Sunday, January 26, 2014

18 miles

That's how far I bicycled this weekend on what is definitely not the most road friendly, in-shape of bicycles. But hey - I sure got my exercise!

This great bike riding adventure was brought to you by the Nigerian Field Society. They really do deserve a post of their own - but since my weekend is winding down pretty quickly and I'm kind of a lazy bum I'll just settle for a 1 paragraph shout-out: The Nigerian Field Society is a group that organizes all sorts of cool and kind of random trips, talks and tours in Nigeria and the wider region. They do some very awesome stuff. There was a whale watching trip (sadly I missed that one), they climb Mt. Cameroon, they trek in Togo, they bird-watch, and generally come up with way more ideas than I would have time to on my own.

This was the first trip I went on with NFS. We biked the length of the Third Mainland Bridge, which Wikipedia assures me is the longest bridge in Africa at 11.8 km. (We biked a bit on either end as well, not to mention the whole 'return trip' thing.)

I saw the lumber yards featured in the BBC 'Welcome to Lagos' documentary, I saw Makoko - the stilt village, I saw fishermen and sand-dredgers. It was great.

I took a lot of pictures since the bridge is just about as close as we get to seeing what real life in Nigeria is like for most people. It was a good reminder that I really am immensely privileged to .
Makoko from a distance (most of the smoke is from the lumber processing nearby)

Up close

The small closet-sized buildings are outhouses.

These logs are brought down the rivers of Nigeria to be processed here in Lagos. Watch the documentary for the full story, it's fascinating.

Dolphin estates. From an architecture and affordable housing standpoint this place is really interesting. They appear to be a bunch of shipping containers that have been stacked, with windows and stairs and all the rest added later. This complex is huge and jam-packed with people but the living conditions are a lot better than somewhere like Makoko.
Ok, that's it for today.

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