November 18, 2014

Berry Rocky Weekend

Hi guys!!!

Sorry this post is coming late. I usually like to put up my weekend posts on Mondays, but I was exhausted on Sunday night and couldn't bring myself to get the post ready. So here it is, better late than never :)

Olumo Rock!!! And the goat that photobombed us!



My weekend was pretty darn good, minus all the traffic we had to sit in. We traveled to Abeokuta for a friend's wedding, and the route we used was two disasters and a quarter!!! Thankfully though, we got through it and got to Abeokuta in time. Abeokuta is a city in a neighboring state (for my non-Nigerian readers). The meaning of Abeokuta is UNDER THE ROCK, and I'll tell you why it's named that in the ensuing paragraphs. Anyways, we got to the venue early because as Nigerians, the event started late. Using it to our advantage, we went to meet the groom and got our hotel room. After hanging out for a little bit, we all headed back to the venue for the traditional wedding ceremony. I won't share pictures of their wedding, because I forgot to ask their permission, but you can see what I looked like :D
Remember the first time I wore this?


Ofada rice - it's got a really pungent smell that can be off-putting, but I love the taste!!!

The event hall was very packed and Nigeria's been really hot lately, so I alternated between sitting in the car and sitting right outside the hall doors. Cakes and the groom are good friends, so he got to go in with the groom and dobale (prostrate) as a sign of respect to her family. Meanwhile, I ate and ate and overate ofada rice this weekend!!!

After the traditional wedding finished, we headed back to the hotel, watched National Geographic Wild (animals can be ruthless mehn), and then I crashed.

The following morning, we woke up bright and early to visit Olumo Rock (where Abeokuta gets its name from - under the rock, remember?) I remember reading about Olumo Rock as a child in primary/secondary school - I really enjoyed Geography, so I just had to see it for myself. And what a sight!!! I wish Nigeria would realize the tourism potential it has, and properly maintain its precious treasures. Anyway, if you're ever in the area, I would highly recommend a stop at Olumo Rock. We spent a little over an hour there, got an unintended workout (because the elevators weren't working - what else is new?), and got a history lesson.

We saw this mosque on the way to Olumo Rock. Thought it was a church at first.
 This is the first mosque in Abeokuta. I didn't ask when it was built though. There were so many old houses too. I wonder what life was really like, back in the day.


The entrance to Olumo Rock :)

From what I read, the elevators/stairs were added within the past few years.







But we don't have coins :(




Woot woot, I'm climbing!!!



Our tour guide
 He was very knowledgeable and shared a lot of history and facts with us. The first level is flat, and people can rest there, have picnics, chill, etc. He showed us some trees that apparently have miraculous powers and stuff. I can't remember what exactly.


Moving on to the next level


Olumo Main Shrine
In the 1800s, the people of Egba hid inside Olumo Rock during war times.  Because they were made safe, they turned Olumo Rock into a deity and every year come to perform special rituals to the rock. Only 2 people can perform the rituals - a chief priest and the main king (there are 5 kings, but one is more superior).

*side note* As a Christian, sometimes I forget that there are traditional religions in Nigeria that people take very seriously. *end side note*

Going back to the history, the women and children stayed in the rock's hiding place for shelter, while the men went out to fight and/or scout the enemy from the top of the rock. The grooves in the picture below were used to grind ingredients for food.

In front of one of the rooms inside the rock. There used to be 5 of them. Only 1 remains :(


Water inside this pot ALWAYS remains cold


Erm, the guide talked a lot more when we got the point above, but I can't remember anything he said. Wait, I remember there's a chief priestess who's about to celebrate her 129th birthday.

Heading to the next section of the rock. At this point, we've gone halfway around the second level of the rock. It has 3 levels total.

Baobab tree
There are 2 ways to get to the third level - the peak - of Olumo Rock. One is the narrow space through the rock as shown below. The other way is another staircase/elevator tower. Guess which way we used.

Some carvings of heroic warriors, and cowries.

Whew, that climb was so hard... HAHA, LIES! We just wanted a picture. 


From the peak!!! You can see Abeokuta :)





And so we saw Olumo Rock. What goes up must come down! Plus we had a wedding we were now running late to.


I picked this up at their Art Gallery/Shop at the base of the rock.

I wonder what Nigerian sights I'll visit next. Maybe the Calabar Festival in December? We'll see.

Oh yeah, this is what we looked like at the wedding afterwards. And I ate more ofada rice and ayamase (ofada or designer stew - which is really oily and has lots and lots of assorted meat. I'm picky so I pick out most of the meat). Our trip back to Lagos right after the wedding was uneventful. We got home in one piece, thank God.
I made sure we got our pictures taken at the wedding. We have virtually no printed photos of us in our apartment!
Meanwhile, Cakes is now obsessed with these Yoruba caps. He got 3 this weekend.

The following day, we visited Cakes' brother's church for his baby's dedication. Then we went to deliver the cake below (for a Tea Party Bridal Shower), and headed to my brother-in-law's house for the dedication reception (traffic was just stupid! How can 3 trailer trucks fall on the same stretch of road in less than 1 week?!?!?!?!)
Cakesiena on Instagram

Anyways, after all this activity, you can understand why I was exhausted on Sunday night. I actually left Cakes at his brother's house because I was too tired. I hope you had a nice weekend too.

Here's wishing you a nice week - mine will be hectic (but for a good cause).

23 comments:

  1. Nita baby that's my town right there.. I am from abeokuta... ... Nice one...

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    1. Yay, I hope the pictures brought back some fond memories for you :)

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  2. been around abeokuta alot never been to olumo rock, hope to be there one day.x
    www.deemako.com

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    1. Almost two years and it warms my heart to write a follow up comment that I did it. You were a huge inspiration as well, I loved reading about Olumo and a few of your other adventures at that time.x

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  3. Awesome post. One of the places i heard of and wanted to go while i still lived in Nigeria. Looks fun and i love the documentation of everything in pictures

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    1. Thank you. If you visit and are around Abeokuta, I'd recommend it.

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  4. Awesome!!!!...I must say i had fun reading your review/experience about the Olumo rock.Nice one Berry! :D

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  5. ....Now, you make visiting even more appetizing.....AND you climbed those rocks with slippers???....girlll, health and safety, health and safety!

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    1. And I work in HSE *hides face in shame*

      I forgot my sneakers at home.

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  6. Ooh I do like the historical info incorporated into this post.. my inner geek is happy :) Great pictures too!

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    1. Thanks. I do enjoy history and geography.

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  7. I need to visit the Olumo rocks again. The last time was as a primary school pupil decades ago.
    Love your blog Berry.

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    1. Thank you Olubunmi! You should visit if you're around.

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  8. Thanks for the history lesson. Sad to say I have not been to Olumo Rock before.

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    1. The next time you go to Abeokuta, take an hour out to visit :)

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  9. so adventurous!! i'm scared someone will kidnap me..lol. really though i've been wanting to road-trip around nigeria but i'm scared sha

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    1. LOL! It's not that bad. Although I hear they're still kidnapping in PH. Terrible.

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  10. yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, please come to calabar :)
    plus you have to bring that necklace as your gate pass.lol

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  11. Mummy wants to knowJune 25, 2015 at 12:56 AM

    Hi, Berry. My children's school are scheduled to go in an excursion trip to Olumo Rock today and my husband and I are sceptical about allowing our daughter go. The thing is, she's 6 years old and we think that's a long trip to make when we won't be there. I remembered this post and I want to ask, "How far is Olumo Rock from Lagos?" and "Do you think 6-10 years - old children have any business climbing the rocks?" (I'm assuming they are going to climb, if not, there's not much of a point in going, right?)
    I'd appreciate a quick response. Thanks a lot.

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    1. Hello MWTK! Hmm, the drive from Lagos to Abeokuta is about 2 hours long, and the only worry I would have is just traffic - depending on the route they take. As far as her age, I think that children from that age are pretty energetic and agile, so climbing won't be a problem (unless there are health issues like asthma).

      As long as the group is going with responsible adults, I think she'll enjoy the trip.

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    2. Mummy now knows :)June 25, 2015 at 5:25 AM

      Thanks a lot for the response. She came into our room when I was typing the earlier comment and I told her why we didnt think she should go. One of the reasons was that the climb might be too much for her, so I showed her pictures from your blog, thinking she'd be daunted.
      She noticed the elevator immediately and told me that if the stairs were a lot, she'd use that instead. The babe just wanted to go, lol.
      Anyway, her dad and I prayed about it and became convinced that she'd be safe and would have fun, so we decided to let her go. She was super excited when she left for school. They're on the way now.
      Her excitement was catching... that's a trip we'll all make, together, someday, by the grace of God :)

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Reading your comments ALWAYS makes me smile. I hope you smile when I reply :)