It was a very bright and chilly day when we set for an excursion to Olumo Rock in Abeokuta (Ogun State in Nigeria). Our geography teacher -Mister Lawrence- and fifteen of us gathered in our school before we took off for the journey. Can you guess what our mission to Olumo was? Waw! Then read this article with apt attention. I bet you, you’ll be fascinated till the last full stop of this piece. Please read with apt attention!
There was so much excitement in the air amongst which is our attire. It was so amazing that we dressed appropriately in jeans, boots and sneakers, caps, T-shirts of various shapes, colours and designs (looking as if we were mountaineers). I’d wish you were there to see my outfit. Our lunch packs and water bottles were tucked into bags which was then strapped into or backs. We were indeed a sight to behold.
After we had left the school compound with our school bus, we began to forecast the exact picture of the rock and the landscape of our destination because Abeokuta in our native language literarily means “under the rock”. In fact, I told a colleague of mine -John- who sat beside me while inside the school bus that “hope the rocks would not fall on us”, then he laughed sparingly at me. Majority of us were either eager or sacred of the adventure ahead (particularly my humble self).
We went through Igando town in Lagos State, along the Cement Refinery Plant, and then we entered a village at the outskirt of Abeokuta called Ijebu-Igbo. A little distance into Ijebu-Igbo, Mister Lawrence pointed to a big, ugly-looking tree whose width and height were simply unbelievable. To our surprise, he said that “the tree was much revered in the village to the extent that some villagers worship it”. Waw! What a misnomer! That was very weird to me and made me to be profusely irritated by their erroneous believe.
On arriving Olumo town (where the rock is situated or our destination), we parked our bus to one side of the road and greeted all the villagers sitting around our car park (just for respect). Suddenly, a riot of laughter evolved amidst us because of a crown-like rock we saw at a distance of about 60 meters away from Olumo rock. Aftermath, we all walked up to the security personnel or “gate-man” in our local dialect. To call a spade a spade, dozens of tourist attraction are naturally installed in Olumo. A colleague of mine whose name is Kehinde made me scared before our geography teacher explained some geographical features endowed in Olumo town. Guess what he did? He pointed a house which was built on a slanting rock to me.
At the foot of the rock, we looked up the rock with formidable heights. Many hearts must have missed a beat and not a few among us would have wondered to themselves “are we really going to climb to the top of this rock?” but there was no time to waste as the Guides (Care-takers) led the way (stair-case) for us to follow. Up the rock we went. Some of us rushed eagerly enjoying the refreshing breeze blowing down the rock. However, that does not last long because the surface of the rock was dark and wrinkled (Igneous rock).
At last, we were on top of Olumo rock but we were very frightened (particularly my humble self) simply because, we saw a shrine on top of the rock which was unveiled to us before we climbed it. It was an exhilarating experience as we all felt triumphant. Surprisingly to us, Kehinde (the comedian) waved his white T-shirt just as the twin sister that blade the trail by climbing mountain Everest. I was very disturb for Kehinde to had pulled off his T-shirt albeit, the frigid atmospheric condition. Simultaneously, we all gave kudos to Kehinde.
From the top of the rock, we looked down and saw that Olumo town was quiet small. After we all had took some rest, catching our breath, the Guides reminded us that it was getting late and that we had better begin to go down the rock when there was still daylight. We humble obeyed them however; some of us hurriedly scribbled their names on the rock with stones before they came down.
At the end of the day, everyone was jubilating as it was obvious that we had enjoyed ourselves. To hit the nail on its head, it was a salutary experience as we all gained that everything is possible with strong determination. Isn’t it my dear reader? I believe you’ve enjoyed reading this piece of mine!
About the Author: Issa Ridwan is a freelance writer with a vested interest in researches which are germane in nation building.He was the Best graduating Student in Geography from the prestigious school(Command Day Secondary School in Lagos;Nigeria) and also a second class graduate from consecutive Best University in Africa(The University of Ilorin).
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That was an auspicious day - my trip to Manali in Himachal Pradesh. I am a person who loves to travel long distances but while travelling to Manali I fell asleep. My mom woke me up to say we had reached. The moment I opened my eyes I was amazed - blue skies, white mountains, green land. It was very cold too. We stayed in a lodge near the river Beas. From the window of my room I was able to see the Rohtang pass. It was fully covered with snow. I haven't seen such a beautiful mountain ever before.
The very next day I was there playing in the snow. The guide said we won't be allowed on the pass during winter because the roads to Rohtang would be fully covered with snow. I was wondering how cold it would be in winter. For the first time I did some skiing and played a lot with the snow. My sister did paragliding, etc.
Next day I went to Kullu, a place near Manali. There I went for rafting on the Beas. It was awesome. The water was ice cold and fast flowing. Kullu is famous for its shawls. I too bought one for my granny.
There is a road called mall road in Manali, where both the sides of the roads are full of shops. We could see different types of clothes, eatables, shoes, bags, etc. Every thing was extraordinary.
I also went to some other places like museums, Hadimba temple, parks etc.
There are also many other temples. In one there were many monkeys and I was scared.
I really enjoyed it a lot there. After three days bliss, we planned to go back home. I was not able to forget Manali, her climate, and specially the river Beas whose noise was heard day and night without any rest.
We all must have heard a proverb " East or west home is the best " but if you have once travelled to Manali, then this proverb makes no sense to you as Manali is like heaven, a place where you get lost in its beauty.
Class IX, Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Coimbatore.