We’ve been following Kevin for a while on instagram and had we’ve been secretly jealous of his adventures but as this is Unravelling Nigeria, we couldn’t feature him. Imagine our joy when we peeped his insta story and he was on a weekender in a Nigerian state. We had to hit him up real quick.
The pictures definitely make us want to pack a bag and head to Oyo state real quick.
Kevin Johnson-Azuara, bon vivant, whiskey connoisseur, beach bum, chaser of sunsets, occasional scribe. Learn more about him on his Instagram page kevinjazuara
Give us a brief description of where you went and what the trip was about.
We went to Idere in Oyo state. A good friend of mine invited a group of us to spend the weekend at her family’s country/village home. The annual trip gives her parents an opportunity to actively engage with the elders regarding community-building initiatives.
Was accommodation required for this trip? If yes where did you stay and what was it like?
Yes it was. I stayed in the guest chalet of my friend’s house for three days.
What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The fog, serenity, and view during our morning hike up Idere Hills which lasted about 4 hours. Truly amazing experience
What was your best moment of the entire trip?
The hike and the variety of food we enjoyed.
What was the scariest moment (if any)?
Mistakenly sliding down the slopes of the rocks. Luckily that didn’t happen though!!
Did you find any sights or activities a bit off the beaten track ie beyond the tourist traps?
The hiking trail which a local tour guide took us through went through a pineapple farm and a herd of pigs.
What are two interesting things about where you went that the average person doesn’t know?
Can’t really put this into words. You have to experience the aura and peacefulness of the place to fully understand.
Did you meet any locals? If yes, what were they like?
Yes. They were friendly, warm, and inquisitive.
What was the funniest/strangest/most insightful thing a local said?
A rabbit was presented to us as a going away present, and someone said something in Yoruba indicating that we had to leave it behind for fattening so it would be there for us to eat on our return. I’ve never had rabbit before, so go figure the horror on my face when it was translated to me.
What was the hardest or most frustrating part of the trip?
Traffic!! Particularly on the Lagos-Ibadan Highway. Thankfully we had security services to expedite our navigation.
Did anything go wrong that seems funny now?
Our bus stopped every 20 mins or so to top-up the engine oil due to a leak, and our security detail literally flying out and surrounding our convoy every time we stopped.
Did you eat anything locally, if yes, what was your favorite?
The BBQ goat on the spit, asun from another planet, original amala and ewedu with orishirishi for days, the small chops with sautéed prawns. My love handles definitely increased in size.
If you ate locally, what was the strangest thing you ate?
I definitely didn’t push the envelope; Anthony Bourdain gets paid to try “otherworldly” stuff, I don’t.
What were the cost implications of this trip?
Nothing on the logistics side, however for refreshments, we all made significant contributions to complement what our hostess provided.
Now that you’ve been there yourself, when you think of your trip what’s the first image that comes to your head?
The euphoria I felt when we reached the top of Idere Hills during our hike. The view was simply breathtaking to behold. We all didn’t want to go back down
Would you revisit or ever move there?
Visit again? Definitely. Move? Nah. I’m too much of a beach bum to move that far inland.