Hiking is one of those things you hear about or see on TV and think “I could do that. Easily even.” I thought a quick wiki search and online tips would prepare me for what lay ahead. Don’t get me wrong though, it was pretty exhilarating, making it to the top of the hill and seeing the wonders of nature and man. However , barely 6:30 a:m , cold and groggy, I had exhausted all my curses for the day. Or so i thought.


If you live in Abuja and have been opportune to ply the Kubwa express road or travel to Kaduna through this same express road , you would notice a beautiful display of hills. One of these hills was the site for my first hiking experience. Located in an area called ‘Dawaki’ is an old blasting site with a pretty intimidating layout of hills and rocks. On arriving the location for the hike and waiting for others to arrive, I scanned the area and wished for my bed. Pointing to the top of one of those intimidating hills she casually said “That’s where we’re going.” I smiled and in my head i realized I had a few more curses left in there somewhere.

The climb

Armed with a bottle of water, comfortable clothes, the right shoes and the shamelessness to beg for help, we started our ascent up the hill. Being aware of the fact hiking was very effective exercise didn’t actually prepare me for what was ahead. Barely halfway (I didn’t know that at the time) my calves and glutes were on fire. And because mama didn’t raise a quitter, I braved it to the end. I felt alive and ‘gingered’. I was a sexy beast. Then I heard someone say “This is the resting point, so we can get to the real climbing.” Who sent me? ;(

Anyways, still not a quitter I trudged on . Testing loose rocks with my foot and spidermanning my way up to the top. It was worth it in the end. The view was beautiful, workout routines were fun and I was finally out of curses.

"View from one of the hills at Dawaki, Abuja"

“View from one of the hills at Dawaki, Abuja”

The descent

Workout all done and dusted, it was time to get back down. I didn’t voice my thoughts per say but I guess my face told it. “Don’t worry, there’s another way down.” Hearing that was a relief, I kid you not.

Making our way down hill, jogging fast, bushes past (couldn’t resist, sorry.) The descent way easier and I got to run which I haven’t done in about a month so it was very refreshing.

Don’t look down

Finally getting to the bottom and thanking God for safety, I hear members of our group planning another climb up this steep rock I noticed on our way up. Wishing them a safe trip up, I stayed down to watch. A decision I didn’t regret one bit as I watched them do a slow crawl on their bums down. I can only imagine what their views and thoughts coming down would have been.

"Decided to sit this one out. Dawaki, Abuja. "

“Decided to sit this one out. Dawaki, Abuja. “

All in all , it was an amazing experience with amazing people that kept looking out for the ‘newbie’. Fitness is fast becoming a way of life and not something once considered a sports lover thing. So if you want to get on this train and decide to hike at some point, the Dawaki Saturday morning hike would do you a world of good. Also don’t forget the regular check up with your doctors to be sure hiking or any fitness plan is right for you.

"The hiking squad, dawaki, Abuja"

“The hiking squad, dawaki, Abuja”

P.S. Thanks to Mercy Momoh for the photos!


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