Thursday, August 17, 2017

When you go hiking, bring your camera, water, rain jacket.... and an inner tube?

A few weeks ago, all of us single missionaries were invited to go a hike with two of the missionary families. Now that the heat has past and we're in the middle of rainy season, I knew it would a be gorgeous hike--but I wasn't prepared for just how green it was!

We drove about an hour out from town, past the retreat center where I went for the big missionary Easter weekend get together, and turned off onto a dirt path. I wasn't sure our two Toyota Siennas (one of which had been purchased just a few weeks ago) would make it, especially when we drove across a spillway in water at least a foot deep. But I'm learning that both missionary and Nigerian drivers take their cars to the limits here (Dad, I promise that I'll never drive through water too deep nor take my car on roads where we're tipped 30 degrees or more!)

We piled out of the cars, grabbed our water bottles and cameras, and took off after our leader who has very long legs and sets a good pace!

We were following the path of an aqueduct that carries water from three reservoir lakes about three miles to the edge of the plateau and then dumps it straight down! Along the way, there is a small hydroelectric dam that supplies power to some of the larger industries in town. I've been told that even in dry season, the aqueduct is full of water.

We walked and walked, snapping photos along the way. When we got to the first aqueduct bridge two of the guys decided to walk/run across it on the metal spans.
Here he contemplates it...

He starts by walking on the metal edging...

Then decides to just go for it!

So of course, when we got to the second bridge one of the girls had to try it!

As we kept hiking, it started to drizzle. That's the thing about rainy season--you never know when it's going to rain or for how long! Thankfully, I had brought along my rain jacket, but it was so humid that I just took it off and got wet along with the others!

After about a mile of following the aqueduct through the brush, we started to hear a waterfall.

It got louder and louder until...

Yes, that is water dumping off the edge of the plateau into the Kaduna River. Doesn't it look like the perfect place to take an inner tube and go down like a water slide?

Seriously... you have to hear how loud it was!

We hiked a bit further down to this huge pipe (I think it's a 3' diameter) that carries water down to the turbines at the bottom. The water channel we'd passed is just for the overflow when the water is too high to all flow through this pipe. Some of us decided to walk down the pipe and others to walk alongside the pipe to a place about halfway down where we stopped to take in the view.

Me, three of the other single missionaries and the two moms. We were missing the two guys, the dads, and one of their daughters. 
J__ has become one of my best friends here. She's always up for a random adventure or a quiet night in with dinner and a movie.

 Isn't the view of the Kaduna River gorgeous!

This is also the border between Plateau State (my state) and Kaduna State.

From where we stopped to take photos, the pipe angle changes from about 35 degrees to nearly 60 degrees and became impossible to navigate so we turned back and retraced our steps back to the last reservoir.
The view back up to the top
On our way back, we went by the reservoir.

Aren't I blessed to live in a place this beautiful!

So, all in all the hike was only about three miles, but the path was overgrown in parts and super slippery in others! From satellite photos, it's possible to see the incredible difference between rainy and dry season! The yellow/red line is the path of the aqueduct that we followed from the reservoir to the pipe.
Satellite photo taken in May

Satellite photo taken in January
I'm gonna have to go back here with a group during dry season. I've heard that you can follow the pipe all the way down to the river and then walk back up the dry riverbed, but it's a 5-8hr hike!  I usually dislike fast and steep roller coasters, water slides, and other asundry adrenaline-pumping things of that sort... but when I go back, I just might bring my inner tube. (Just don't tell my missionary insurance company--or my parents!)

1 comment:

  1. I would definitely bring the inner tube! So glad to see how the Lord is using you in this far away place! Joanne Wolf