especially if you decide to travel on a public holiday which I did. I took off for Ofada and points West and North during the Eid holiday weekend, we left on Saturday a day after the holiday had started to reduce the traffic shock but I still went in a long loop.
Rather than go North from Lekki, I did a 100 km more by going through Epe, Ijebu Ode then Sagamu before descending into Ofada Town. Nice steady driving as against staying in traffic fending off crazy drivers on a mission to wreck their cars before they get home at past midnight.
I arrive Ofada town and then started looking for the rice fields….
Discussion with AVM Femi Gbadebo (rtd.) on starting and running a sustainable business & his work in disability advocacy. He talked about his journey from a fighter pilot to the higher echelon of the Nigeria Airforce, transiting to civilian life, his experiences in disability management and why we should all look into and contribute towards making Nigeria a place where the disabled (and their family) can lead a fulfilled life.
In this interview, we discussed;
- His Airforce Journey
- Teaching at the airforce and in civilian life
- What it takes to start a business
- How to make your business have staying power/growth
- Living a life for others and so much more