For the second time Lipstick could not be started due to empty batteries but with the help of jumperleads,battery charger and the assistance of hotel staff the problem was solved within an hour and thereafter the team went straight off to the tyre place identified the day before.
All 4 wheels were really badly out of balance most probably caused by all the potholes and crazy roads leading to Abuja. Again very friendly staff at the tyre place resolved this problem and Lipstick had no more vibration problems and felt like new.
The trip took Lipstick through very green areas of Nigeria down to Makurdi which is in the Bueni state of Nigeria.
Numerous roadblocks were passed but both Andre and Willy are now experienced and developed a strategy that takes every police and army official by surprise.
Before any policeman or customs official asks a questions the team members themselves start a bombardment like:
Is this the right way to Makurdi?
In which condition is the street?
How many km still to go?
Do you know what weather will we have today?
Where is the next petrol station?
Do they also sell Diesel?
Is there any special speed limit?
..and so on
This is now Lipsticks way of being in charge of the discussion and works extremely well.
By the time the official answers all the queries to the best of his knowledge there is normally a nice traffic build up behind Lipstick which limits the questions by the officials to the normal “where from “and “where to” and thereafter whishing the team a nice trip (again the team must compliment all officials at these roadblocks for their friendliness.)
Arriving in Makurdi at a guest house owned by some Lebanese fellows they found that a Laundry service was also available and all washing could be ready the following day. This was great news and at an affordable price all dirty clothing was handed over where after the team proceeded to have a cold beer at the terrace.
With Lipstick being parked right at the entrance of the accommodation 2 South Africans Piet and Kurt -working for DSTV in Nigeria-saw the car and immediately identified Andre and Willy as the team members.
Amazingly Piet Steyn lives in Gonubie and knows a lot of common friends around East London. They are currently in Nigeria checking all the DSTV transmitters and will be doing so for the next 3-4 months. What a small world!
A little while later another South Africa Charles Church joined the 4. Charles is the CEO of an agricultural fund operating in Nigeria and based in Lagos(see www.arm.com.ng ) – he later also introduced his colleague Herbert from Natal and thereafter a real South Africa beer tasting took place with a nice dinner.
The 3 were amazed that team Lipstick travels happily through Nigeria without any protection whatsoever. Both the DSTV guys and Charles and colleague from ARM Investment employ the service of an armed guard and driver whilst travelling and could tell a few stories about being harassed on road….
Phone numbers and contact details were exchanged and the team enjoyed the presence of these fellow South African who are doing a great job in Nigeria.
Nkonki Chess a great way of meeting new people…………….
Having a loopdop at the later hours of the day the team was joined by the Lebanese manager of the hotel who could also tell a few stories about the live in Nigeria in exchange for which he was found to be fit to play a bit of Nkonki chess shaking his head in disbelief that he could not master the game at all…
A great day with new found friends in Nigeria was thoroughly enjoyed….