A Journey Through 2 Countries on a N20k Budget! – Series III
This is the third and final recap of my 3-day trip to Benin Republic. I shared details about the first day here and second day here. This road trip took me to sites in two countries with a 20,000 Naira budget. I’ll breakdown costs next and also talk more about couchsurfing for the first time, getting to Cotonou and my experience crossing the Seme border.
Here’s an overview of how day three of the 3-day trip went.
Day Three : Fidjrosse to Badagry
After breakfast with Mark, I hopped into a taxi from Tokpa to the Seme border area. (Cost was 1000 cfa) (N754 Naira). I had made up my mind that I would not be giving anyone any money to get my passport stamped. In our previous discussions, Mark had told me that he had once been delayed for 2 hours at the Nigerian side because he refused to give them money.
I decided I would wait if I had to but I wouldn’t pay anything. Besides, there were lots of people going in and out on okadas without any checks by border officials. They were only harassing people doing the right thing by presenting their passports.
In the Taxi though, I met another Nigerian (Chidi* – not his real name) and we wound up making the trip together. I told him that I wanted to get my passport stamped without parting with my money and I would most likely be delayed. In order not delay him too, I suggested that we parted ways but he was a gentleman☺
To cut the long story short, we got into a fight with the border official on the Benin Republic side. I refused to pay and the lady got mad because she felt insulted by Chidi, who had paid N500 to a policeman outside thinking that was all it was going to take to get the passport stamped. She actually took off her belt and threatened to use it on him!
He had to pay another N,1000 to get us out of that mess. After all that drama, our bike man wheezed past the Nigerian border side without stopping. I thanked Chidi, apologized for the fracas, we said our goodbyes and I got into a shared taxi from the border to Badagry for N200.
I didn’t have any set plans when I got to Badagry. At first, I didn’t know where to go or how to get anywhere but I asked a bike man for directions to the Slave Museum. He told me he could take me there for N50, so I hopped on.
He stopped me at the Brazillian Baracoon where I met a Museum curator. I paid N2,000 for a full tour of the Baracoon, Mobee slave trade relics, first story building in Nigeria, the Badagry Heritage Museum and a trip to the ‘point of no return’.
At first, the trip to the point of no return was excluded because that alone cost about the same amount of money I paid but I was lucky to be there at the same time as a school excursion party, so I tagged along with them.
While in Badagry, I also met with this amazing artist, Femi Coker, who told me a little about his creations. He is responsible for making the world’s tallest drum, largest African shirt and the longest cap in the world (250ft long and 9in diameter).
He also owns an art gallery by the Heritage Museum and somewhere on the island. I hope we get to see some of his works in the Guinness Book of Records soon.
Anyway, my 3-day trip ended on a high! I had N1,000 left at the end of it and it was more than enough to get me back home. The trip was uneventful for the most part but my bus from CMS to Lekki broke down at Bonny Camp! LOL, so typical!
Thanks for following my journey guys. I hope I have inspired you to start yours. Travel can be done cheaply, so don’t let money or the lack of it, be the sole reason why you never travel (if you want to).
Please leave your comments, contribution or question in the comment box. By Amarachi Ekekwe
Culled from Chapterone.com.ng