Early this year, I had plans to go on a few local tours in Nigeria. When I saw Naija Nomads’ Mangrove tour, I knew that even if I didn’t go for any other tour this year, I had to go for this one because it had two of my favorite things: exploring and adire making.
On the d-day, we were told to make it to our pick-up point at Lekki for 7am. I was the first Nomad tourist to be there *time management goals* At about 8:30am, the bus was full with other Nomads and we headed straight to Epe, Lagos for our trip.
AT THE EPE COMMUNITY
The trip was about an hour and thirty minutes, thank goodness for weekend no-traffic. We met with our local tour guide who first gave us a tour and history of his community. Then we headed off to the canoe shores to paddle to our adire making site.
THE MANGROVES CANOE RIDE
Personally, the biggest highlight of our trip was the canoe ride. It was such a tranquiling ride. Some of my Nomad team members almost slept off in their canoe, until they remembered that the river breeds crocodiles! Thank goodness none visited us during our trip. During the ride, our tour guide gave us a summary of how German scientist came to take samples of the river for testing. The test was positive which means the water is good to drink. But of course none of us dared to drink it. Though a few daring ones among us dipped their fingers into the water to taste it.
ADIRE MAKING CLASS
We finally made it to shore and had to walk a few miles to our destination. We had the adire making lessons at a school which was conducted by Alejo Aladire. The school was on summer break so the place was empty except for the community members who came to watch us making our adires. The adire making was fun. We first had a summary lesson on what adire was about. I liked that session. It felt like we were way back in primary/secondary school with the way we were all sitting and asking questions. The adire instructor took his time to teach and show each of us how to make our adire designs. Mine is called the diamond style, if I recall. I loved the splash of colors of everyone work. It was really fun especially when everyone had to reveal their works.
NOMAD FISH EATING PICNIC AT EPE BEACH
After our adire making session, we headed back to our canoes and paddled back to our tour guide’s community. We then drove off to the Epe Beach to have our picnic. By the way, we were advised to bring along mats for our picnic, which I humbly did. I enjoyed my Epe fish meal! I mean how can you go to Epe and not eat fish??? That’s the hub of fish rearing! I was particularly hungry so I devoured my grilled tilapa fish with roasted boli (plantain) and fried potatoes *burp* Then I washed it down with a bottle of Wild Juice, our official Nomad Mangrove drink. You all should try Wild Juice. I practically drank like five bottles during the trip. I think I was the highest drinker of that juice! After lunch, we played a few games before some of us headed to the Epe Fish Market. Unfortunately, we could not buy fish as most of the sellers were still on Sallah holiday.
At about 5:30pm, we departed Epe back to our pick up destination to wave and hug each Mangroving Nomad goodbye. The end. *shines teeth*
The Mangroving Nomad trip is what I call a fulfilled trip. It made me a happy Nomad. I mean it was truly a different kind of trip as Naija Nomads had promised. Local. History. Canoes. Creativity. Dye-dirty. Fond memories. Lots of fish. New friendships made. Looking forward to going for more nomad trips with Naija Nomads.
It was great to finally meet the ‘Nomad Mama’ of Naija Nomads, Mofe. Sweet babe she is.
Naija Nomad is doing an Nigeria Independence Day Weekend trip to Ondo State from 30th September – 2nd October, 2017. If you don’t have plans for that weekend, please plan to go with them. You will truly enjoy being a Team Naija Nomad.