How to explore Ìbàdàn, Nigeria in one weekend: Part 3
After an eventful First day where we almost ended up sleeping on the streets because our hosts were asleep by the time we got back, Sunday was another opportunity to explore IB! On our list for the day were Cocoa House, Mapo Hall and Agodi Gardens.
I was up around 6:00am, came down at around 7:30am. I met Victoria already awake and chilling in the Sitting room. I sat with her and we talked about random things; Life in Command Secondary School, the story of the boy raped at the Deeper Life School , relationships and other randomness.
I had proposed going to Ultima on our group chat for breakfast and I thought everyone was going to get ready for that so I go up to take a shower— next thing, I’m hearing the voices of all 3 of them in the Garden. I go down to meet them plucking fruits, playing with the Puppies and catching up on life. Benie insists on us doing stretches so we also get into that.
Afterwards, everyone took a shower and we request a Bolt ride to Ultima — by this time, it was already past 11am. Our Bolt arrived and we stepped out to take the ride to Ultima. Once the Bolt driver sees us, He refuses to take us. He insists that he can’t carry 4 people and drives off. We’re confused. How’re Ibadan Bolt drivers the way they’re? We start walking towards the main road to find one of the local Micra Taxis while at the same time trying to request another Bolt ride. We get the same driver again and he explains to us that the reason he refused to pick us up was because he had picked up a group of people the previous day and when they got to their destination, they couldn’t decide who was paying for the trip amongst themselves. Interesting ehh?
Anyhoo, we enter the cab and start the journey to Ultima. Somehow, Ultima was only about a 6-min drive away from us and we hadn’t realised it was that close.
I go into Ultima determined to have quality Ewa aganyin. There are a number of bikers having breakfast there too — the safe riders. Then, Ultima shocks me. They serve me something they called Ewa aganyin which was anything but Ewa aganyin.
They also didn’t have bread or plantains and suggested I replaced it with yam porridge. Their food was average at best. On a brighter note though, the Maltina Pineapple was worth it.
We see the Safe riders heading out and Seyi suggest that Benie goes to take pictures with them since she had been wanting to take pictures on a motorbike since the previous day.
We got another Bolt cab and headed to Cocoa House. Oh and by the way, unlike Lagos, Bolt rides are ridiculously cheap in Ibadan.
At Cocoa House, We tried taking some pictures outside but that proved a little difficult. It was also so hot! We eventually headed into the Cocoa House compound. As we entered, the Security man was already telling us to prepare something for him oo — this is something you’ll experience at any of the major places where tourists go. People wanting you to “give them something”. We spent time taking some dope pics within the Cocoa House premises.
I was craving Fanyogo so bad and was literally trying to get the attention of any and every Fanyogo pusher I saw pass by. Eventually Victoria and I found one but realized most of his ice-cream had melted. We had to walk a little further to get something more frozen- still wasn’t as frozen as we’d like but it worked in the meantime. We headed back into the Cocoa House premises to meet Seyi and Benie trying to go up the stairs. The Security men within the premises after trying to figure out what to do with us finally decided that they would not allow us go up the stairs. They insisted that they were office spaces upstairs and they couldn’t let us go up. We eventually gave up on begging them tried to find our way to our next location — Mapo Hall.
Seyi was adamant about taking a bike/Okada to Mapo Hall — I wasn’t especially after asking 3 Okada riders and none of them knew where it was. We eventually found one man that started saying — in yoruba: “Mapo(pronouncing it correctly) Hall. I know Mapo Hall now. Is it not around (mentions the name of a place we obviously don’t know)”. I’m skeptical of the entire conversation and insist that we take a Bolt ride instead.
Benie and Seyi finally listen to me and we order a Bolt ride. We make a “quick” stop at the ATM to withdraw cash only to meet an elderly man there that spent at least 20mins withdrawing money. While waiting, we bought more Fanyogo. Thankfully we got a very nice Bolt driver who was willing to wait without complaining. This was one Bolt driver that went above and beyond for us as you’ll find out later and I had to get his number. DM me if you plan on taking this trip and need someone to pick you up from the Train station.
Finally, we withdraw the money and start the journey to Mapo Hall. The journey takes around 20/25mins and I’m in shock that the Okada riders were talking about the place like it was a 10min ride.
We drive through the Mapo Hall gates. There’s some sort of a Party on inside the premises. We tell the Bolt driver that we won’t be long because we’re in a hurry to get back to Lagos. We come down and we were about to start taking pictures when a man approaches our group. I go over to speak to him. He says we have to pay and then we can do anything we want on the premises. He also says I’d need to speak to his boss. I discuss this with the group and head back to sort out payments. As we headed to his boss, he tells me I should just give him N1k because if he takes me to his boss it’ll be more. I go back to the group and come back to offer him N500. He becomes very agitated and he says we should leave. I’m upset at this point but Benie is already finding another way and talking to someone I believe to be the guy’s boss. Eventually, we end up paying the 1k after a 20min back and forth — our Bolt driver said he literally watched them collect the money and order for bottles of Trophy.
We spent time outside taking pictures.
At some point, we decide we wanted to see the inside of the Hall. As we approached the entrance, there’re 2 men standing there drinking, guess what? Trophy!. I start speaking to them in Yoruba that we would love to go upstairs. He tells me that we can’t because it’s currently in use but if I pay him he can take us up. At this point, I’m tired of this entire backdoor system. We decide to leave.
While we were in the Cab thinking of leaving, Benie (again! 🙄) is insisting that she wants to go inside. Our driver is giving us ginger that we should go inside, sheybi we paid. He had taken a lot of pictures of our group already and was even willing to wait longer for us. At the same time, we see the man asking for money walking away from the entrance.
Benie was the first to take the plunge and she headed right into the building. The rest of us later followed her in.
Once inside, we took a lot of pictures.
At some point even our Cab driver joined us inside and took pictures of us. After taking all the pictures we wanted, we decide to leave. As we came off the Stairs, I see the man that had stopped us from going up. You know me, I did unlooking.
We start the trip to our next destination — Agodi Gardens.
The trip from Mapo Hall to Agodi Gardens took around 15mins.
We bought our tickets at the entrance — N500 per person and headed inside. Once inside, I was impressed with the amount of green space. It was also reasonably clean and the air felt clean too! The skies were also, well, blue!
We all got vanilla and chocolate cone Ice-creams. Yes we had a lot of Ice-creams that day.
Seyi and Benie went horse-riding.
We didn’t get up to a lot at Agodi Gardens. I for one was tired but Benie was ready to do everything do-able which to be honest, wasn’t a lot. There were so many people in the pool — no Covid in Ibadan, eh?.
We spent around an hour at Agodi gardens and started the trip back to Bodija by around 4:00pm. We got back to our Host’s house and asked the Bolt driver to wait for us so He could take us to the Bus park. We changed into more comfortable clothing for the Journey back to Lagos and started the journey to the Bus Park at Iwo road. As the trains do not work on Sundays, our only way of getting back Home was the mini-buses at the Park.
Getting a Bus back to Lagos
At the Bus Park, Seyi goes on something of a Souvenir hunt. We just noticed he’d disappear and re-appear holding biscuits or some random snack. We also bought some dodo-ikire. In my mind, I felt like how bad could these taste, it’s literally plantain. But I have to be honest, as a plantain fanatic, this wasn’t something I enjoyed. I’m hoping I’d enjoy the one in Osun state more. The drivers tell us the 7-seater Buses are N2,500 per person to Lagos but if we decide to go in a 5-seater Car, it’s N3,500.
Now, una know say money no be problem. The problem was that this 7-seater bus drivers said they’d carry 3 in the middle seat and 3 at the back with 1 passenger in front — that didn’t sit right(sic) with Benie and Seyi — Me I don enter that kain Bus before so mi o mind. We decide to pay for the space of 2 more people so we could have the back of the car to ourselves. One more passenger joined us and we were on our way to Lagos!
We made a brief stop at a filling station for the driver to buy fuel while Benie went in to get us 4 bottles of completely frozen water (very very important for the Journey) and a lot of snacks.
Everyone else fell asleep on the Journey back. I spent my time making videos of them and editing some of the pictures we had taken.
The journey back to Lagos took about an hour and 45mins. We got the driver to drop us off at the 7 up bus stop and everyone Uber’d back home.
I think the saddest thing about the places we visited was that no one cared enough to give us a tour of the place and we were left with Wikipedia to learn about the history of these places.
This was definitely one of the best group trips I’ve ever had and it’ll remain in my mind for a long time until another experience tops it!.