After my first solo hiking experience through Alfred hill to ngwo hilltop, i set out for Iva valley. Not knowing what to see or what to expect was the best part of the experience. I have never been to Iva Valley before, have only heard stories about the place but then i was ready to experience the palace.
When i made my way to Iva Valley, I decided to first tour the whole neighborhood. After a walk through camp 1 neighborhood, i set out towards the hill side thinking that the entire Iva Valley ended at Camp 1, while leaving the neighbourhood i sighted another neighbourhood a little far from where i was. Instead of heading towards the hill side i headed towards the neighbourhood, while on my way i passed through another neighbourhood called vanguard, names after the popular vanguard newspaper as one of the first company with the area.
On getting to Ekulu(Iva) poultry, i met a man, a teacher at an adult education centre who gave me a brief history of the area and asked if i have visited Iva last Camp at Camp 2, i said no, he asked if i know about the Iva Valley Killing, of course yes i do. How can i not know of that, he told me it happened at camp 2 in a place called last camp mine. Although he told me that the place is very far and people hardly visit there anymore but i didn’t mind. After our chat i set out for camp 2, I didn’t know how far i was going to go and what lies ahead but i was determined to get to the place. While i was at camp 2 neighbourhood i was directed to someone who told me that there is nothing there to see as the structures there has been destroyed and above all its very far but that did not deter me. He gave me direction and i headed out for the last mine site.
As i walked towards the place, everywhere was so quiet and calm but i continued my journey as if i knew where i was going. when the journey seemed so unending, i wondered if i took the right road, well, maybe i haven’t gotten to the place because like i was told ”it was very far” so i continued and after a while i heard some voices, I thought maybe i’m close to where i was going to but when i approached where i heard those voices i realized it was coming from a prayer ground around the place. I approached them to know how far or how close to the last mine site but they seemed unaware of what i was talking about.
I thought of going back but before then i decided to take a look around the place, maybe i will sight the mine site from the hilltop but i didn’t. When i came down, i continued my journey but when i went a little far ahead i decided to go back, but luckily for me i met the farmer a passed on my far and he was surprised that i have reach there and already on my way back. After a short conversation with him, he offered to take me there. while on our way, he told me that he use to be a tour guide when the place use to be very vibrant and accessible. He told me that students and tourist used to come from as far as Ibadan, bennin, Kwara and so on to visit the site but for over a year plus they haven’t seen anyone and since then a lot has changed. when we made it to the site, my companion went his way while i took a walk around the site although there wasn’t much to see as the tunnels has been overtaken by bush while the structures has been destroyed greatly.
Below are what is left of Iva Valley coal mine where 21 miners were shot dead by policemen on November 18, 1949.
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As exhausted as i was, i headed for the hilltop, i know it wasn’t going to be easy but i was determined to get to the hilltop. Even though there was a foot part but that didn’t help much. Halfway to the hilltop i was very exhausted so i decided to make a video.
When i eventually got to the hilltop i enjoyed the view a little because it was already getting late, Getting down the hill was the hardest part but i managed to. As i headed out i decided to hangout a little at the movie location and watch them do their thing. After hanging out for a while i left when they went further into forest for some scene.
Before i headed home, i hang out a little at camp 2 with my new friends..