Step back, apart from checking out if the railway still works, I planned to be in Abuja Sunday AM! So time to review my options.
Our ETA Kaduna was looking like the predicted 8pm, and the connecting train from Kaduna to Abuja has the last departure at 6pm, that means an overnight stay in Kaduna. Time to look at options.
Postpone decision to Minna arrival, then we will have a better time of arrival at Kaduna. Meanwhile, kick back or rather, roam around and enjoy the scenery and other stuff on offer.
We saw a lot of infrastructure at the stations for moving petroleum and other products, it did not look like any of it got any use though.
Did I mention the temperature had hit 40 deg C by this time? I seriously did not want to experience what the folks in economy class were going through with no fan, blocked exits, overcrowding and no cold drinks. Our coach felt hot till you step out of the door and feel the searing heat trying to peel your skin off.
Some stations had everything you needed on sale and some were almost empty of humans. Even at mid-morning. We did come across quite a lot of cattle herds though and once had to slow down to give the chaps a chance to get all their cattle off the line. My strategy of buying what I needed when I get it was paying dividends, as some stations will have all manners of drinks, bottled water and such and the next one will just have one or two things. One thing constant though was freshly prepared food at numerous food stalls. Take away or stand and rush it down!
It was surprising how few road/rail crossings are along the route considering the distance we were covering. Either a well-designed system or a serious lack of roads!
Zungeru came by and another 30mins wait to do whatever the train folks do at such places. No chance to go say hi to the Owelle’s family or have a look at his birthplace. Maybe next time.
Nice views outside, still lots and lots of farmland. I asked a lady how she she would have fared growing up in one of these isolated villages, she told me that was exactly was she was thinking about -Maybe 4 kids by now (she is around 24) and lots of farm work was her- tough life but maybe simpler.
We got to Minna Station past 4pm so I hopped off with Omo and we went searching for a car to Abuja.
Minna is one of those sleepy towns and the Minna Suleja road is not for night travel. Lots and lots of potholes and cars taking up all the available space left for driving on. We barely made it in daylight to Suleja where the roads were much better and then onto Abuja proper.
Next instalment will round up the trip and a bit of the new rail line from Abuja to Kaduna.Share this knowledge