Travel lesson again. Never travel in the rainy season if transport is going to be a problem.
We had less than a day to spend in Bayelsa and the rain was planning to take the most of it.
Yenagoa is swampy, and when it rains, the only option available is to play the waiting game. Our host, Ugo, was a corper currently serving with the Ministry of Information.
So as the rain poured outside, we learned as much of Bayelsa as we can from his mouth.
Remember when John Legend said “my head’s under water, but I’m breathing fine.”
That could just have been Yenagoa, and most of Bayelsa.
The state is mostly swampy with most of it being below sea level.
It explains why in Yenagoa, the roads are much higher than the houses flanking it.
So landfilling is an important part of the construction process in the state.
I have a radical/ridiculous idea.
Right in front of the place Ugo lived, this house stood on thin but firmly rooted legs.
What does Bayelsa and Venice have in common?
Now this might be reaching. Over-reaching. But what is the difference between Yenagoa and Venice?
Wait, don’t break my nose yet.
Venice is a marshland. Most of it is built on water. Centuries ago, there was probably little difference between Venice and Bayelsa today. The foundations of Venice were made with wood. Logs of wood will first be driven into the ground. Then platforms would then be built on them.
This is kind of like Yenagoa. Except, one thing is clearly lacking; a vision.
There’s a water problem.
Most of all the drinking water in Bayelsa is brought in from neighbouring states, Delta and Rivers.
This is the avoidable consequence of being an Oil-producing state.
For starters, oil was first drilled in Oloibiri, Bayelsa State.
Despite the pollution though, there’s still a lot of greenery in Bayelsa.
And talking about water problems, it was still pouring from the sky at past 4 in the evening.
We tried to, we really did, but the rain won the day.
In our itinerary, there’s a fixed number of days to spend in each town. Makes it easier to track progress.
Our itinerary was demanding we sleep in Rivers State that night.
And so, after spending most of our stay indoors and eating Madiga, a kind of Bayelsa bread, we had to leave.
There are a list of states that I hope I return to when this road trip is done.
Bayelsa just made it to that list.