Welcome to Kenny-s Blog

#Pulse36 Day 3: In Idanre, there are 682 steps to Heaven

When Idanre is on your schedule for a day, you cancel everything else.

We woke up the latest today. Past Eight. Moving from Ijebu to Ore wasn’t the easiest thing in the world.

Idanre wasn’t promising to be any easier. But if there’s anything we were sure of, it’s that it will be worth it.

“Guy, make we chop first.” Chris’ idea. When a person suggests food to me, it’s always a good idea.

You know what food porn is, right?

Food Porn: images that portray food in a very appetizing or aesthetically appealing way

I swear, I wanted to share a photo of food, but the way the Pounded Yam I ordered was set up, I didn’t know when I took the Poundy for a swim in the Egusi and Draw soup combo. Next thing I know, I’d run out of two wraps of Pounded Yam, and the Cow Tail in my bowl was losing meat fast.

By the time I was ready to take a good photo to tension the Internet, this is all I had left;

Chris Brown has said no greater words than "please don't judge me, and I won't judge you".play

Chris Brown has said no greater words than “please don’t judge me, and I won’t judge you”.

(Pulse36)

But moving on.

Idanre is just about an hour from Ondo time, with just a few potholes as you approach the remote communities.

Travel Lesson Lesson 6:

Nigerians are kinder than you think. You just need to try to be optimistic. In our cab, there was an middle-aged woman, probably in her late 30s or early 40s. An elderly man sat in front of me. Another elderly woman sat in front of me.

Old Nigerians, the type you’d think would call young people vain for taking pictures. But we asked the driver if he could stop so we could take some driveby photos, he did. Twice. And they didn’t complain.

So be naive every once in a while. Hopefully, or probably not, it won’t kill you.

When The Hills start to greet you, you’re close.

I pulled out my phone to take photos, but the really nice woman sitting beside me said:

“Don’t be in such a hurry, when you get to Idanre, you’ll see more beautiful things to snap.”

She was right. She was damn right.

The Three Breasts of Idanre.

There’s a twin peaks in Swaziland famously called the Breasts of Sheba for their twin peaks.

When we first reached Idanre, at first sight, I could only see two mounds,

View of Idanre Hillsplay

View of Idanre Hills

(Pulse36)

So my mind just went, “Oh wow, Idanre has breasts too,” but then we went a little further and I saw the third rock. I wasn’t giving up easliy.

So I remembered this old movie, Kung-Fu Hustle, and this woman who had three breasts in it.

So yeah, when next you go to Idanre, say hi to her three breasts.

Our next lesson is at the reception of Idanre, where all three clocks stood, not because the world was coming to an end, but because someone failed to change the batteries.

The Reception at Idanre has more aesthetic quality than the entire Mausoleum of Bilikisu Sungbo. Facts only.play

The Reception at Idanre has more aesthetic quality than the entire Mausoleum of Bilikisu Sungbo. Facts only.

(Pulse36)

At this same reception, we learned our lesson number 7:

Never travel as a media person, or Journalist. Or anything close to this. At Idanre, normal visitors pay One Thousand Naira. But anyone with a camera that looks like something from a Media Company.

Anyway, we ended up with a tour guide. Gbenga. If you ever go there, ask for Gbenga.

He's been a tour guide there for 3 years. He's also a graduate of History and International Relations.play

He’s been a tour guide there for 3 years. He’s also a graduate of History and International Relations.

(Pulse36)

Climbing the steps Heaven.

Climbing the steps to heavenplay

Climbing the steps to heaven

(Pulse36)

There are 682 steps to the top of the Hills, and I’m going to tell you how to get there. You do a quick climb to the first resting place. 75 steps up.

Here, the Guide tells you the story of the ancestor of Idanre people; Olofin Arometan. The Guide will tell you how Olofin is the baby brother to Oduduwa, both of them children of Lamurudu.

He’ll tell you how, when Oduduwa joined his ancestors, Olofin Arometan took the crown and brought it to Idanre.

He’ll tell you how the people of Idanre believe their crown is the original crown of the Yoruba, not the Ooni of Ile-Ife’s.

He’ll end his story and proceed to the next resting place, while you follow in tow. When you’ve climbed a few steps higher than the first resting place, look back.

Don’t worry, you won’t turn to salt. This is what you’ll see instead;

Take in the scene. Take it in. Then keep going. There’ll be more in front. That I can assure you.play

Take in the scene. Take it in. Then keep going. There’ll be more in front. That I can assure you.

(Pulse36)

Take in the scene. Take it in. Then keep going. There’ll be more in front. That I can assure you.

By the second resting place;

You would have climbed 225 steps. You’ll see what used to be a shade that got burnt in a wild bush fire. There won’t be any stories from the Guide here. Maybe because fire burns everything.

Now climb.

Your next resting place will be at 361 steps. There’s a story waiting for you here.

It’s the story of the Idanre people. It’s about how they’ve existed for 800 years, living solely on the rock.

Then civilisation happened, and then they came down the rock and settled at ground level. All of this was 88 years ago.

It’s a sharp contrast from the people of Abeokuta. In Abeokuta, people found refuge under the rock running away from war. In Idanre, their pride is on the rock. Idanre Hills are the real Pride Rock.

Every year, Abeokuta people climb the rock to thank it for saving them from destruction. On the other side of the rock, Idanre people climb it everywhere to renew their pride and heritage.

At the fourth resting place;

There are no stories, only anxiety to reach the final resting place. And then finally, you reach the final resting place and there are no stairs. There’s only the fulfilment of having just climbed 660 steps.

“There’s 22 stairs more to climb,” the tour guide says.

So you keep going. And when you’re done with the steps. You’ll keep going until you reach an old school. The very first in Idanre, built by missionaries.

You’ll find signatures of everyone who thought it was a good idea to sign on these walls. From Tobi, to Bolu, to UNIBEN students of 2014.play

You’ll find signatures of everyone who thought it was a good idea to sign on these walls. From Tobi, to Bolu, to UNIBEN students of 2014.

(Pulse36)

You’ll find signatures of everyone who thought it was a good idea to sign on these walls. From Tobi, to Bolu, to UNIBEN students of 2014.

Keep going.

More windy paths. Just stay close to your tour guide. Follow him at every corner, and turn, till you reach this peak that will leave you breathless, literally and figuratiely.

That's Chris doing the star jump. And of course, ruining the view.play

That’s Chris doing the star jump. And of course, ruining the view.

(Pulse36)

Now proceed. To the final peak you’ll see.

*All photos were shot on the Samsung Galaxy S8+.

Have something to add? Share it in the comments.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *