Africa: My Journey to the Clouds

clouds

My first visit to the clouds began on flight Z4 0400 LOS CBQ Y081019C on November 9th 2020. Before now I have always wanted to visit Obudu Mountain Resort since it’s my favorite destination in Nigeria.

I knew about the resort since my days in secondary school, as soon as I was told that I would be visiting the resort along with my team, there was so much happiness within me even though I didn’t show it.

It was an hour flight from Lagos through Ibom Air, we touched down at Margeret Ekpo international airport also known as Calabar airport at exactly 10:03am and 200C, picked up our luggage from the conveyor belt on arrival.

My boss and some other tour operators already waiting for us at the airport where we gave ourselves a tag number and departed for Obudu resort driving through the Murtala Mohammed highway Calabar.

I decided to sit by the window so I could see and feel the amazing city of Cross River State with its attractions, on our way we had to wait for one of our colleagues connecting to the Trans west African Highway and we dropped by to see the ongoing construction bridge at Ikom, took some pictures and continued our journey.

With so many rivers along the way, Cross River State is developing tourism-related infrastructure and activities to attract National and international visitors to the state.
We had a stopover at Nourish point restaurant located at 59, Calabar road, chifec filling station, Ikom, Cross river state to get a taste away from home.

We made our journey through Akpamkpa, Odukpani, Owuru, Baise, Yakurr, Obubra, Ikom, Boki, Ogoja, Bekwarra down to Obudu/Obanliku local government area and finally got to the reception area right on top of the Mountain resort at exactly 8:44pm, following our arrival within few minutes was our colleague coming all the way from Abuja.

It was really a long journey but a worthwhile experience; we got our room keys, dropped our luggage, came out for dinner and later retired to our rooms.

DAY 2: The next morning I woke up before my Alarm did at 5am. Prepared for the day’s activity alongside with my colleague Sam and Niyi, we tripped out of our rooms before 8am, walked down to the African huts to get amazing pictures of the ranch, it has numerous pleasant and beautiful mountain-area and country-side views.

We were astounded by the views when we got a message that it was time for breakfast so we took some pictures as well as a drone shot and got back on time to the resort restaurant for our breakfast.

Afterwards, we had a drone shot of the reception area before heading up towards the top of the ranch with some other beautiful team Elohor, Frances and Modupe. On our way up, we were caught by another endless view of the mountain resort as we decided to take pictures and a drone shot of the entire area when Sam who was the drone pilot lost control of the drone as the wind has taken over forgetting that we were already about 5000 feet above sea level high in the clouds.

Few minutes later the drone was lost, so we called the attention of some of the guys in the community asking how we can get the drone back.

We were told that getting the drone back might cost a whole day and half, but with faith Sam ventured on the operation “Find the Drone” while the rest of us left and joined the full squad for a tour round the resorts and its facilities alongside with the Special Adviser in charge of the resort Mr. Bobby Ekpeyong, we stopped by at the conference center and viewed different sections of the conference hall took pictures and had discussions on ways we can improve the service, beauty and marketing structure of the resorts.

During this period I kept looking outside the Glass doors and thinking when would Sam be back with the drone and what he might be going through down the hills, Just about rounding off the discussions Guess who just walked in? Sam. and with surprise and happiness, I gave a big Handshake and pat on the back for getting the drone back within two hours.

Still discussing we had tea, took a group pictures and left for the presidential villa also known as the Angels view point and reason being that some of the valleys here form a V shape which would definitely take your breath away and as usual we took so many pictures.

Then we moved on to the Becheeve Nature Reserve which is a conservation forest filled with various plants, tress and animals as well as walking canopy walkway which is a 100m swinging bridge suspended above the forest and down to Grotto which is one of the mini waterfalls with a pool, took amazing pictures and rode on a few minutes trip to the holy mountains.

Getting to the holy mountain was another level of endless sights as you would never want to stop imagining the wonders of God creation with some of the Cameroon Mountains behind us as well as the cataract waterfall with rich natural vegetation and a picturesque view. I decided to say a short prayer as it’s believed that whatever prayer you make on the holy mountain would be answered. We took lots of pictures and of course a drone short of the whole area, but not entirely all though just where our hand could take us.

Leaving the holy mountains back to the resorts, by evening we had dinner and getting ready for a bonfire night, joining us for the evening were the locals.

The Dj already giving us some Hit songs as I couldn’t resist joining the gathering, the team of tour operators’ dance round the fire and rocking the jerusalema dance, and the locals decided to give us some dance steps for the night, we had some dance competitions as prizes were given which ended on that note, as the microphone was passed on to the king of Africa, Ambassador Ikechi Uko, thanking the community, reminding them that Obudu is a gift God has given to them and encouraged them to keep taking care of the gift.

Adding that God does not cast pearls before swine, meaning that God does not give things to people who don’t appreciate them,
Afterwards, the locals continued with the party while we had to return to our rooms for the night.

Day 3: Boarding the bus on our way to the city of Calabar, when we found that one of was missing. Who could that be? So we had to count again using our tag number and realized that one of the tour operators wasn’t here yet, so we called her and had to wait for her in the bus before leaving, she joined us later on after some minutes as we journeyed down towards the foot of the mountain resorts, we enjoyed the endless views of the mountain ranges as well as driving through the devil’s elbow.

Along the road, we dropped by to take pictures and to see the magnificent views of landscapes before us. Arriving at the foot of the mountain resort we dropped by to see the beautiful waterpark which was being renovated to suit guest’s preference. I took out time to see another cataract waterfall just behind the waterpark. Thereafter, we all took pictures at the entrance of the resort and departed for Calabar.

Driving through our way back to Calabar, we had to take lunch at the same Nourish point restaurants at Ikom and arrived at Monty Suites Calabar just few minutes before 5pm and we all had to freshen up and drive down to Tinapa resort to see the level of destruction done by hoodlums following the massacre at Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos state. We returned back to the suites, ate dinner together at the hotel restaurants and everyone left for their rooms, as that was the end of our visit to Cross River State.

Obudu mountain resort remains the biggest and finest tourist destination in Africa as its increasingly becoming popular amongst tourists from all around Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

By Patrick wisdom

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