January 03, 2009 GMT
Bangs and Benin

Just pulled into 'Chez Monique' a camp-site and Auberge which is in the 'book' (Lonely Planet). After having a difficult day I've dived straight for the easy option, getting myself a room and a beer quickly! The run from Lomé to here wasn't bad save for the accident this morning when some idiot on his scooter ran into the back of me! I was just pulling up to the insurance office to re-validate my cover, Crap timing for an accident! The guy and his passenger were fine, a couple of scrapes but nothing bad. But you'd have thought they were going to die the way they were putting it on. I had a passenger at the time who spoke excellent French so I asked her to tell these guy that even though I'm going to administer first aid, it's by no means an admission of guilt! I'm giving first aid and then if there's any damage to my bike there'll be the police involved and they'll pay me. Obviously the driver of the scooter knew he was in the wrong so after a clean up with a couple of plasters (band-aids) and two Ibuprofen each for the 'pain' I went to look at my bike for the damage, They scooted off quite quickly! There wasn't any damage to my bike and I knew it but the little Yamaha looked like it had a full frontal with a car! The panniers have had some beatings and I'll be surprised if they make the trip through Africa

beninborder

The border crossing unnerved me a bit when the immigration stated that on no account can they give me a visa on the border without first going through the consulate in Lomé. Shite! I showed him the book and as hundreds of people before me have received a visa then why can't I? He invited me to see the boss in his office who looked at me surly, nodded and said something incomprehensible, which meant 'yeah!' So a two day transit visa it is then f. or 10,000cfa.
As I arrived here in the 'Chez Monique' I was offered a guide, he told me he'd taken other bikers to a voodoo ceremony only last week, after inquiring, I found out these 'bikers' are Mark and Migo! So the boys stayed here too, ha! I unfortunately had to say no as I'm leaving to catch the boys up soonest and said my route was Benin City and Calabar in Nigeria tomorrow As to which he gasped “Ooh No!,Very dangerous!” and proceeded to give me a full account as to why Nigeria is not the best place for single white travelers and the Niger Delta in particular. No shit Sherlock! I do know and thanks for shitting me up some more!
I am a bit concerned as the Niger Delta isn't a wise place to go, especially alone and I've head a lot of stories about robbers, kidnappings etc but the one that gets me the most is the guys that are so called 'repairing' the road and do not let you pass until payment has been received. They're the guys who are unpredictable! They boys before me have said they didn't have problems and I hope everything goes well for me too!

Posted by geoffshing at January 03, 2009 10:25 AM GMT
 



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