Lagos to Ondo On Bike: My Roller Coaster Experience
I visited Araromi beach by road earlier this year, on 23 January to be precise, with some members of my travel team from Strictly Waka. Strictly Waka is a subsidiary of Nigeria Tourism Lovers, a freedom movement that is geared at promoting the under-promoted destinations in Nigeria.
That first visit by road planted in my belly, the hunger for biking on the coastal line from Folu, a town in Eti-Osa Local government Area of Lagos State to the same Araromi beach, Araromi town in Ilaje Local government Area of Ondo State.
Already, there had been this argument as to whether or not there is a beach in Ogun State. Sometime in 2018, following the documented entries of the Ogun state tourism Attractions, I visited the Ebute-Oni beach with another group of like-minds spearheaded by the then Miss Tourism Ogun State, Nancy Nsofor. It was obviously a misinformation and improper record taking on the path of the state’s Ministry of Tourism as what we met at the supposed Ebute-Oni beach was a Lagoon.
Looking at the map, it’s so obvious that the Atlantic Ocean passes through eight different states in Nigeria, namely; Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Edo, Delta, Rivers, Cross-Rivers, and Akwa-Ibom.
It is only logical to conclude that you definitely cannot bike the coastal line from Lagos to Ondo without connecting through Ogun State. My discovery of the Ogun State beach remains incomplete without discovering a proper road network with which the beach can be accessed by road. This planted another hunger in my stomach, a curiosity that needs to be satisfied as soon as I can.
I spoke to a couple of friends about my biking intentions from Lagos to Ondo State and they bought the crazy idea. To put things into the right perspective, the distance between Lagos and Ondo is about 290km. So, you can see that biking between the two states is not a child’s play.
My team mates and I agreed to meet a day to the adventure to avoid traffic delays.
We camped and the next morning we ate well and set out for the day’s adventure. We boarded a cab from Eleko to Folu (Five minutes drive away from La Campagne Tropicana) where we met with the bikers who are obviously professionals on that route.
“Araromi, Araromi, Araromi” was what the young men were screaming as they ran alongside our cab trying to find a good spot to park. Their prices were in uniform as if they’ve had a meeting before our arrival. We paid a token of #4,000 per person to and fro.
Biking on the shores was fun, experiencing the dribbling skills of the bikers on the shores each time the water gets close was scary. For our safety and to avoid falling off the bikes at intervals, the bikers seemed to have been programmed to ride only at a speed of 100km/hr and above. No irregular brakes application. The biking started at 10:40am, Thursday, the 7th day of October, and lasted for an hour.
We arrived Araromi beach, Ondo State at exactly 11:40am, the same day, biking through a beach in Ajumo and another in Abagold, both in Ogun State. And the ride is normally supposed to last for just 45mins if not for the frequent breaking of creeks and lagoons into the Ocean, leaving us with no option but to drive round it through the bush in a community known as Ilogbo still in Lagos state.
The experience was all shades of amazing, and if you would like to experience this, then it’s important to note these tips:
• I made sure I was at Folu as early as I could, anytime before 11 is early and cool.
• I stay very far away from Ibeju Lekki and its environs, so I had to camp close by and I camped at Villa Rica for security reasons.
• I paid #2,000 for camping because I had my Tent; I would have paid as high as #5,000 if I had needed to use theirs.
• I also came back to Villa Rica to Camp after the whole biking experience, so as to relax and not get involved in any Lagos traffic.
• I had a budget, but I also had a lot of extra cash, which was why I got back in one piece. Biking Adventure is always fun. I call them “Risky Adventures of beautiful Outcomes”
Kingsley Uzordon (Mr Tourism) is an Accountant, an Entrepreneur, a Travel Writer, and a Passionate Lover of Nigerian Tourism.