“Writing 101 (Day 2): Obudu Ranch”: Belekete”

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I was watching CCTV today, the Beautiful China and the spate of massive developments most especially, in the rural area, being turned into cities with infrastructural facilities linking the cities and opening up the entire country.

But here lies similar situation and we don’t know what to do with it.

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Belekete settement is one of the community borthering the Ranch Resort and it’s only accessible from the ranch with no linking road. It may take a full day to and fro, for a journey that supposed to take about few hour if there is a road. According to a newspaper reporter who had to face the odd of travelling there. “The enviroment is serene but life is tough. There is hardship. Bekelete is the opposite of affluence enjoyed by the guests at the ranch. ‘There dejection walk on four legs’ the people are helpless. Nature turk them away among the mountains and it’s difficult for help to come to them. The only thing they get enough is the good weather. That’s the relic of corruption.

Obudu Cattle Ranch is the most desired spot any tourist would like to be. A writer would always look for quite, serene enviroment that could aid his or her writing. That is why so many pen or keypad pusher crave for such places. Where the flow of the mind could be greatly enhanced.

Let me give you a glimpse of Obudu so you can have a feel of the mental picture of Obudu and why it’s such an important tourist destination. Obudu is in the northern part of Cross River State. Situated at Obanliku Local Government Area. A hilly top tourism delight. A specially endowed place with climate temperate in a tropical zone of sub-Sahara Africa. Obudu ranch has facilities, such as Ranch Resort, Conference Centre, 9 hole Golf Course, Water Park, Cable Car. Reputed to be the longest in Africa. The resort host yearly Obudu International Moutain Race.

It is high on the table of tourist sites of the state. The mountain top resort/hotel is 5 star accredited. A uniquely cold place with 0-4 degree centigrade. Extremely cold all year round, staying up the hill is living in winter in summer time. By the time you descend down the hill either with the cable car or by road, you encounter hot weather. The road to the ranch is long and winding! A story for another day. Constant visit to the ranch top is like living in two time zone of extreme cold and hot weather intermittently.

Two lifestyle is obvious at the ranch top, of those that need to be served and that of those that serve them. The later lives in the settlements around the ranch. The ranch was discovered by foreigners. Who lived and developed the ranch to be habitable years back. These settlers are the hands that service the foreigners right from inception till their relocation. The previous government of Mr Donald Duke rediscovered the place and because of its special nature, developed it to an International standard tourist destination. The villagers envy so much luxury and lifestlye at the ranch while they live in penury.

Their sentiment became very obvious and that the state government has to creat a buffer for small leverage for the indigenes. Take for example, the yearly Obudu International Mountain Race. Since the inception of that competition, the prize money, US$50,000.00 is always taken by the foreigners, Kenyans mostly. People became disgruntled that while they are suffering, such huge amount of money is taken away by outsiders. So the goverment was forced to create alternative prize for local participants to douse tension and avert security breakdown.

That’s Obudu for you. An exciting place to be and one of its kind. I hope you’ll enjoy the post. Happy blogging. 🙂

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Image source: Cross River State Tourism site.

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