Sequel to OSUN, I remember how my tummy growled like a hungry lion when we were told that the restaurant and bar were closed. It seemed like they weren’t expecting any visitors. The rooms were left unattended to. Although the receptionist tried to explain that a government party had just used the resort for a retreat. We were at Ikogosi resort, and I was disappointed.
Ofcourse hunger makes you see things differently. The poorly made noodles we were later offered only helped to fill our bellies but failed to satisfy our taste buds. The sleep that night was that of a labourer, it was sweet. Everything looks different after a good night rest, they say. We watched the sun rise in its majesty. When last had I seen the sun uninterrupted by high rises? When last had I listened to the sound of silence? It was everything I had wanted and more!
Breakfast was one of my favorite meals, and lunch was also a promising delicacy of pounded yam and veggie soup. We had our day mapped out before us. Finally, I was going to see the warm and cold springs that I had heard about. I always figured it’d be like Yankari Game Reserve in Bauchi. But it was quite different.
Two springs popped out from two different areas and found their way to a meeting point. Amazingly, they still moved differently for a while. Another crazy thing was the timber tree and palm tree which were united in their roots like some Siamese twins. It was weird because palm trees were known loners who wouldn’t share their roots. The tour guide pointed at the color of the trees alluding to the fact that they represented the cold and warm springs. Again, the hand of God was the evident!
The folklore about the springs was that a hunter (another hunter!) had discovered the springs while chasing a wild animal. When he came across the warm spring, he was shocked and then traced it to the meeting point where he saw the cold spring. After telling the villagers about this, they consulted the oracle (This was common practice then when they didn’t understand a phenomenon). Here’s the main scoop!
A family had lived there many years back. The man was a palm wine tapper with two wives. The first, called ‘Awele’ was calm and gentle. The second, called ‘Awo’ was hot tempered and aggressive. One day, when their husband had gone to the farm, they started fighting (as was always the case). To show the first wife she had powers, the second wife hit herself on the ground and turned into hot water. The second wife now decided to go afar off and hit herself on the ground, where she turned into cold water to calm the hot-headed wife. When the husband returned and saw what had happened, he turned himself to the hills surrounding both springs, in order to keep them safe. Quite a story! Haha.
We saw the source of the warm springs which is used as potable water, while the source of the cold springs was some meters away from where we were. The resort also has a pool that feeds from the warm springs. It is said to contain healing elements.
Although this was not a vacation, it was all I needed to reboot my system. To be directly connected with the source of life. To be surrounded by unpolluted air. To live fully with no fear of the future. It was exactly the trip I had been craving for. Perhaps, all those Indiana Jones movies I had seen while growing up were preparing me for this life.
To explore is to be able to walk on the sands of time with new found purpose—meaning, even. To know that one day you’ll be no more, and all that would be left are your imprints in every heart you’ve touched, every new ground you’ve walked upon, every truth you upheld, and every new thing you were not afraid to try. -Mfon Etuk, 2019.
See you next time!