Life lately: traveling by ferry on Lagos waters

February 25, 2016 Naija girl next door 16 Comments

Heyyy I'm back :)
    Ever resorted to water transportation in Lagos? Everyone in Nigeria knows Lagos traffic can be your personal trial and tribulation.
Then there's Apapa gridlock, the mother of them all. I used to hear about it on morning radio and shake my head. Never did I dream I would have anything to do in Apapa. When I was posted here to serve, it felt like a sentence.
    I was haunted by images of total standstill, free flowing sweat and the special brand of exhaust fumes produced by trailers and tankers.
   My dad who doesn't live in Lagos had heard about people using ferry services to avoid traffic and get to work, and he suggested it. Truly truly, this is what I pictured:
I said NO, I'm not tryna die.
     Two other people made the same suggestion but I wasn't having it.
The first few times I came to Apapa by road. It was the beginning of the year and Lagos was deserted- people were away on holiday and the roads were free.
   Then one morning I got on the bus at CMS, Lagos Island and it was taking forever to fill up (I've retired my car). A few people left the bus saying they were going to take the ferry. They crossed the road to the jetty. Five minutes later I thought, I'm gonna die Lordt, and I followed them.

  Well. Surprise.
Jetty at CMS. Source:
Apapa jetty

This ferry service is called Sea Coach. They are organised. You pay for your ticket and wait in the boat. If it hasn't arrived there's a waiting area.
    They are consistently safety conscious. They help each person put on their life jacket properly before you get on. Inside, it's really spacious and I get to sit by myself.

It takes a little over four minutes one-way, I kid you not. The first time I was only on selfie no. 3 when we got there and I had to scramble to put my phone away and look less like a tourist.

View from the boat
The clincher? Same price as the uncomfortable Danfo bus: N150. Pere.

  Sea Coach is my favourite.
I once got on Texas Connection from Apapa to CMS because the Sea Coach boat hadn't arrived. I wished I had waited. Texas Connection has a much bigger craft, but they had their life jackets scattered on the seats and floor and they didn't care if I had one on. The jackets were even dirty. I had to cringe and put one on because as you already know, I love my life.
A Texas Connection boat. Not the one I was on.
 On top of that it took over double the amount of time it takes Sea Coach to get to destination.
   To pass the time, we had company- a woman selling magic teas that are supposed to treat all ailments; she mispronounced and criminally misused medical terms. I was so angry I couldn't even look at her or I might have spoken up. I've seen patients who were deceived into stopping their meds in favour of one of these 'remedies', coming back with serious and sometimes fatal complications. It's personally frustrating.
   Anyway we're talking about Ferries.
 I've stayed faithful to Sea Coach ever since. The last time I was on board we even had a movie showing. I only caught one scene because short transit time. They should show music videos instead.

       Happily, there has been no traffic so far. The tankers and trailers are off the road but I still like to travel by water every now and then, for speed as well as peace and scenery. I can't believe it's just N150 for the experience. N100 if you'd like to spend a little more time on a Texas Connection boat enjoying the scenery.

Other ferry routes I've heard of: CMS-Ikorodu, CMS-VI, Apapa-Ikorodu, VI-Ikorodu. The Ikorodu route is more expensive; I hear N500 or a little more.

    Have you used ferry services in Lagos? Would you?




Restaurant Review: Roadster Burgers n Grills

February 05, 2016 Naija girl next door 8 Comments

    One ravenous afternoon last year I had lunch at Roadster Burgers n Grills in Lekki phase 1. My friend Ojay had their Insanity burger few weeks before and being a faithful foodie friend, avowed to have me try their stuff.
   If like me you're not the hugest burger fan, pictures of Roadster burgers might make you forget that.

     It was a Saturday afternoon, we were nearly blind from hunger so it was the best time to have a monster plate.
Roadster Burgers n Grills is at Plot 4, Block A2 Wole Olateju Crescent; coming from Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge it's the right turn after my favourite spot, Ice Cream Factory.

The place has a minimalist look- outdoor order station where the food is put together,  few colourful plastic chairs and tables, and a bamboo and thatch structure to one side if you want to be indoors.

Ojay got the Classic burger.
"Smoked beef patty in a freshly baked bun with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cheddar cheese" 

 I ordered the Bacon and Cheese burger.
"A juicy smoked beef patty in a freshly baked bun with fresh lettuce grilled bacon, tomatoes, onions and cheddar cheese drizzled with French sauce"

Both came with a side of Fries and a canned drink.

It was hands down the best burger I've ever had. Far from basic, it's very in your face, bold and flavourful.

And they did not skimp on meat. I hate when I'm eating a burger and halfway through the meat is gone. Who wants a half-soggy, half-dry bun and sad weepy tomatoes?
This burger was 100 from start to finish.
   It can get messy to eat, but isn't that part of the fun? I mean look at it, you have to own a superhuman mouth to fit this burger in for a full bite. Just be prepared.  This is not the time to launch your white silk shirt or your favourite white jeans.
      The fries were okay.
Same generic fries from the freezer bag. Not that you'll notice them while you stuff your face with the burger.

  I forgot to take a picture of Ojay's burger. Mine looked better. He confessed envy.

The service was okay. They took the order and served it. Pretty basic, it came in good time, my stomach didn't implode first. No extra.

     Flip side, FLIES. We were outside, the thatch structure was in use. The flies came for us. I spent so much time swatting away flies I suspect I would have been transported to Nirvana if they weren't there, but they kept me firmly grounded. Just to get these pictures there was a fistfight so they won't get in the frame.
   Ojay and I agreed, "Definitely eat Roadster burgers, but not at Roadster Burgers".

I was so full, I was on a stupid high. If I had the option of getting carried out of there best believe I would have taken it.

   You can read livinginlekki's review of the insanity burger. She has more pictures of the place too.
Roadster is on Hellofood so you can just order online, eat at home and skip the battle with the flies.

Ever had Roadster's food? What was your experience?