27-Dec-2004 -- It is 5:30 a.m. on 26 December - a convoy of three vehicles left Abuja this morning for destination Bilma in the Republic of Niger. The convoy consisted of a MAN truck driven by Wolfgang Reindl and his co-driver Markus Thruninger with his son Michael, a Mercedes 300G driven by Ludwig Fix and Herwig Stöckel, while Walter Bowalle and myself went in a Puch G. The route to get to the Niger border was chosen to be Abuja - Jos - Bauchi - Potiskum - Dapchi - Geidam - Damasak. The first day of this trip we only got as far as Dapchi in the late afternoon. We had stopped a couple of times during the day to sort out minor problems with the fuel supply system of our truck. At nightfall, we were several kilometres outside the town and, well off the road, we set up our camp facility for the night.
The next morning after a good breakfast we left for Geidam, the road was terrible but it was along this road that we saw the first camel out of the many to follow on this trip. At Geidam we all refuelled our vehicles but it was a time-consuming task in this part of the world. Walter was the first to finish and we decided to utilize this break to visit the confluence 13N 12E, which was nearby. We followed a small path that led us out of the town and should have also led us to a village called Kanama. Somehow we lost this path and we followed the direction that the GPS indicated cross-country.
Luckily for us, when we approached the river close to the Confluence, we found a path again leading us to a route across this river. We carried on and followed this path, which lead us as close as 300 meters to the Confluence, the remaining distance we managed easy cross-country. We drove right up to the Confluence and maybe because we were in a hurry to get back, it took us longer than normal to get all that zeroes in line. At 1:27 p.m. we finally managed to get the much-desired picture of the GPS reading. After I had made the rest of the pictures, we returned to our friends who were patiently waiting at Geidam, and continued our trip to the Niger border.
Continued at 14N 13E.