Bye Bye Nigeria

So before I say a word about leaving Nigeria I just want to say a word about arriving. I had my reservations to be sure and even with an up to date visa I was still a bit nervous. I needn’t have worried. The whole process took two minutes and i was more than happy to be reunited with my suitcase.

Be warned you will be attacked by the taxi drivers once you exit but I was picked up by a mysterious women with seemingly no other purpose but to help me find my taxi driver who I had preordered from my hotel. Sean turned out to be a real class act.

So back to leaving Nigeria. Luckily the company I had used for all my excursions Tripzapp went to the bus station in Lagos and helped me buy my ticket to Cotonou in Benin which was my next destination.

The bus departed at 730am so Sean picked me up for the bus station at 615. It’s not exactly a state of the art establishment and I was the only European on the premises. I also wasn’t really sure where to go or what to do and was constantly told someone would announce the bus when it was ready to depart.

This wasn’t very reassuring especially once it had passed 8am and no one seemed to be going the same way as me.  Fortunately it eventually fell into place and we left in what was a very small bus. An hour later the bus pulled up elsewhere and I had to hand over my passport which I wasn’t very happy about.before transferring to a much larger and certainly more comfortable bus.

 We even had a friendly pastor entertaining us with plenty of cheerful clapping for Jesus taking place. I was willing to clap for anyone just to get through what i thought would be the next couple of hours to Benin. Be warned the roads and I use the term loosely are atrocious and there were times when it might have been faster to get out and walk.

Neither were the bathroom stops very pleasant with everyone simply finding a spot in the bush.

Luckily I held out till we got to the border which was at least 6 hours later. This was another fraught experience. I had read that a visa for Benin is issued at the border if you are only staying 7 days.

Well its true but I stupidly thought it was free. Be warned they will not accept Creidt cards and they will not take dollars. Eventually a small old man turned up and I was able to change $20 to pay for the visa. Next stop Benin.

Tinyteddy’s feedback: “Heck and I am tempted to use a much stronger word. We sat on this wretched bus for the best part of 7 hours. The roads were horrendous and the pastor made so much noise I could neither read my book or take a nap. The only good part was the seat was comfortable and the air conditioning was a welcome relief.”