Life Lessons From A 40 Years Adventure
Here’s my jungle-story, and the lessons learnt after completing the challenge
For me, it was an adventure 40 years in the making. The first time I tried to ascend the rock was in the early 1980s. On that occasion, my guide missed the way. At the end, all I had for solace was a feeble pat on the rock after a long trek to the base of this rock of dreams - Oruku rock.
Two score years ago adventure found me at the base of this same rock. On that day, I and my friend meandered around the jungle perimeter of its base. It all ended in futility then. On December 28th, 2020, I returned to the same location for a second attempt at reaching the peak. The prospects of reaching the zenith was partly responsible for the long journey to my hometown. To prepare for this adventure, I had engaged in several days of stamina-building morning walking exercises. I am no stranger to the rugged terrain of my teen years. So I had to prepare even before I left Port Harcourt for Òsósọ̀, my hometown.
Time is running out. It’s now or never
The last week of December is usually a busy, festive period. As a result, it was not until the fifth day after my arrival that I could set out on my adventure. From my guesthouse, I picked up my guide on the way to our rendezvous. The season’s signature - dust and haze permeates everywhere. Stretching for about two miles, two rows of trees lined both sides of the lone paved road. The green-capped foliage offered much needed shade. Even though the sun has not risen, the heat was palpable, everywhere.
The Toyota Camry could only proceed at walking-pace speed along the narrow dusty road. Our team soon grew up to seven. Five of them rode in the car. I opted for trekking along with our guide to where we were to start our foray into the bush. Our destination, Oruku rock, was less than 2 miles away. Most of the town was in a festive mood. At the entrance into the jungle, we met three young ladies returning from the bush. They were on their home-bound trip from a pond about one mile into the jungle. Each had a water-vessel balanced on her heads. This was the height of the dry season. The ponds and streams were all dry. The women often have to trek several miles into the bush to…