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Abuja: My First Hiking Experience

Abuja: My First Hiking Experience

Hiking has become a norm in Nigeria lately, especially in Abuja, Jos and places with rocks and hills.

How it All Came About

I have always wanted to have a feel of it as I’m all out for experiences over owning or acquiring things.
   Last week Friday, my cousin sent me details about a hike for Saturday morning. I told her I was tired and would rather go run at the park but she said I was slacking and encouraged me to show up.Later that night,I made my m ind to go and I have no regrets whatsoever.
   A group called “monstatribe” organised the hike. I showed up at the muster point (NAF Conference centre) Jahi, Abuja at 7am and waited for others to arrive. I saw a secondary school mate who became my companion all through. I didn’t know the destination but I knew we were going for a climb somewhere in or around Abuja. A token fee of N1,000 was paid. I got to know later on that registered members pay N2,000 every 6 months.
We all got into the available vehicles and drove to a hill around Life Camp in Abuja.
The hill is opposite the Holy Family Catholic Church in Life Camp.

The Climb

   We had a fitness instructor take us through some stretches and exercises before we commenced the climb.
  I was really excited and couldn’t wait to climb. We began the climb with everyone carrying a bottle of water. I found myself sweating profusely and panting after the first few minutes of the climb. I thought as someone who is “fit” it would be easy…
We were asked to rest for a few minutes before we proceed. We had several stop breaks so we could rest and drink water. There was some music as well.
  Hiking to me turned out like my daily morning run. The first few steps are difficult and I just want to stop but once I push further, that’s it! I braced up and enjoyed every step to the top.
  I was amazed to find that crops were being grown on the hill. The soil actually looked like a rich loamy soil.
I saw a banana/plantain farm and I saw a yam farm. I think different people have got their portions of farmland here as I saw a farmer making yam heaps at another point. I saw a thicket fence round a portion too. Talk about plots on a hill. I also saw a rubber doll which only from the abdomen to the legs was available with a stick passing through the legs. Someone said it was “jazz”.(Slang for witchcraft).
  There were some really steep points and I thought, what if I fall off? I used my hands to climb at certain points and I also got helping hands (pull ups) at other points. I brushed twigs aside so I could pass certain points. I would also stop at some points to ask myself if I really wanted to go further. (Fear).
  The trail/pathways were obvious which made me feel a lot of human movement takes place on this very hill. (My cousin worships at this very church and there was a Sunday I joined her there and the priest asked members to be careful as people were being robbed and the robbers ran up into the hill after the act…)
   We finally got to the top of the hill and some people lay down, some took pictures, some chatted away and some danced to the music. I walked around to enjoy the view. It was beautiful… The cluster of houses below, the roads, the skyline, the horizon, everything! I was glad I made it to the top.
  Old members of the hike group shared snacks they brought along. Biscuits, apples, chewing gum, energy drinks etc.
I got to talk to a few people at this point too and we seemed to click so I’m guessing if I go on another hike with this team, I will feel more at home amongst them. I had someone recognise me from my Jabi Park run too.
  We spent more time here so everyone could really enjoy the view and moment.
I spotted someone open a book and read. The feel you know. A lady also brought her dog for the climb. I wish I took pictures of these 2. Well…

 The Descent

Finally, it was time for the descent. This was way, way easier of course and I could even run. I ran and was amongst the first five people behind our hike leader. The only female even. Lol.
I felt good you know though we were all told from the beginning it wasn’t a competition and easy does it.
 We got back to the foot of the hill and to where the vehicles were parked.
Light refreshments were served. I felt the hike was too short and wanted more. I was told they did 13Km the previous Saturday. Everyone then gradually took their leave.
  I tracked the hike using the Samsung health application on my phone and distance covered was 4.3Km, Duration 1hr,6minutes( 8:05am-10:09am) and elevation was 616m.
   I enjoyed this experience as I have always wanted to go hiking and it made me appreciate nature more. I looked at the view while at the top and said to myself, “there must be a God somewhere…”
I’ll do this over and over again.
 Here are a few tips Mamnenge has for you for when you do go hiking:
  • hiking shoes are the best
  • hiking hand gloves to prevent bruises
  • use sunscreen
  • don’t litter the environment with water bottles and all..

Follow monstatribe on facebook to catch up on all their future events.

Other groups you can follow for hiking events (Abuja based)

Other Articles on hiking below

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