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Nigeria, Benin & Togo Trip Pictures from May 08 to 17, 2008

To proceed to Nigeria, Benin & Togo Journal.

Our Route through NIGERIA. Covered approx. 1250km on the motorcycles.

May 09, 2008. We crossed into Nigeria at Ikom on May 08 and the next morning treated us... some traditional local food of yam, meat & mystery sauce all for only 550N ($5.00).

We made it as far as Makurdi before calling it a day.

While waiting for the tent to dry out we hang out in the shade...

...were we catch up on what is new in the Lonely Planet Africa (2007Version).

It is not often that we get a picture of us together.

In most western countries of Africa water is sold in 500ml plastic bags.

May 10, 2008. On our way west before Enugu, we stop for a refreshment...

...this is the usual scene that occurs after us stopping...

...anywhere in Nigeria.

Nigerians are very friendly & curious. There was never any threat to us or our belongings.

Further down the road we stop to take a closer look at what is sold on the side of the road.

Again locals are chatty as ever. Nigeria is English speaking.

The substance sold is curry.

We are even shown the plants the product comes from.

There are rows and rows of it.

In Benin City we stay at the Lexbor Hotel.

A large statue of a black woman ...

...carrying a child frames the entrance of the hotel.

Across from the hotel is the Bronze Casters World Heritage Site.

The Brass Casters Street has Gold & Silversmith, as well as Brass and Wax sculptures.

A silversmith catches our eye, we watch him as he melts a small piece of silver with the torch...

... and then bends it into the desired shape.

We can not resist and purchase a matching set of...

...earrings, bracelet and necklace. Priceless.

All these items are handmade for a bargain price.

Further along the street we stop in at a brass sculptor.

Someone asked us if we required some coal, sold here as well.

A church close by.

This sign caught our eye while walking by. Instant Passports here.

Ruby wearing all her new jewelries.

May 11, 2008. On our way from Benin City to Lagos, on the road of death...

...we stop for some street food.

Mystery Meat that was quite good.

We stayed away from this bush meat.

It is always safe to go with bananas for a snack. Thatís it for Nigeria.

Our Route through BENIN. Covered approx. 430km on the motorcycles.

May 12, 2008. The unique Brazilian Mosque in Porto-Novo.

Visiting the Historical Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Abomey.

We are not allowed to take pictures, which is a huge shame, as the museum exhibits some pretty amazing artifacts.

On the Dahomey Trail (the route of the Kings), we visit this palace...

...the Mort du Roi Agonglo founded in 1797. Our guide on the cell phone.

Inside the complex. The most interesting artifact in the historical museum was...

...the Kings throne which was mounted on (4) skulls of his enemy.

The inner walls of this palace depict symbols of each King which ruled since the 1600's.

The Kings fetish.

The tomb of the King. Every (5) days a ceremonial ritual takes place to honor the dead King.

Some of the remains of the great palace.

The final resting place of the King. It is a sacred place & no shoes are allowed.

Up to the last Kings ruling there was humans scarified in this courtyard. Nowadays animals are scarified.

We get a chance to watch locals weaving on a loom.

Most of the items weaved are sold to tourists.

Handmade women's clothing.

Standing under a melon tree.

Yam plants.

The outer wall of the palace.

We stay at the Chez Monique...

...a peaceful place with a great garden to hang out and explore.

In previous countries we had seen smaller version of these hand made chairs.

No words required.

Our meals were prepared in this kitchen...

...over an open fire pit.

Being in the off-season means we had the place to ourselves.

May 13, 2008. With a 48hour Transit Visa only...

...we had to make our way to the Togo Border.

As we passed Lake Aheme, we stop to watch locals fishing.

In their wooden dug out canoes...

...they would throw out large fishing nets, ...

...and then pull then pull them back in.

A small settlement was taking up every square inch of this island.

Don't know if this power line meets code.

And with that we leave Benin behind.

Our Route through TOGO. Covered approx. 360km on the motorcycles.

May 14 to 17, 2008 we stay in Lome, waiting for our Ghana Visa.

The beach looking east one block from our accommodations.

The beach looking west.

The view from the roof top of our hotel the Le Galion. Wood furniture is made here.

May 16, 2008 we visit the Friday market in Vogan. Red peppers are sold here.

This market is in the midst of Voodoo country.

Burnt fish is sold here...

...that's what Mike called it.

Selling containers.

The look of this woman was priceless, originally she was sleeping.

We dive in the midst of the chaos, exploring and checking out everything.

The fetish section is not very large...

...and most of the items on display we are unable to determine its origin.

These potteries are on purpose cut into halves.

Everyone carries everything on their head.

Colorful garments are sold everywhere.

Back at the hotel we adjust the valves on the BMW's with sandy grounds & chickens to help us.

The last adjustments were done in Durban, South Africa...

...approx. 18,000km ago and both bikes needed a tune up.

Mike is becoming an expert in valve adjustments.

With service completed, Visa in hand we are off to Ghana.