PawelK    Podróże    Across Africa by all means. Mainly cycling....    The fumes so thick!!!
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The fumes so thick!!!

Nigeria, Abuja
Przejechano 11699 km

Abuja is one of the capitals which is totally different from the rest of the country. When I entered Nigeria on the road I could see only very old and run down cars, mostly Peugeots, and the towns were small and dusty. As I approached this city the roads improved and the cars as well. I entered the city on the super-highway jammed with all kinds of vehicles. One thing was sure though, they were using the same cheap fuel choking me all the time when I breathed.
My first few days weren't really in the Abuja city as my contact for this place was a brother of a friend's friend from Poland and at the beginning I didn't even know where was he staying. After I had conquered a very tiring hill I received a message and learned that I had to travel all the way back to a smaller city just before Abuja. Well, as it happened, at least it was downhill!
As Kenneth welcomed me with all he had to offer, I really could't complain and as I discovered later, Abuja is 50% more expensive than the rest of the country.
It turned out that as soon as I got to this place where I could to do some errands and spend a few days resting I ended up getting sick with malaria, once again!!!!!
For 2 days I had a high fever and had lay in bed most of the time. On the third day I got some medicine and started to feel better.

So finally it was time to do something. Jikwoiy, the place I was staying, had one big advantage- it was cheap with very friendly people, however it was far from town and the transportation was slow and expensive.
So as soon as I felt better I jumped on a bike and went to town to find out where and what I could see.
I must say Abuja is not a pedestrian and bicycle friendly city. It has been built with large distances between the main infrastucture providing little incentive to walk from one place to another. Big highways, big intersections, big fences, no pedestrian crossings, big homes for senior officials and so on. Not my style of town!
It is not nice to cycle there either, but I had to cycle through it every day in search of a visas to Benin and Togo. The last one I got was a big surprise. I had to wait only 20 minutes for it!!!!

I found out after one day of frustrating research in town that I can't cash my American Express Travellers Cheques which forced me once again to use my ATM Card. At this rate it will be empty very soon, hee hee hee!!
But with the bad, comes good things because after meeting up with a some people I was introduced to a local Julius Berger company worker name Ruediger. He and his co-workers are mountain biking enthusiasts and as soon as he heard that I'm cycling across Africa he decided to help me out.
For those of you who don't know Julius Berger, it is a huge building company from Germany. They undertake most of the more technical and large scale projects in Nigeria. They have all kinds of machinery and a variety of technicians. What does this mean for me??
Well it means that with a bit of luck and help from Rudi I can repair almost everything for my bicycle, or find spare parts.
Rudi had some parts which fit my bicycle like new ones. And later on some specialists welded the back of my frame, where a crack had appeared.
All off these things happened at the end of the week during which I also moved to a Coushsurfing hosts place who is living in town. It has made everything so much easier. On the weekend I was also invited to cycle around Abuja with my new Julius Berger friends!!!! Although my bike and I have seen back roads in the region many times it was good to see some new places with really cool people. It was also a good way to test my new spare parts and stay fit while staying in one place, not mentioning the beer and food afterwards!

At this point I would like to say a big thank you to Roudiger Scheuer, and all his colleagues from Julius Berger company. Without their help I would be in big trouble. Roudiger especially helped over a period of 5 days. It was amazing and a real example of German hospitality, never to be forgotten. Big thanks to all the cycling enthusiasts with whom I spent 2 very lovely days around Abuja.
I wish you guys all the best in Nigeria and happy retirement somewhere else one day!!!
Love you guys!!!

So here I am, the malaria is gone once again, the bike is working once again and my passport has 2 new visas once again,
I washed my clothes, cut my nails, bought some dental floss (which is not available for a range of 1000 km, or more)!!.
I also did some research about my future route, got to know about the safety issues awaiting me ahead. It is hard to say whether it is good to know about all these bad things or not?
I have eaten some more interesting food than what I would usually find on my way. .
This town was definately not the same as usual. The people I have met are quite different and it will be great to stay in touch with them. As part of travel is meeting people, this has been one of the most memorable experiences for me.
Soon I will move on, with hopefully no malaria or troubles with the bike!

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Komentarze (6)
genek - 2011-07-04 10:49
szkoda ze wpisy tak rzadko... szacun wielki i czolobicie , po powrocie chetnie wypillbym z taba browara , ja mieszkam na stegnach , ale dojade wszedzie , choc w moim rowerze rama pekla i musze kupic nowy ... teraz juz masz z gorki w mauretanii - wypas autostrada od nowakszott do naodibu ... 300 km mozna zrobic w jeden dzien , co to dla Ciebie :))))
Romuald - 2011-07-10 22:00
Pawel, dziś przesledzilem Twojego bloga od Kongo do ostatniego wpisu. Podziwiam i zazdroszcze. Trzymam kciuki za dalsza droge.
Romuald - 18 etap AN.
Agnieszka - 2011-07-11 22:34
Romek przeczytal Afryke, a ja przeczytalam caly blog:) ciekawa lektura. Pawel a slyszales kiedys, ze jeden dzien zycia w Afryce to moze byc wiecej niz rok zycia gdzie indziej ;)? ciekawe ile Pawel ma juz lat...powodzenia!
mama - 2011-07-14 15:49
No to mamy do czynienia z prawdziwa anomalia !
ON JEST STARSZY ODE MNIE, co to bedzie gdy wroci pod dach rodzinny ? ....
mirka66 - 2011-07-25 15:28
Super wyjazd !!!!
ruedi, abuja
ruedi, abuja - 2011-08-09 09:01
Hey pawel, very nice pictures arround luck and all the best....allways wellcome in the hart of afrika :-)
Ruedi, abuja
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