31.03.15 – 07.04.15
I don’t even know where to begin with Lagos. One of the most fun, yet relaxing yet crazy weeks I’ve had in a long time.
As someone who considers Perth and its beaches my home now, it was actually strangely comforting to get off the bus at Lagos and instantly smell the salt in the air, hear seagulls and the lapping of water against the shore. I think we both knew that Lagos was going to be our friend.
We’re staying at a little hostel called JJ’s yard. It’s more or less a small house which sleeps just 10 people between two rooms, and the owners are couple Jay and Lorenna who live across the road. Like I said it’s small, and pretty basic, but it’s been one of the best hostel experiences ever! The size and small number of guests mean you know more or less everyone staying here, you sort of feel like room mates renting a house together. Jay and Lorenna were the ultimate hosts, taking time to tell us the best places to eat and drink, as well as genuinely taking time to get to know every guest staying under their roof. We went bar hopping with them three times during the week, along with most people who were staying in the hostel –and it was a blast. In Lagos, if you get home before 5am the night has been a failure. We met a really good bunch of travellers there, people that I know I will see again –most likely when we all return to JJs yard to work a summer season as JJs staff. I probably couldn’t recommend JJs Yard enough for a budget traveller, especially if you are travelling alone as well –you’ll make friends within 10 minutes. There’s also JJ’s Yard 2 just across the street, which sleeps a lot more people and has cool common room –handy for pre drinks!
Lagos is small, but this is its charm. After spending four weeks going from big city to big city, it was so nice to be staying in a place where you’re usually only a two-minute walk from wherever you need to be. No need to worry about buses, metros, trains, nothing. A short walk to the beach, a short walk to dinner, and only about 30 seconds to walk to the best bars in town. Heaven.
Number one on the list of things to do in Lagos is a kayak tour along the coast. It only costs €25 for about three hours, and is really worth it. Unfortunately for us, the conditions weren’t so great the morning we went out, so we didn’t get to go through many caves as the groups would have normally. The rough seas combined with Daniel and I bickering about paddling meant it wasn’t too long before we both fell overboard -side note- the water is absolutely like ice. Regardless of the choppy conditions (in the water and also my negligent paddling skills), it was still a fun experience. It’s just one of the few reasons we’ll be back to Lagos, as we need to get the proper kayak experience! …And maybe we’ll go in single kayaks next time, not double.
The next major attraction in Lagos is the walk along the cliffs. From the centre of town it’s only about 5km, but it can take up to half a day, as you’re constantly stopping for photos, climbing down to the beaches, etc. It was definitely a lot more rugged than we thought, but the views were amazing. Climbing all that way in sandals and beach gear wasn’t ideal, but ascending the cliffs was pretty special, especially then seeing all the kayak tours below, dotting the ocean like ants. A view that was a different kind of amazing was when we climbed up to the top of a cliff, looked down and across the gap, and saw two people completely naked and um, enjoying the view? Sorry, we didn’t manage to take any photos –we scared they might chase after us and push us off the cliff.
We ended the cliff walk when we reached Antonio’s restaurant, which was recommended to us by Lorenna. It’s perched right on top the beach, and we had some of the best seafood I think either of us has ever had! Their specialities are the Monkfish Rice and Octopus Rice, so we shared the Monkfish and also some squid. The squid was to die for, and so cheap! The monkfish was also great, so when we got back to JJ’s and did some more research on what kind of fish it actually is –we were pretty terrified to discover what it looks like. But you know what they say, don’t judge a scary fish creature by its scaly cover.
After a week of beaching, eating, walking, drinking and partying, we are pretty sad to be leaving Lagos. We’ve made a lot of friends here –shoutout to the houseful of American teachers living in Madrid- and even though we went out a lot and didn’t sleep too much, it was still somehow a refreshing and relaxing week. Thank you to everyone who made this week what is was!
Next stop Lisbon, the Portuguese capital.