La Nigeriana


La Nigeriana

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Africa » Benin » South » Cotonou February 13th 2013

My vacation in the Republic of Benin was a much needed one. After 3.5 months in Nigeria, I really needed a time out – Benin was it! I went overland from Nigeria to Benin. It was my first land border crossing in Africa and I was sort of nervous. But it went well. I didn’t have to do much; the international bus I took from Lagos to Cotonou got our passports stamped. I guess that is one of the benefits of the ECOWAS agreement between West Africa countries. The journey took 6 hours. I did not go alone; my Nepali friend came to visit in Nigeria so we went to Benin together. Cotonou is my favorite city in Benin thus far. Although it is not the capital, it has way more things to do than Porto ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Beyoglu October 1st 2012

Hey I know you, I’ve seen you on TV, you are Beyoncé (sometimes Rihanna) right? Hey ‘Chocolate Face’, how are you? Can I have your number? These are the type of comments I got while in Istanbul, Turkey. Sometimes I loved it and sometimes it irritated me. Visiting Istanbul was a huge transition for me since the countries I’ve visited in the past were always in West Africa, Latin America or the Caribbean. Therefore, for the first time in my life, I couldn’t speak the language of the country I was visiting. L But I survived my 7 days’ vacation. Although Istanbul is not the capital of Turkey, it has the largest population in Turkey – about 13million people. Let me tell you 5 reasons why you should visit Istanbul: 1. Good Food: Turkey ... read more
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South America » Colombia » Cali August 31st 2012

Every August, the city of Cali celebrates the Pacific music festival (Petronio Alvarez Festival) for 5 days. Here, they bring in various musicians from all region of the Pacific coast of Colombia. Since I started visiting Colombia in 2009, I’ve always missed this magnificent festival but this year I made it!!! The festival was all I expected it to be – great music and pure happiness. I’m glad I was there. Even the rain did not stop the dancing on the third day of the festival. To cap it up, I had the opportunity of meeting 2 of the 3 members of ChoquibTown – Colombia’s most celebrated Hip-Hop group. Before making it to Cali, I went to San Agustin to see the archaeological site (since I’m an archaeological junkie) and Popayan. I was really disappointed with ... read more
Bogota - Las Aguas

Uruguay was my last stop in the 6 weeks tour of South America. I wasn’t expecting too much here but was inspired by the lovely people of Uruguay. I took the ferry from Buenos Aires to Colonial, Uruguay. It was an hour ride; I used Colonial Express ferry service instead of the Busquebus ferry service. Colonial express was half the price of Busquebus. I spent about four hours exploring Colonial – it would be such a nice city in the summer. Then I took the 2.5hours bus to Montevideo. Immediately, I fell in love with Montevideo. The city is not fancy or big like Buenos Aires but it is pretty in its own way. The people are much nicer as well. I stayed in a really great hostel – Impeccable Hostel- very close (2 blocks) to ... read more
Colonial -
Sad 'Chocolate Drink'

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires July 14th 2012

The 18 hours bus from Santiago, Chile to Cordoba, Argentina was pleasant. Cordoba is an okay city, you only need a day or two there if you are not into winter sports. I met two Chilean sisters and together we explored Cordoba. The most interesting museum I visited was the Women’s Museum. After two nights here and I left for Puerto Iguazú – the city that house the amazing waterfalls. The plan was to stay one night in Puerto Iguazú but that changed. The bus from Cordoba to Iguazú was 20.5 hours. This meant that I arrived in Iguazu at 8.30am the next morning. I dropped my bags at the hostel and went straight to the Iguazú waterfalls. The waterfall is simply amazing. You really have to experience it. The pictures I took don’t quite capture ... read more
Buenos Aires
Women's museum  -Cordoba

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago July 3rd 2012

I arrived in San Pedro de Atacama tired but eager to find out what Chile holds for me. The little town is different, there is something about it that I can’t pin point. The buildings are rusty looking; pictures cannot capture this town- you simply have to see it yourself. It is a very small town so it is possible to run into people you met while in Bolivia. That’s exactly what I happened to me, I ran into a few of the folks I met during my 3 days tour of the Salt Lake in Uyuni, Bolivia. It was great to see familiar faces, so we hung out for dinner and drinks before going our separate ways the next day. The weather is okay in Atacama, during the day it’s sunny but pretty cold at ... read more
San Pedro de Atacama
The only ´working´ATM/Bank in town

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz June 30th 2012

Bolivia is cheaper than Peru. Taxis are also cheap – about 10-15 Boliviano (USD$1 = 6.7Bolivano) for a 20-30minutes ride. Copacabana was my first stop in the country, much nicer than Puno in Peru. I did the half a day tour of sun Island. This island is so beautiful; hiking up the island was not easy. Some old guy I met on the boat happily gave me the tour of the Island. He explained the difference between the Sun Temple and the Palacio de Inca. The former is a spiritual journey while the later is physical structure with great significant for the Incas. The food in Copacabana is also not so great. La Paz was fun. I stayed with a couchsurfer in Miraflores part of town. I went winter shopping in La Paz in a market ... read more
Bolivia 038
Train Wreck 2
salt lake

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Lima June 15th 2012

Since Machu Pichu had been on my bucket list for a very long time, it comes as no surprise that I put Peru on my itinerary this summer. Lima was my first stop and I loved every minute of it. I originally planned on staying for 3 days but ended up staying for 6 days and even then I was hesitant to leave. Something about big cities just makes me happy. In Lima, I stayed with two different couchsurfers – both were pleasant experiences. One of the things that made my stay in Lima amazing was the varieties of Afro-Peruvian activities. June is the month of Afro-Peruvian heritage in Peru. So I attended various events organized by the Ministry of Culture and the Afro-Peruvian museum. There I met amazing folks from feminists to poets to actors ... read more
National Museum - Lima

The Dominican Republic was awesome. I was in Santo Domingo mostly but took a day trip to Santiago de los Caballeros. Santiago de los Caballeros is about 2.5hrs by bus from Santo Domingo and the city is very rich in Arts and Culture. I visited lots of Arts Exhibitions. In Santo Domingo, I stayed 10mins walking distance from the zona colonial and again I enjoyed being close to the colonial zone. My host was great and I felt like a part of the family. I didn’t do lots of touristy stuff here; I just hung out with the locals and immersed myself in the culture. This meant that I attended classes with my host at the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD), I took the guagua (public transport) and went to a local discoteca. One of ... read more
On the streets toward the Malecon
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Like everyone else, I imagined PR to be just like the US (whatever that means). I’ve been told by folks who have been to PR that PR is very modern and at the same time underdeveloped.Well this is my opinion of San Juan, PR. To a certain extent, it can be compared to Miami. However, to me it is very comparable to any Caribbean country or the Caribbean coast of any Latin American country. Comparable in terms of the developed infrastructure in place for tourists, the vibe, the old town/colonial zone and so on. I stayed in the Old San Juan and I loved it. I am easily charmed by Old towns/Colonial zones. The architecture is amazing, people watching, shopping, good food, insightful museums and local attractions were all worthwhile. The architecture of the walls-castle-morro surrounding ... read more
Capitolio Beach
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