Abuja to Owo

in

We arrived at the place bright and early all ready to met the mechanic and follow him to his workshop. Alas, that was not meant to be, 15 minutes became 30 minutes and longer. Eventually Stewart phoned Tony of Roverland again . He gave him instructions to check a certain valve which could cause the problem and also said that we should be fine to drive at least to Ghana where we hope we will be helped MAYBE if we are lucky by Landrover. There was nothing else we could do, so we set off on the way to Ibadan to get as close to the border with Benin as possible.

 It says"PMT a gift from God" the owner is obviously not female!

For some unknown reason we were still in high spirits and were discussing the fact of how great we find Nigeria, laughing about the shit way they are driving and enjoying the energy of the place. The atmosphere of the day unfortunately started changing somewhat when we were stopped by none other that the “Highway rescue” men. We were informed in a very unfriendly way that we are breaking the law as we are driving a right hand drive vehicle! Hey were not interested in hearing anything we had to say and was clearly waiting for a bribe which we refused to give. They then instructed us to follow them to their office where a very obnoxious man was waiting for us. As usual I find it very hard to keep my mouth shut on  occasions like this and I was telling them in no uncertain terms how sad it is that they are now spoiling our positive view of Nigeria. His answer was “Woman do not speak” For sure the worst thing you can say to me!!! Stew continued the argument and thanks to him we were finally on our way without paying a cent despite them trying to convince us that we are committing a serious crime. (So remember guys, if you happen to drive through Nigeria, please have a spare vehicle with left hand drive available, maybe tie it to your roof?)

 

From this point , despite us trying to laugh it off, unfortunately the day turned into a nightmare. The gear-slipping saga raised its ugly head again, we got a  bit lost and stopped at a group of guys fixing a truck (or so we thought) for directions. Whilst I was chatting to the one on the drivers side, another guy went to Stewarts side and pointed out to him that there is oil spurting out of the wheel. We know it sounds strange but with Stans history so far, we were fast losing all our faith in the car so at that stage we could believe anything. He quickly directed us off the road into an area on the side of the road where he offered to take a look at it. However, I had a very bad feeling about the whole situation. Unfortunately we were very far from any city or town, and added to that the fact that neither one of us had enough knowledge of how mechanical stuff work, we had no option but to listen to him.

The scam artists before werealised what stunt they are pulling

 

These guys are complete EXPERTS in scamming. They had Stew wrapped around their little fingers whilst they took the whole wheel apart in seconds despite my objections. Needless to say, they found a broken part…….surprise surprise. What was more amazing is the speed at which a guy appeared out of nowhere with the exact part that was needed!! By this stage we were truly ^^&%$$ed as a part of the wheel was in pieces, there was no way we could put it all together (this whole dismantling took about all of 5 to 10 minutes) and the guy with the part was demanding 110 000 Naira, the equivalent of R8000. At this point the bottom fell out and we both fell apart completely.

 

To me, this was the end, Nigeria and Africa has truly beaten me. I fail to get why we have to go through all of this. We are supposed to be following our dream, we have been good to everyone we met, we have stayed positive in the face of many negatives, we kept believing in Stan who proceeded to let us down as much as he could, we have spend thousands of dollars thus far on fixing him, so much so that we are unable to complete out trip and here are these scam artists that are now taking our hard earned money, the amount we had set aside for our volunteer work in Ghana.

 

Eventually 3 armed highway patrol guys arrived at the scene and were so obviously part of the scam that they were not even listening to our story. They just stood there and watched with their bloody guns. I fell apart when we finally left after payment of R6000 (maybe my cursing was worth R2000) and the gears still slipping.  So, here we are, in Nigeria, trying to get to Ghana in a car that is falling apart, no money and with broken souls.

 

We have no idea how to continue from here, but will keep you all updated.