Tuesday, 13 September 2016

DIARY: A Trip Down Memory Lane To Badagry

This is an exciting entry. Grab a bag of popcorn and a bottle of your favourite drink already. :)

Trip To Badagry


I’ve always loved going to places that give me opportunity to see and discover exciting things. Visiting Badagry was an amazing experience for me; I learnt the town’s most beautiful culture and heritage.

I received fresh insight on the gift of life and the freedom of living.

First things first, I have to thank Frances for this treat. When I posted my birthday wishlist in June, one of the things I mentioned was to go on a tour. So she promised to grant me that. Three times we fixed a date, three times we couldn't go. After scheduling and rescheduling, we finally went in August!

Come, lemme take you on a ride to Badagry. :)

En route

Frances and I met up at Oshodi at 11:15AM (that was quite late, really. You should go early enough). We boarded a bus to Mile2, which only started moving at about 11:35AM. Then we alighted at Mile2, we boarded another bus plying straight to Badagry.

The journey was smooth. Not sure there was traffic, if there was, I didn't notice. Frances and I couldn't get enough of our discussion on the bus: from issues related to purity, to womanhood, to friendship, to God's dealings, and to the future. I can bet other passengers enjoyed our chat and wished they could join us. Lol


The Slave Trade Relics

Our first visit was to the musuem. Badagry was an important slave route during the slave trade era, where slave were taken from Nigeria and other parts of Africa to America and Europe. When you visit, you'd see some of the important slave trade relics still standing.

You will be amazed at what you see. So much deep stories about everything there.

slave drinking bowl

Our tour guide said those chains were tied around the necks and legs of two slaves together. There was no way of escape with those chains tied to them.

Mr. Abiodun, our tour guide
Lol. See Frances' face. The chains were really heavy

Badagry is a city of secrets but its charm is far more than its natural beauty. I tried to look beyond the painful stories and allowed myself to appreciate the freedom of living in the moment and see the natural beauty the town has to offer.


The Brazilian Slave Baracoon

I cringed here. The Baracoon was the place where the slaves were kept before being sold out. Our tour guide said they kept 40 slaves in each room. Jeez! A room so small and inconducive for even three people to stay in. Frances, I (especially) and the tour guide almost suffocated barely 10minutes staying there. 


In the museum were relics and antiques gained from slave trading with the European slave dealers, such as Umbrella, Ceramic plates, Jugs etc. It was an inspiring experience for me and the local guide made the history come vividly to life.

Our tour guide said they sold 40 slaves for each of these items.
our tour guide said ONE slave had to carry this umbrella over the head of their master for . . . can't remember - Maybe 20 miniutes. And it was heavyyy!


~ Speed Boat Ride ~

This was the most interesting part of the tour. We boarded a boat at the Slave Port to cross the lagoon. The lagoon leads to a walk through the slave route to the Sea where the large ships were docked. The Slave Port used to be where the slaves were loaded into boats for shipment to Europe or America via the Atlantic Ocean. 


It was my first ever boat ride. I didn't realize I loved water that much. I could be a fish in my next life. :)

And so we started out to walk through the route the slaves walked through in times of yore - the route leading to 'The Point Of No Return.'

yes, I took off my skirt. Duh.

The Point Of No Return

The journey to the Point Of No Return was almost a loooong depressing one. Thank God we bought biscuits and groundnut on our way. It's nice to have something to eat and chew when you are embarking on this journey. Our guide explained that the slaves had to walk that distance with heavy chains on their feet and necks, to make it difficult for them to escape. (Oops. I think I've said that before)

At a point, when my legs began to ache, I couldn't imagine the pain the slaves went through!


~ The Slave Trade Route ~

Walking through the Slave route was an unforgettable experience for me and absolutely insightful.

At the beginning of the route, we saw a sign post that says “This is the route of the journey to an unknown destination”. I wondered what would have happened or run through the minds of those slaves whenever they got to that place.

Along the way, we saw the Attenuation Well. We were told that the water from the well may have been ‘jazzed’ with charms to make the slaves forget who they were and where they came from.

I told Frances to drink from the Attenuation Well so we could test if the 'jazz' was real and still working, she refused. :/


Lush green plants and trees surrounding us, it was a sight to behold. Girl, God is so creative!

The Beach

Frances and I wanted to go to Badagry beach, but didn't and did. We didn't because we couldn't meet up with time, and we did because we went to the ocean at the Slave Port. It was a win-win. It's the same water anyway. *shrugs*


We had so much fun at the beach. Frances and I played like children, we ran to see who'd "carry first". Guess who did? :/


We also struggled to write our names in the sand before the tide.


Can you believe that Frances brought some home-cooked meal? That babe is too much! While she had yam with vegetable sauce, I had rice and chicken. She indeed gave me a post-birthday treat! *licks lip*

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that we had the best tour guide in the world. He helped to carry Frances' bag, hold my glasses, fetch water for us to wash our legs after playing at the beach. At a point, I had to ask Frances, "is taking photographs part of being a tour guide too?" because he stood all through, watched us patiently and took ALL the pictures for us. God bless him!

Sadly, I have no picture of him. :(


Departure

Lagos can be noisy with its rugged atmosphere, but Badagry has a quiet vibe with its irrepressible natural beauty surrounding it. Nonetheless, we had to come back home, abi na?

And so we went back through the slave route again! The only difference was we were more excited and tired this time.

We boarded a bus back to Mile2.

second time across the lagoon
Lol. Yeah, we looove roasted corn!

Only somebody like Frances will make me eat like that on a bus. Lol. Thanks, sis. Every minute with you was refreshingly fun. 

We arrived Lagos at about 10PM.


Highlight Of Our Tour
  • Tour inside the Slave Trade Museum
  • Tour of Brazilian Slave Baracoon
  • Walking through the Slave route
  • Tour to the Point Of No Return (Thank God we returned. Lol)
  • Speed boat ride accross the lagoon
  • Fun at the beach

There are many other places to visit in Badagry, unfortunately we couldn’t visit Badagry Slave Market, Topo Settlement, First Storey Building in Nigeria, and Whispering Palms.

I look forward to another visit to Badagry. 

Unique yet significant, such tour is not worth passing up. Ah, it was so much fun! 

Hope you enjoyed your ride in this post? 




Posted by Nwamaka Ajaegbu 
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