Day 58… Monday 29th May
Left Sagamu needing fuel and phone data. It has been four days without wifi and proof of life needs to be sent! The MTN shop explained you have to be a resident of Nigeria and the app was currently down. Greta was low on fuel and the fuel station planned was closed. However managed to find fuel before heavy rains began and drove to Benin City. Number of police stops – I have actually lost count but would suggest around 20. Road conditions were bad in sections, although some good sections. The amount of police stops really hinder the journey time. The new Nigerian president was sworn in today, perhaps that explains the number of police stops. Our hotel in Benin City was in a secure compound (always a relief). The local beer was ‘Hero’ and the place was really nice.
- Ensuring there is enough drinking water available (3 to 6 litres a day).
- Checking drive times, route and destination on google maps and on the paper maps.
- Checking fuel, oil, fluid levels, tyre pressure.
- Checking intended accommodation for the night and looking at alternatives as a back-up plan which has been needed on the odd occasion.
- Checking local currency cash flow as using visa is rarely possible for fuel, food or accommodation.
- Trying to find a working ATM.
- Ensuring snacks are available during a days drive which relaces breakfast and lunch depending on the plan for the day and drive time. There are limited places to stop on route to take a break (no designated rest places and stopping in villages/towns can be tricky with sellers).
- A clean face cloth/handkerchief to wipe away the sweat pouring from your face
- Phone chargers for the phones so google maps can be used.
- Remembering to wear a hat in the sunshine
- Having a torch readily available at night in case of power cuts.
- Showering quickly in case the water flow stops or being prepared to not shower at all.
- Mosquito nets used and deet applied. New bites appear daily.
- Beer topper for bottle and glass otherwise the flies have a party.
- Checking all the necessary paperwork for the police stops are in hand (passports, visa, carnat, driving licence, brown card insurance, vehicle ownership, international driving permit).
- Keeping clean (trying not to get covered in mud jumping out of Greta is tricky and my nails get filthy.
Despite all this, still smiling 😊
Popping on the TV it turns out that today is the inauguration of the new president following the recent elections. Besides the imminent promised removal of subsidies on fuel which may cause issues I hope there is a smooth transition over the next few days.