The old Idanre Hills in Idanre Town, Ondo State, Nigeria is said to be about 800 years old and about 45 minutes drive from Akure, the State capital. On entering Idanre town, you behold the different hills to the left and right. It is a magnificent view with misty clouds covering the top of the hills. The hills look so larger than life and you are amazed at the natural beauty you are surrounded by.
Going on a group tour with about 30 other people was fun. We drove straight down to the end of the road and there is the Idanre Hills Tourism office. It is a fenced ground where you will find the entrance to the steps that leads to the top of the hill, the ticketing office, and information desk about the hills. On your left is a restaurant/bar where you can get cold drinks and water and i think they sell food on weekdays there. There are chairs spread out under a tree if you want to have a sit out at the foot of the hill.
We gathered round to listen to Awolo, our tour guide for the day.
CLIMBING UP THE HILL
There are 667 steps from the bottom of the hill to the top with five resting points on the way up. First resting point is the 75th steps, the second resting point is the 226th step, the third resting point is the 362 step, the fourth resting point is the 471 step, and the fifth resting point is the 588th step.
On getting to the top you will notice three distinct mountains on the opposite side from where you are standing. We were told that the middle one is called Ojimoba and stories has it that during the war the rock swallowed the wicked people. So anytime from 5 pm once you get close to the rock you will hear the noise of the trapped people inside the rock.
There are various hills that make up the Idanre Hills in all. The hills are smooth and dome-shaped in nature, with its tips in the clouds. it is also known as “The city of inselbergs”. It is said that the hills were named after some historical figures who were involved in the building and evolvement of the old Idanre town on top of the hill to the new Idanre town at the bottom of the hill.
One of the hills is named Olofin Hills after the first oba of Oke-Idanre town and another is named Orosun, which hold the highest elevation in South-West Nigeria.
There is the Agbagba hill which is famous for the Agboogun footprint, visitors are made to put their feet in them to see if they fit. In the ancient time, it is believed that anybody whose feet do not exactly fit is considered to be a witch or wizard. This reminds me of the footprints of the elders that is found on the Ado-Awaye mountain on the way to the suspended Lake.
Carter Hills is another hill which is named after a former colonial governor who signed a peace treaty with the Oba of Idanre in 1891.
Africans are known for their festivals which are mostly linked to their native religion and culture. Over the years these festivals have become a source of tourist attractions to non-natives of the areas who are curious to know more about the culture and religion of the people.
History of the Voodoo Religion
History has it that when Africans, especially West Africans were taken as slaves during the trans-Atlantic slave trade era, they took their religion with them. Irrespective of the White man's introduction of their own religion which is Christianity and the Arab Slave Trade era which introduced the Islamic religion, some West Africans still took their native religion and culture seriously.
Voodoo is one religion that was taken serious by the slaves. The early origins of Voodoo, also spelled Vodou, Voudou and Voudon, likely came from the West African country of Dahomey, now called Benin Republic.
In the Fon language(Benin Republic Language), the world ''voodoo'' means ''spirit.'' One of the places the West African Slaves were taken to was Haiti, a Caribbean island.
Voodoo is believed to have started in Haiti in 1724 as a snake cult that worshiped many spirits pertaining to daily life experiences. It developed as a blending of their traditional beliefs and customs with the practices of Africans from other regions and the influence of Catholicism.
When the Haitian slaves fought back against their captors, a revolt lead by Voodoo priests called hougans and priestesses called manbos, drove the French out of Haiti. Some of the French fled to New Orleans and brought some of their slaves with them. These slaves brought Haitian Voodoo. While many slaves in New Orleans practiced their own variation of Voodoo, it was not as influential as the quickly spreading Haitian Voodoo.
Happy New Year, welcome to 2018. Wishing all my readers a wonderful year filled with many wonderful adventures. As we step into the new year it will be good if you take proper care of YOU.
Towards the end of 2017, I had a lot to do with my day job. I charted new path I had never tried before and it was a success, but with a lot of ups and downs. I had lots to do, and thus was really stressed out. I woke up sometimes around second week in December, 2017 with aches and pains. Putting my feet on the ground became a problem, my two ankles were swollen and I was in pain. Been a traveller, I have never experienced swollen legs, i know it does happen with some people after sitting down for a long time.
I put my feet in warm water and try rubbing an ointment for aches on it. It subside a bit but it got me seriously worried. I quickly took a video and sent it off to a doctor friend who was perplexed as to why the two legs at the same time. She directed me to do an X-ray of the ankle showing the foot, and also some other tests.
As a person, I hate hospitals, needles and drugs, not withstanding the fact that my mum is a retired matron.
I did all the tests, they all came back negative but the ankles had swollen inflammation which resulted in the pains I was having. Why, no one could explain, especially the doctor's report.
But I acted promptly on a question I was asked by the lab technician that did the first x-ray. When was the last time you checked your BP?, she asked, to which I responded, It's been a while.