Happy last week of August!
I realize that it's been a million years since the last time I wrote about a tourist attraction in Lagos. Turns out there aren't that many and I'm not very good about getting to them. But thanks to a few intrepid friends of mine a trip was organized to the city of Abeokuta in neighboring Ogun state and I got to see the famous Olumo Rock. It's a lot like what it appears to be - a big rock on top of a hill - but it has an interesting history and standing on top if it offers a nice view of the area. It's only really interesting for about an hour but you could spend the day in Abeokuta checking out the market as well, and we heard about but did not visit a local museum.
To be brutally honest there isn't much to see at the rock, but I am really glad I went anyway. It was nice to be surrounded by rocks and grass and trees rather than concrete and trash and people.
Beyond just the novel 'back to nature' enjoyment of climbing the rock, it offers a nice view of the city of Abeokuta. We see so little of Nigeria outside Lagos that it's good to have these occasional trips to remind us that 1) there's a whole real country out there, and 2) it doesn't all revolve around US visas. Driving through the city reminded me of everything I love about Nigeria - the busyness, the entrepreneurial spirit, the beautiful forests and hills. I also just love the intangible texture of the place; everywhere you look there's such a density of interesting things to see that it's both fun and overwhelming.
In true developing world fashion, safety was more of a suggestion than a rule. We climbed up one very steep section of rock, with a very long drop should we fall, only to turn around at the top and see this line. Oops! I guess we went up the wrong way! Maybe guard rails would have removed from the view?
Anyway, if you're in Lagos and the security rules allow it's worth a day trip.