bab's dock
Day 2 in Cotonou started a little different from Day 1 which was spent mostly on the road; it was my birthday, we paid a visit to Bab’s Dock, and went night clubbing. I know that seems like a lot, so allow me break it down and explain how we were able to achieve that in one day. The day started with a surprise birthday shout out from my travel buddies. While I had gone to sleep after a long day, they stayed awake to wish me a happy birthday by 12 midnight. It was a beautiful surprise and a great way to start my new year.birthday girl Jessica Fortunes Later in the day, Onyinye who wouldn’t stop talking about the beauty of the kitchen, made us an English breakfast which I like to call my birthday breakfast, lol.benin republic I can’t say what we did after breakfast, but we were most likely chilling in the apartment, you can’t blame us, the apartment was super cozy. I for one was busy making IG videos, taking pictures and saying ‘I will soon bathe’ lol.visit to bab's dock Thankfully, sometime around 3pm, everyone was set and agreed we were going to visit Bab’s Dock. Since we didn’t have a tour guide, we did our research on Google, confirmed how far it was from our apartment, location and out we went. Did I mention that neither of us could speak French? At best, Jordan and Arinze knew a few words in French which they flexed and from time to time we found locals who spoke Yoruba, then I and Jordan were more fluent and could travel to cotonuo All that was to explain our struggles trying to communicate to bike men, popularly called ‘keke’ where we were headed, if they didn’t understand English, Jordan and Arinze tried their little French until they were confused, then we switch to Yoruba, were I stepped in. In cases were neither language worked, we tried to find a passerby who understood us and could help us translate. I should say that the Beninese are very welcoming and relatable. More often than not we found a local willing to help us even without us asking. Back to our trip to Bab’s Dock, it was difficult describing our location to bike men, so following Amarachi of Travel with a pen; we broke down our trip to two phases. Using bikes, we found our way to a super market called Eraven Shopping Center, the biggest shopping center in the city, it cost 500 CFA for each person.cotonuo From there, we got a taxi that took us to Bab’s Dock at the cost of 4500 CFA. You would think that was all, but alas, it wasn’t. We still had to take a boat ride to the dock which cost 2500 CFA for each person to and fro. The boat ride was fun and about 10 minutes long. Bab’s Dock in my opinion can be likened to Nigeria’s La Campagne Tropicana. A classy nice beach setting for the boujee and prim, we met a lot of whites, couples, and families hanging out there. The scenery is beautiful and calm.bab's dock cotonuo The center attraction here was the water activities, so we went Kayaking, it cost 1500CFA for four of us to Kayak. A quick glance at their menu, we knew it more than the average places we had eaten so we skipped food. Soon after Kayaking, we were ready to leave, while leaving the dock, we met two Nigerians, Uche and Ejiro, they were also visiting Cotonuo for the Easter, like us they had come in on Friday and were at Bab’s Dock to hangout too.benin republic When in a foreign land, meeting your someone from your country feels like you have met your brothers and sisters, so we exchanged numbers with them and promised to keep in touch. From Bab’s Dock, myself and Onyinye went to the market to get food stuffs for dinner, while Jordan and Arinze went to change more naira to CFA, we didn’t change all our naira at the border because we had the impression that the rate would be better in the city, that was wrong move. Do yourself the favour and change as much money as you can at the border, the Naira to CFA rate isn’t great anywhere. Market run with Onyinye was spent bargaining with market women who were steadying raising prices of food stuffs because we were foreigners, and of course dealing with the usual language barrier. Thankfully we survived and made it out of the market with what we needed to make dinner. Oyinye was our resident cook, while the rest of us helped from time to time with washing dishes, setting or clearing the table. We had a spaghetti for dinner, then spent some time resting and letting our food digest.calypso club cotonuo The guys made good of their promise to Uche and EJiro, they invited them over to our apartment and together we spent some time together catching up before heading out to look for a club by  1am. You read right dear, we left our apartment by 1am in search of a club. I say in search because we didn’t exactly know of any club in town but was trusting Jordan’s research on Google to find one. Did we find one? Yes we did! We found a club called Calypso, thanks to a passer by who over heard us trying to communicate to the bike man to take us to a vibrant club after the one Jordan had found online fell short of our expectations.night life in cotonuo Calypso club indeed was popping with music, people, and had security men on standby. Just opposite the club was a Karaoke bar which I made a mental note to visit after we settled into the club. Inside the club was just like any regular club in Lagos, the only difference was they played majorly french music. You would think that would be a turn off and send us back to the apartment, but lo and behold, we settled in and soon after started vibing to French music. Lucky for us, every now and then, they played on or two Western music too, plus Naira Marley too. By 5am, we made our way back to our apartment. I shot a short video from our experiences, watch below!