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Early on the morning of Saturday, 2nd August, 2014, our travel group set off on a quest to conquer the soaring and daunting heights of the massive Effon Ridge in Osun State, on which cascades the seven stages of Olumirin Waterfalls (also known as Erin-Ijesa Falls). One of the attractions on the trip was to climb to the top of the ridge and hike to the small Abake Village reposed in the verdant rainforest at the mountain top, where the group is meant to have a lunch of locally-made cuisine. Other destinations on the tour were Igbara-Oke Petroglyphs and the legendary Iho-Eleeru Cave and its mythical Ifa Inscriptions.
Taking the Lagos-Ibadan-Ilesha route also gave the tour group an opportunity to sample various street food associated with specific places along the route. Among these were Dodo-Ikire, which are balls of fried ripened-plantain, spiced and tightly wrapped in transparent polythene- peculiar to Ikire town; Akara-Osu, which are deep-fried bean balls peculiar to the town of Osu, near Ile-Ife.
The climb up the ridge was nerve cracking, testing each of the participant’s physical fitness. One can never be fully prepared for the arduous ascent up the steep, densely forested slopes of the ridge. However, the summit was immensely breath-taking as the entire mountain-top was engulfed in a dense cloud cover. We literally climbed into the clouds. Although visibility was low, yet the feeling of standing high up in the clouds was inexplicably enchanting. The hike to the village at the mountain top was unexpectedly long and daunting, winding through rocky expanse of sparsely vegetated land, to densely forested areas, dissected by small springs, streams and the Olumirin River itself. One of the eye-catching sights in the forest was the abundant Uma leaf and cocoa trees.
The visit to the ancient diagrammatic rock engravings in Igbara-Oke, known as petroglyphs, fascinated the tour group as we were treated to amusing myths about the history and interpretation of the mysterious engravings. The tour was concluded by a 45 minutes motorcycle ride from Isarun village to the distant location of Iho-Eleeru (also know as Cave of Ashes) in the forest, after which the tour group returned to Lagos.
See below some photos from the trip:
– Dodo Ikire at Ikire Town (Orange-coloured food is called Adun)
– Akara-Osu at Osu Town.
Welcome to Erin-Ijesha…
– Erin-Ijesha Town, home of Olumirin Waterfalls, Osun State
– The second cascade of Olumirin Waterfalls
– In the clouds… Amazing!!…but freezing cold.
– Uma Leaf… one of the most abundant plants at the ridge top.
– After a long time of arduous trek in the forest, we finally arrived at Abake village!!
– Moimoi of life! loll…. the Uma leaf wrap gives it a special irresistible flavour.
– Uma leaf sellers, loading bundles of harvested Uma leaves unto a truck to transport down to nearby markets and towns.
– The monkey of one of the Uma leaf farmers. It’s name is “Obama”. loll
Welcome to Igbara-Oke Petroglyphs.
Welcome to Isarun, the sleepy cave-city!
– Fresh palmy (palm wine) from Isarun village!
– Getting set to ride off into the forests to the distant location of the cave.
– Walking through a forest of cocoa plantation to Iho-Eleeru Cave.
– Coming out of the small exit at the far end of the cave.
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.