Lagos to Yaoundè

7:30 am we arrive at Tincan Island port. The bikes are supposed to come out today, but I’m leaving nothing to chance now. Our customs agent is clearly stressed and suggests we meet at Dominos next to his office. He is a petty thief. He is stealing from his employer – Sifax, who are decent shipping company. When it gets to payment, he insists I transfer the money to his personal account. So he gets the jobs through his employer, uses the company’s connections and tools, but charges as a freelancer. My friend manages a fleet at a logistics company here and complains that everyone steals. The driver claims that the vehicle (vecu in pidgin) is broken. It may be, but he has created that fault so that his friend can charge for fixing it. Their imagination is active, one dude had filled the fuel tank with toilet paper. Read More

Road to Calabar: potholes and wheelies

It is Wednesday afternoon of 23rd Dec in Lagos and our customs agent is near breakdown on the phone. He has been at the port the whole day trying to get a truck from Apapa to the Tincan island port to pick up the box with the bikes. It is only 5 miles away, but the whole area is blocked by tankers, so in the whole day his truck couldn’t make any progress at all. Nigeria produces 3% of the world’s oil, but suffers fuel scarcity. It doesn’t refine itself – sells the oil to americans and buys back petrol. Of course now that the crude price dropped and petrol in Nigeria is subsidised at €0.40 there is no fuel in the stations and people queue for days if there is a chance of a fill up.

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Lazy in Lagos

Nigeria is a zoo,” says Genebahaga. He is an 18 year old security guard at my friends house, where we are staying in Lagos. He is frustrated with the state, where some people are filthy rich and the majority of the 180m dirt poor. There is nowhere to go. He shows me his mathematics book, he is studying differential equations for the exams to get into the university and study medicine or biotechnics. He doesn’t yet have the €70 needed for exams. Read More

Lagos: Suusi ja Kotilda vabastamine

Nad istuvad praegu Lagose sadama tollis kinni,vineerist kastis, juba detsembri algusest saati. Me ise jõudsime siia sel esmaspäeval. Esimese asjana tuli leida agent, kes neid vabastada aitaks. Kohalik eestlasest motodepoo omanik rääkis, et kõige kauem on sellise vabastusaktsiooniga pool aastat läinud. Meie agent lubas mõne päevaga asja ära korraldada. Aga. Read More

Send off. Wheels first

In 2002, just after my 22nd birthday we took a trip to the south, my friend Juce, my brother and I. We drove my old Mazda 626 from Tallinn to Gibraltar and then continued on foot into Africa. We hitchhiked onto trucks, little peugeots and scooters. We got as far as southern Morocco, to the town of Tarfaya. We made some friends along the way. Read More