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I’ll tell the story with photos… and for those of you who are still scared of taking a boat ride across the sprawling lagoon waters you see and marvel at, but dread from the Third-Mainland Bridge, I hope these photos will change your mind. Ok, let’s go:
I decided to cross the lagoon from Ajah (in Lekki, Victoria Island) and sail a speed boat to Ikorodu, and back to Ajah. So, I drove to the waterfront and jetty in Badore area of Ajah (see location on the map below) and booked a ticket with Tarzan Boat Service (one of the most popular marine transport operators in Lagos which also operates at the jetty). There were people waiting to board the boat, so I didn’t have to wait for long for the boat to get filled up.
The sights at the water front were beautiful… wooden canoes tied to stilt bamboo poles on the gentle creek, blocks of raised shanties shooting out from land into the waters and a skyline of luxurious rain forest vegetation resting beneath huge balls of blue-grey skies. I stood there for sometime, taking it all in and wishing for more.
The Lagos Lagoon opened before us like the rising of the sun at unfolding of a new dawn. The lagoon-scapes were breadth-taking, with the dusty brown tropical colour of the lagoon setting a lovely foreground for the dirty white jute sails of local fishing canoes and local sand sellers, as well as the short stretch of forest covered islets dotting the skyline.
We crossed the electricity power line- a popular landmark on the Lagos Lagoon.
After about thirty minutes (30mins) of continuous speed on the waters, we got to Ikorodu.
At the Ikorodu jetty, I alighted from the boat and asked people where I could get nice and fresh palm wine. After considering all the options given, I decided to board an okada (motorcycle) to one of the palm wine joints at the outskirt of the town.
As expected, the joint consists of two sheds made of tree branches and thatched roofs. One of the sheds, whose gable-roof was steeper, served as the sitting area for customers while the other shed with a shed-roof, which is more open has as the display stand for the wine, so that passers-by along the main road could easily see. The wines were sold in white 10litre bottles.
I decided to buy one of the bottles, but I was skeptical of the freshness of the wine, since lots of palm wine sellers have been known to dilute the wine with water to increase their profit. When I expressed my doubts, and the palm wine boy decided to give me a free cup of the wine, so I could judge myself. The wine was surprisingly cold and refreshing. As I lifted the cup off my lips, and a thin white foam of the wine settled on my lip line and moustache, a broad smile swept across my lips in approval of the quality of the palm wine and the wine boy nodded and smiled. He asked of I wanted another cup and although my throat begged for more, I dared not take another cup-full of the wine… it will be very dangerous to sail a boat on high speed drunk and stoned; make person no go fly commot for boat, land inside water! I imagined the next morning’s news headline being: “Drunk Nigerian travel blogger falls off speed boat and drowns in the Lagos lagoon”. Tufiakwa! God forbig oo!
I got another okada and sped back to the jetty in Ikorodu, but had to wait for the boat to get filled up. The passengers sat on benches within the waiting room and looked in the lagoon waters just outside the door, hoping for more passengers to come quickly.
After about twenty five minutes, we were ready to move, and person began to pick life jackets and strap them on. Another boat from Ajah just parked at the jetty and its passengers had begun to walk up the jetty.
We sped out again and the beauty of the lagoon broke out before us, taking my heart once again in its unfathomable embrace.
This article was written by Folarin Kolawole
Founder of Naijatreks, Nigerian-born Folarin Kolawole is a geologist, travel writer and researcher. When not at work, he travels the length and breadth of Nigeria, exploring, taking photos and writing about her numerous hidden tourist potentials. 'Naijatreks' is a product name registered under the Ntreks brand, which is also duly registered by Nigeria's Federal Corporate Affairs Commission. The contents on this blog are re-usable. However, it must be ensured that it is linked back to this blog, and correctly attributed to Naijatreks or the author. Please do not edit, rewrite or commercialize the original works on this blog without direct and written permission from the Founder (Folarin Kolawole). For inquiries and advert placement on the blog, kindly contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.