Once upon a time, a certain man named Ajala travelled around the world on his scooter (true story). I’m also becoming some sort of Ajala these days, travelling Nigeria courtesy my good friends at IrinAjo. I made another one of those trips two weeks ago and as always it has left me wanting more. Did someone just call me Oliver Twist? It’s not my fault, blame IrinAjo for putting together yet another amazing trip. Believe the hype, yes, it was an amazing trip. Here’s how it all went down.
Late Night Rendezvous & An Early Morning Trip
My IrinAjo trips always start with a late night phone engagement from my favourite oga @thefavoredwoman and this one was no exception. This time around though, it was just a simple text that said: “Call Damola ASAP”. I was already dancing shaku shaku in my mind because I knew what that meant; Damola had saved a spot for Nigeria Info on his next tour and I was getting it. Two minutes later, I ended the call with Damola and started packing my bags for the next day. Actually, I packed just one bag since this was a two-day-one-night trip. I could have made the trip with my Zuckerberg inspired dressing without needing a change of cloth but nah. It is written in the constitution that one has to carry at least a bag on these trips even if you won’t use half the things packed.
Sleep doesn’t come easy on nights before any trip and this one was no exception. I did manage to get a few hours rest though and by 6am the next day I was already making my way to our departure point at Maryland. We were taking Osun state on this trip with Erin Ijesha Waterfall and Osun Osogbo Sacred Groove as the main attractions. Barring a slight delay due to latecomers and Lagos traffic, we were good to go as early as 7:30. The 4-5 hour drive to Osun was an interesting one filled with small talk and games albeit we were all eager to get down from the bus once we got to our hotel in Ilesha. No matter how comfy your ride is, Nigerian roads will get to you one way or another. We freshened up at our lodging and got back on the road again to go quench the hunger caused by the long ride.
Pounded Yam & Pepper at Olorunwa Restaurant
IrinAjo trips are about the experiences and the beautiful moments you create with new friends in new places. And one of the experiences I always look forward to on these trips are the points when we get to try out the local cuisine. It is always thrilling to eat locally made food and decide whether to add that dish to the favourite meal list or never-to-be-had meals list. Now, I am no stranger to pounded yam, egusi and goat meat (being a Yoruba boy who grew up in the southwestern part of Nigeria) but something about this meal this got me fired up, literally. Pepper!!!
The amount of pepper in the soup at Olorunwa was enough to make you confess that Olorun wa loo too (God truly exists), I kid you not. This is the type that they say “if pepper enter your eyes lasan, don’t bother to use the eyes again, just go and buy another one.” We had a group of Australians (two guys and one lady) on this journey with us and the moment one of the guys tried the soup, Baba just went for his beer straight away. As he brought his drink down, he started confessing “It’s hot.” For my mind, I was like “Welcome to Nigeria”. Rik didn’t bother finishing the meal, he even left the goat meat half way. You people will not kill me for my mother,” he must have been thinking. I felt like apologizing on behalf of the Yoruba race.
Oyinbo Pounds Yams
That wasn’t all the adventure we had at the restaurant though. One aunty kept trying to push viagra down our throat. She kept insisting that her natural herbs and root mixtures would turn us into Mandingo warriors and of course a few purchases were made (now I know why some people did not join us for the group activities later that night, just kidding). I think what capped our mama put tale was when Jonela (the Australian lady) decided to join the team of women pounding yam. Yes, oyinbo sabi pound yam well oh. If you think I’m lying head over to the Irinajo Instagram page and catch the video there.
Check out Dipo’s blog: https://oladipoomoware.wordpress.com