There and Back Again: a Geologist’s Tale


“It’s a dangerous business, going out of your door. You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no telling where you might be swept off to.”

Bilbo Baggins

These words seem to best summarize the field excursion I undertook on Tuesday. I had 2 places to go: one on the top of the Udi Cuesta just South of Agwu, Enugu state. The other was the Ugwnwanne hills (which I recently blogged about) about 2-3km to the south-west sticking out of the wide plains that border the escarpment. Why I went to those two locations will be the subject of another more detailed post.

I went alone and the plan was to get to the top of the escarpment (halfway up actually) on the road to a village called Ugwueme and after looking around (which is just what the one day trip was about) hitch a bike or most likely walk down, following the road and going almost in a circle to the hills.

Where I was heading...from where I was coming from.

Everything was going according to plan; I got to the first location , took some photographs and notes and then, I stumbled upon a footpath leading down hill and I was thinking: ‘I could get down the hill by a straight line from here and there will probably be foot paths all the way. If I get to a dead-end I can always turn back.’

I then discovered I couldn’t actually trace my steps as one footpath ended in a farm which I had to cross to another footpath which ended in another farm and so on. It wasn’ t the farming season and as the farmers come form the surrounding Agwu town and Ugwueme Village I did not see a single soul. I could see my destination in the distance though and I kept  going through burnt out bushes and along dry river beds and more paths.

Where does the road doth lie in scenery as beutiful as this?

...across rivers (empty riverbeds actually)

...Into Rohan!...Wary of Snakes under the grass

I was afraid concerned about snakes especially on trees which I avoided and was a bit relieved to stumble on my destination after nearly 2 hours of almost hopeless walking through the bush.

Mordor...Sorry...Where I was trying to get to.

I still had to walk a long way to the express and hope to get a bus to Enugu but I did not consider that as much after all I went through. I did not even notice how dirty I was until I got to Enugu and noticed that people tended to stare in my direction…If only they knew.

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5 thoughts on “There and Back Again: a Geologist’s Tale

    • Unfortunately…There are…Sigh!…How fortunate I have become!
      Thanks Franc, I’ll keep walking and working.

  1. Well done. I admire your courage but doubtful if I will emulate same.

    If you care for some sane advise, next time you have the hunch to throw self into harms way; retrain same and if impossible, kindly take someone with you.

    At least we can easily trace your corpse and spare us – the prudent ones – the torture of an unnecessary expendition.

    Mr Adventurer!

    • Thanks for the advice. And yes I hoped I could find someone to accompany me but as UNN is still shut over a rumour…By the way the rumour is that UNN may not open until March…

      In retrospect I probably took a risk and if something happened it would have taken an expedition to ‘find my corpse’. But aren’t all adventures like that?

  2. Yea, Iyke, i really i admire ur candor. I could feel right here what u pass through, ur passion for what you are doing and ur desire to achieve more. I just wish’d i were you, it would have made me more relaxed and focused. Its about time we’ll go for our dream and do what we like rather than do something for the love of money! Oneday u’ll make it in LNG national Science Award.
    Have u thought of publishing ur findings in any Internationl Journal like SPE,AAPG and the likes. I bet one day u’ll give them lecturers a cracker they never expected! Bravo son!

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