If this was a Disney story then a good title would have been “in the land of inselbergs” – just before you grab a dictionary; inselberg means hills with steep sides and rounded tops. However, this seems to be more like Game of Thrones or rather, in this case, the game of stolen crown.
“The throne couldn’t be taken but the crown could be stolen” – this must have been the thought of the man who stole the magic crown of Oduduwa’s son from Ile-ife the ancestral home of the Yorubas. Legends have it that the man and his followers got chased for days through forest and mountains until they came across a range of hills whose beauty made them exclaim “idanree!” – meaning “This is a wonder!”
This “wonder” became their refuge and element of protection from their attackers for over 100 years and it’s now known as the old Oke-idanre. – “old” because civilization pushed the inhabitants to move down to the bottom of the hill which is now the present day Idanre.
Imagine living on a hill for over 100 years, what could you possibly be doing there? How would you possibly cope with the extreme changes in temperature? Well, maybe the people of Idanre never cared about all those back then. After all “man’s not hot” 🙂
I have heard of idanre hills, I have seen pictures of idanre hills, and there is this one picture that is very common – that picture that shows the whole town surrounded by hills – I am sure you already know that signature picture I am refereeing to. Lol
I wanted my camera to know what it feels like to capture that scenery. I wanted my legs to get that feeling of climbing the ancient hill- the hill with over 660 steps and 5 resting points (5 very necessary resting points…you may need to climb just to understand how necessary they are. Lol).
I wanted that natural calming effect from the earthy smell of damp soil combined with decayed fallen leaves along the crooked path leading to the top of the hill.
I never knew about the “Omi Aopara” (Thunder River) – The ancient river that soldiers drank from before going to war. Whoever drinks from the river and gets satisfied is fit to go to the war and return safely but whoever drinks and doesn’t get satisfied would be advised to go home so as not to die at war front.
I never knew about Dagunro spot – The ancient toll gate for the people of old idanre. – This was the checkpoint before you could enter into the old idanre.
I never knew about PERE – the currency used at the resort. Every tourist that comes into the idanre hill resort goes into the resort office to convert Naira (official Nigerian currency) to PERE (accepted Idanre currency). Even though the exchange value is equivalent, 1 Naira equal 1 PERE – I still saw so much sense in the accepted resort currency.
I never knew there was a tourist chalet on top the hill – an accommodation where tourist can use if they decide to spend the night on the hill instead of the regular camp tent.
I never knew the highest peak of southwestern Nigeria was at idanre – Orosun hill. Myths have it that Orosun was a strong woman who died during a fight at the foot of the hill. To celebrate her, the hill was named after her and a festival which is likely the most celebrated festival in Idanre is organized for her.
I later got to know that there is a place on the hill with “Noahs Ark” – Maybe there wasn’t enough time for me to have seen it because I never saw it. hahaha
I later got to know there were some “unreadable letters of the flood” somewhere on the hill.
I later got to know about some “great steps” somewhere on the hill.
I later got to know about “the wonderful mat” located somewhere on the hill.
At Idanre- I went, I climbed, I got tired, I learned, I played, and now, I am telling the story.
This is just my own side of the story, you may have to go there yourself to find out the truth but nevertheless, after a day at Idanre, I felt this urge to pack my bags and go stay up the hill. As long as you can breathe and know the good side of life, a day at Idanre would surely give you this feeling too.
Add Idanre to your travel bucket list ASAP.