I recently moved back to Nigeria, it’s actually been a month today, how time flies…
At first when I got back, I was fighting hard not to be downcast and depressed because I came back with no money and didn’t know what was next really. I stayed a while in Lagos and ran away because it’s so expensive to move about without a car there. I ran to Port Harcourt to visit my older sisters and nephews, and then from there to Enugu where my mom lives.
I was in Enugu for just three days, but decided to google places to go sight-seeing, and I found a couple of places on this website.
I decided to go to Awhum caves and waterfall by the monastery and also Ngwo pine forest, also the caves and waterfall, MIlken hill and finally Nike lake.
My mom called one of her trusted taxi drivers to the house, when I told him all the places I wanted to go to, he first said it would all cost 12k (Naira), but we managed to bargain and he reduced it to 7k.
And so we were off (my nephew, a guy that sometimes drives for us, and this boy that was living at my moms, helping out and I), we drove to Awhum first, the road was rather bumpy (why the taxi driver was quoting a high price). At Awhum, there was a barrier, the gate keeper didn’t allow us go in, said the monastery and caves were closed to the public. I begged dude, he said there was nothing he could do, that I have to take permission from a particular priest. Eventually he gave me the priests number with some resistance, the priest let us in to the monastery, and came to meet us. He also was considerate seeing as I came with a taxi, coming from ‘overseas’ and I really just wanted to take some pictures and admire Gods work, if not he said they are closed to the public and they are no longer letting people in. The security guard that ended up being our guide, was also asking for money, went from 5k to 1k (Dude even wanted to die us account number when we offered him 500 Naira at first).
The journey was long (almost an hour), and some random lady that had not been to the waterfall in 9years decided to join us. She and the guide prayed all the way there. We went through bushes, waded through water (was so tasking) and climbed rocks. I felt like I was on a spiritual journey. They told us the waterfall has healing power, but it’s only by your faith, and told us to take a bottle to fetch some water. Eventually we got there, and we all bathed in the waterfall and took pictures. That woman spent some time praying there too (she just tried to commandeer the whole trip). The walk back seemed shorter, but by then my water had finished and I was really just tired of walking. Fortunately it wasn’t so hot. It also wasn’t quite what I had expected, having gone to other waterfalls around the world, including Gurara falls, I thought it would be as straight forward as the rest, never would’ve guessed it took all that to get to the waterfall.
It was really just such an amazing experience though, the whole thing from beginning to end. Sometime’s I would sorta stand outside myself and be like “you’re really here, you’re really doing this, who would’ve thunk it” (because really I had not actually envisioned it all happening, I was just meant to be visiting my mom and sewing a dress for her).
That lady that went with us was later preaching to me, about how I should be striving to be like Mary, and told me it’s only ‘harlots’ that wear trousers, (kissing my teeth). By the way the taxi driver went with us to the caves.
Tip1: If you do decide to go there when it’s open to the public, make sure you don’t wear trousers, and have something to cover your hair. I wasn’t troubled because well it wasn’t exactly open, but I did see a sign there and the security guy also mentioned it.
Tip2: You may wanna take a change of clothes, wear slippers that you can walk in water in, take a water bottle, get a waterproof case for your phone or camera (I took a big risk taking pictures with my iPhone, what if it fell in water?
Tip3: Also have some extra money to tip people who would guide or help you with information.
Next stop was Ngwo Pine Forest, but we decided to drive through milked hill, because the view of Enugu is nice from there. We were advised not to stop because it can be dangerous, robberies and all, of course you know we still stopped, for just like a second, but we took pictures while moving.
Ngwo also has a cave and waterfall, but we did not go there because the path wasn’t clear/visible because of the rainy season, so if you’re going there, go during the dry season. We basically just walked around the forest, enjoyed the view, took pictures, and headed back home. Hopefully I’ll go there the next time I’m in Enugu to visit my mom.
We didn’t go to Nike lake because the wahala at Awhum was time consuming and frankly I was tired and wet.
Lastly, if you don’t have stamina, don’t go on this trip, but honestly if you can’t on this trip then you should be ashamed of yourself because my 8 year old nephew made it.
*Pictures and write up were gotten from Sonia herself. Original piece can be found on her site.