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On the way to and from Ghana we passed through Lagos. I found it much less chaotic than its reputation had led me to expect. Maybe if it’s the first place you see in Nigeria it’s a bit overwhelming but to me it’s just like any Nigerian city but on a larger scale.
One odd experience was visiting the Palms shopping centre, which is packed full of very wealthy Nigerians. It has shops just like you’d see in Western Europe, including a supermarket. I thought it was interesting that a lot of the prices in the supermarket were actually lower than in ordinary Nigerian markets. Of course, the people who’d benefit most from these lower prices probably can’t afford transport to get to Palms and might not be allowed in even if they reached it.
Transport was easy, although Marebec and Dave had been there before and knew where to get buses to various parts of the city. We took one very scary okada in the night, weaving in and out of traffic at speed and hurtling over potholes. I wouldn’t mind if I had any confidence that the riders were in control of their bikes but they’re pretty poor, always either on full throttle or the brake, on sandy roads that means you keep sliding about.
The bridges are one of the distinctive features of Lagos, especially the Third Mainland Bridge. This is the one we took to the airport, it is (or was, not sure) the longest in Africa and is apparently deteriorating badly due to a total lack of maintenance. It’s quite strange to be in a bus, hurtling across a dual-carriageway concrete bridge and looking at stilt houses in the lagoon on one side.
Here is some general information we worked out or picked up as we travelled around Ghana. We used the Bradt Ghana guidebook (3rd edition, 2004) and I recommend it, it’s worth noting that prices for most things have approximately doubled since the guidebook was published.
I brought a Flexifoil Sting 1.2 kite back to Nigeria with me in November (that’s a fairly small power kite, 1.2 square metres). I’ve not had much of a chance to fly it due to lack of wind or other things to do.
Today I finally had the time and the wind was strong enough, so I wandered over to the NTI Staff Primary school football pitch and unpacked the kite.