Nicky McLean Travel Articles

Terjit Oasis: Greenery in the Heart of the Desert
(4 of 4)
By chance, I spot lying in the sand a pinless hairclip with a pair of red glass jewels and when later a small child is being shoved around by a group requesting cadeaux, she gets the item as a reward for not pestering me and a message to the pests. She is happy, but not […]
A Slow Train or Three Across Nigeria (4 of 9)
Wednesday At 9 a.m. we stop at Gombe, so breakfast, first on rice and stew, then on my own muesli and a litre of UHT milk. Breakfasts after tomorrow can look after themselves. When I go out looking for water (there was none at Maiduguri station), none is available here either, but a fellow approached […]
A Slow Train or Three Across Nigeria (3 of 9)
Third: Maiduguri to Lagos 1,118 miles in 53 hours for 1,530 Naira After the rest of Nigeria, Maiduguri is a surprise, as it is the only town I’ve seen that did not have litter strewn along its streets. There was some, but it was not in drifts and heaps. By contrast, at Kano by one […]
A Slow Train or Three Across Nigeria (1 of 9)
Travelogue from Nicky McLean's slow journey across
A Slow Train or Three Across Nigeria (9 of 9)
Tuesday Dawn finds us at Ibadan, where the family unloads many sacks of yams, so farewell to the kids. Mum’s estimate on Saturday of a Tuesday arrival at Lagos is looking to be accurate, and better than any of my mathematical calculations, based as they were on too simple a model. At 7:30 we leave […]
A Slow Train or Three Across Nigeria (8 of 9)
Sunday With stops too, so as expected, we do not reach Kaduna around midnight, but after sunrise. The country seems greener; since Bauchi there has been much less dust. At the station, the vendors in the platform shelter seem much as before but there are few people about to sustain them. I have breakfast on […]
A Slow Train or Three Across Nigeria (7 of 9)
Saturday I have some new flyspray, cheap at N100 a can, and acrid, but mosquitoes visit just the same. Then at 3:45am, a train arrives from ahead! The track must be clear at last. Even so, we stay put until six a.m., so as the red glow of dawn just begins, we move off slowly, […]
A Slow Train or Three Across Nigeria (6 of 9)
Friday Another night in Bauchi. More whimperings and screamings, definitely from the carriage ahead of me, and none from the one behind so in the morning I enquire at the 2nd class carriage ahead. Some fellows say that yes, it is a dog, but I don’t sight the wretched beast, so I can’t report on […]
A Slow Train or Three Across Nigeria (5 of 9)
Thursday Some mosquitoes made a nuisance of themselves, accompanied by more wails and screams from what sounded like a miserable puppy suffering the torments of the lost, but in the light of the morning I see that it is a goat, in the goods wagon behind my carriage. I glower balefully as it superciliously chomps […]
Into Deepest Laos, and Back (5 of 6)
Wednesday: Phonsavanh and The Plain of Jars We enjoy a reasonable sleep in cool sufficient to call for the supplied quilt. Drizzle continues, but there is enough light to see what might do as a re-enactment of Laredo, enough so to have me whistling the tune as I walked out on the streets for a […]