660 steep steps; strenuous, challenging, tiring, but it was worth it when we got to the top. The tour to Idanre Hills was a hit and I felt a a tinge of sadness when it was time to leave.
The trip was slated for the 23rd and all 14 unravellers met up at The National Stadium ready to begin the journey to Ondo State. We introduced ourselves, played games, snacked, slept and by 2.30 we finally made it to Idanre town. We parked our bus in the middle of the road to take pictures and then carried on to Rock Valley Hotel which was our home for the night. Everyone was already excited and it wasn’t even the day of the climb; besides it had been a long journey and we were happy to get off the bus.
Rooms were assigned, lunch was served then we went for a leisurely stroll around Idanre town. That day everyone knew there were people from Lagos around. Strolling around Idanre town was delightful and refreshing. How often does one get to leisurely stroll around the busy city of Lagos?
We started at the golf course which is still being worked on. Idanre Hills serves as the picturesque backdrop for the golf course and I can’t wait to see what it’s like when it’s finally completed. I foresee lots of picnics also taking place there. We had a mini photo shoot because the view was just too amazing to pass up. After the golf course we went in search of palaces but weren’t too impressed and then ended up at a mama putt called Mama Chikodiri (make sure you stop by whenever you make it to Idanre town). Some of us had dinner there while we bought suya for those who weren’t interested. We also got some palm wine to wash everything down. On the bus ride around town we quickly realized we had a choristers as everyone was belting out different notes to songs being played.
We got back to the hotel, headed back to the terrace with our goodies and bonded some more. The bonding session ended up turning into a mini party and even our security guard was spotted busting a few moves to our music.
We called it a night and by 6 am the next day, everyone started getting ready for the hike up Idanre Hills. When we got to Idanre Hills, energy drinks and water were handed out for the climb, entry fees were paid, were assigned our tour guide and we were off to explore. Some of us almost gave up but we all kept encouraging ourselves till we made it to the top. Thank God for the 5 resting stops along the way, they came in very handy. It was worth all the pain and sweat.
We saw Idanre town from the top of the hill and it was glorious.. The people of Idanre used to live on the hill before they moved down. We saw the old palace, the first primary school, a prison yard and the Arun River said to have magical powers. We were also shown a house at the top of the hill where a man still lives in till today and never comes down. All this took about 2 hours and then we started the climb back down. We thought it would be easier but it wasn’t. However everyone was cheerful, singing and it was fun all around.
We headed back to the hotel, showered, packed and then it was time to head back to Lagos. We made a quick stop at mama Chikodiri’s place again and said goodbye to Idanre town at 12pm. On the trip back we mostly slept and listened to music.
We got into Lagos at 5pm and it was a bitter sweet feeling saying goodbye to everyone as we had formed new friendships. However we were all excited and looked forward to the next trip that would come up.
Unravelling Nigeria would like to say a big thank you to everyone who came out as it wouldn’t have been a success without all of you. We look forward to seeing you on our future trips.
Below are comments by some of the Idanre unravellers. Their names were taken out for privacy purposes and all suggestions have been taken on board. You can also read here for a detailed account of one of our unravellers.
A: Excellent as always
B: It was a well organised tour. Very seamless and well planned. Was also impressed with the goody bag.
C: Great concept and execution. Well planned and organised tour.
D: It was well planned, thought through and executed.
E: Great idea, I really love the concept.
F: It is an incredible idea giving people the opportunity to not just experience life and have fun, but to meet other amazing people.
- What did you think of the location
B: Exceeded expectations
D: Beautiful breathtaking views
E: I really loved it, especially the hike and ancient towns.
F: I loved it
- What was your experience of the trip like?
A: On point
C: Awesome people. Great bonding, interesting choice of location and it was educational.
D: Fast experience, but fully packed with fun
E: Refreshingly different.
F: It was incredible. A very memorable one.
- What did you like?
B: I wasn’t forced to do what I didn’t want to or get teased for it. Everyone was welcomed regardless of personalities.
C: Team bonding & the history lessons.
D: The views, landscape, mountains & the people.
E: The hike and ancient town.
F: Th most fun were the people. The location doesn’t matter if the people are not amazing. In this group, everybody was a good sport.
- What didn’t you like?
D: Well, most of the time for me I always wanted to stay longer.
F: Hmm, let me think (we’re still waiting….lol)
- What would you like us to improve on?
B: Safety on the bus. Would be nice to encourage all to wear seat belts always. It seems trivial but it’s actually very important. Also, what to do in case of emergencies etc.
D: I don’t know, maybe the alcohol. It suddenly finished.
F: Maybe the timing, but that was out of Unravelling Nigeria’s control
- Would you join our next tour/recommend us?
A: Yes of course, always.
C: Definitely yes
- Any other comments?
A: Self appointed Unravelling Nigeria evangelist
B: Great job to the organizers. 5 stars.
C: Great concept, keep up the good work.
D: Social media is very important to our lifestyles. If you could know what networks have good services in such area so we know before hand and can plan, that would be great.
E: Thank you
F: God bless Unravelling Nigeria.
Hope you enjoyed our quick recap of the trip. You can watch the video here and enjoy the rest of the pictures below.
*It is interesting to note that Idanre Hills is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site tenative list.