Have you ever done anything that almost killed you but you were still happy you did it? The AjalaTales’ Trip as it happened to me.
I woke up that morning excited:I was about to do something unusual. I am an indoor person; I don’t do much outside my laptop. When I’m not writing, I’m playing FIFA or Football Manager or I’m watching Designated Survivor. But because Okiki is trying to make me awesome, I was leaving my house, leaving my town and leaving my state. I expected a mammoth crowd for the trip – who wouldn’t want to go on a fun trip where pounded yam was promised? We were 15 going on the trip but it was the perfect number.
It was my first time meeting most of the people on the trip but I also met Toyosi Ige, a friend from Primary school who I had not seen in years. I met another Toyosi (TeeWai Dee) who I’d only ever talked with on social media.
While we are on the subject of Toyosis, there was a particular one who was supposed to come but refused to show up. You know who you are.
I’ll skip the banter in the bus and the craziness of JDust and go straight to Igbeti and the moment that almost defined the day for me.
We were served bread and egg; fast food before we started the climb. I, being the very smart person that I am, decided I didn’t need the food because it would make me heavy. I was wrong. We’ll get to that later.
We arrived at the foot of the mountain and Okiki gave us the background story.
Apparently (if you believe Okiki), Igbeti is one of the towns in Western Nigeria that was never conquered. He narrated the story of a battle where the warriors from Igbeti poured ewedu on the mountain so it was slippery for the opposing fighters to climb. All na wash, if you ask me.
So, it was time to climb. I was super excited but I was soon to find out climbing was not ColdStone Icecream.
I looked up and I saw the top of the mountain. It was nothing, I could climb that easily. To show how excited I was, I ran up the mountain. I got to the top and discovered that was not the top. I once again saw the top and shrugged, I can still do this. I walked up to the top and found out that was again not the top. This happened a couple more times and I discovered this mountain was a big scam. With the way things were going, there was a chance this mountain reached heaven.
Something else was beginning to happen. I was getting tired.
Now, I admit, I’m not very fit. I rarely exercise and rarely do anything that involves a lot of physical energy. But this was ridiculous. I was feeling faint. I felt like throwing up. But as a sure guy, I had to form, so on we climbed.
The climb was fun for some. Shout out to TeeWai Dee. The babe climbed like she was taking a stroll. She’s a doctor so maybe she knows something we don’t. (Replace ‘knows’ with ‘smokes’). But I was tired and I couldn’t hide anymore. There is a limit to which ‘sure guy’ can take you. We stopped for a break and I could not take another step further.
I lay on the rock and asked myself who told me to go rock climbing. There was FIFA at home, movies I could be watching but I’d let Okiki rope me into this terrible idea. Everybody tried to talk me into moving on but even though my mind was eager to, my body was having none of it.
Eventually they left me and I was convinced that was it. With nobody to encourage me, I didn’t think there was any hope of me standing up from that rock. I’d given up. I was going to wait for them to return. There were girls on this trip and they were soldiering on while I lay on the rock. I was ashamed of myself but what will I do when my body said it had had enough?
Then suddenly, an angel appeared unto me. I could not believe it. You shouldn’t either, because it is not true, no angel appeared unto me. I remembered I had some bread in my bag. I ate some part of it and rested a little more. Eventually, like a phoenix from the ashes, like Liverpool Football Club at Istanbul (google it), like Donald Trump at the polls, I rose up. This mountain would not conquer me. What kind of lord will I be if I couldn’t climb a simple mountain?
My tripmates were at another resting point and I met them there. Thanks to JDust and TeeWaiwho were actually coming back for me. *sniffles.
We resumed our journey and I’ll like to say I was part of the first set to get to the top. It wasn’t a race so I didn’t win anything. But we all made it. Every single one of us.
There was nothing at the top. No pounded yam, no angels, no bones of ancient warriors that make you a millionaire when you touch them. It was just plain old mountain. It was worth it though, every bit of the climb was.
We took pictures, we sang songs and it was great. Then it was time to return to earth, where mortals dwelled.
Our descent was going great until we discovered something; we had no idea where we were going. We were lost. I won’t name names by saying it was Okiki’s fault. For a while, we looked around, looking for familiar features, anything that could tell us where we were. Well, we didn’t find any.
Then suddenly three angels appeared unto us. We all stared in disbelief at how human and Yoruba they looked. It was probably because they were just humans from Igbeti. They told us what directions to go and we resumed our journey. On our way down we saw some people who were just climbing. Some of them were old and I wondered if they knew what they were about to do. They’d believed the scam too. But what’s my own? I didn’t die for them.
We got back to our base and we were served good pounded yam, like we were promised. We even got interviewed by newsmen who for some reason did not agree that all I do is write. They kept asking what else I do. Until I had to tell them I an engineer too.
In conclusion, I’ll tell you one of the things I told the newsmen.
Young Nigerians don’t travel. We sit at home and watch movies or at best go to the cinemas. Some go to clubs, destroy their bodies with alcohol and what not. Sometimes, you have to get out of your comfort zone, go somewhere you have never been before. Climb a mountain, go on road trips with friends, jump out of a plane – with a parachute of course, wrestle a bear; just go out and live a little.
I’m eagerly waiting for AjalaTales’ next trip. I hope you’ll come along with us on that one.
Run wild! Live free! Be awesome!