. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: December 20, 1998

Sunday, December 20, 1998
Benin City to Calabar, Nigeria
Nigeria's Flag

Map
Calabar, Nigeria:
Latitude: 4° 57' 47" North
Longitude: 8° 20' 12" East
Altitude: 179 feet
From Seattle: 8700 miles
Lodging: Hotel - Andy Guest House

Map
Today's Travel:
Country: Nigeria
Regions: Edo, Anambra, Abia, Cross River
Route: Land Rover: Benin City - Onitsha - Aba - Calabar
Start: Benin City
Stop 1. Onitsha
End:Calabar, Nigeria
Linear:220 miles
Weather: Overcast

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Map
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 619
Linear Dist: 131265
Countries Visited: 45
Regions Visited: 180
More stats...
Hotels: 190
Friends / Family: 155
Camping: 67
Hostels: 145
Transit: 55
Other Lodging: 6
Beers: 2143
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Journal Entry:
Another long driving day. Crossed the Niger River for the seventh and last time today. Stopped for lunch in a blight of a city, Onitsha. Found a Chinese restaurant recommended as the best restaurant in Onitsha by one of the guide books - and were terribly disappointed. They only had a few items on the menu, sodas were warm, bugs in the food, all in all not good.

Shortly after leaving Onitsha we got in line for gas (black-market again, so not a very long line). A woman had gotten a Volkswagen bug stuck on a high curb so Dean and I helped lift it off then ran around a parking lot trying to push start the car. After we got the car started (the woman gave up and asked Dean to get in and start it) everyone thanked us profusely - even people that had nothing to do with the car - it was a little embarrassing. It was obvious that people weren't used to white people going out of their way to help the locals - it made us feel good though.

Got stopped at a total of about two dozen police, military, or customs checkpoints - each and every one asked us for something, but the friendly attitudes kept up and we still haven't had to dash anyone. At one checkpoint between Onitsha and Aba we got stopped and Dean told the guard that we didn't believe their guns were loaded. The guy laughed and as we drove away fired a round into the air (when we saw a guy with a grenade launcher I told Dean to keep his mouth shut). The only other remarkable event was when one guard demanded we give him a bible?!? Once we got to Calabar we had a couple false starts before we found an acceptable hotel - with A/C even, but no running water. It was getting late and we had no local currency so went to bed hungry.


Related Sites:
US State Department ConsularInformation Sheets: Nigeria
CIA World Fact Book: Nigeria

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