01-Oct-2006 -- On Sunday at 7 a.m. we left Bauchi and headed for the A3 towards Darazo. At Darazo we turned off towards Duku. Our aim was to visit the confluence 11N 11E.
The previous day we had driven from Abuja to Bauchi where we spent the night. It is the fourth attempt to get to this Confluence. Last year we tried three times. The first time we had to cancel the trip because I discovered two hours before starting that I had developed malaria. The second time we abandoned the trip at Bauchi because Babs developed during the night severe stomach cramps and we returned to Abuja. The third time we offloaded our bikes around 30 km from the Confluence and one of our bikes did not want to start. After we tried for more than a very frustrating half hour, I decided to carry on alone. I managed to get as close as 700 meters when a heavy storm surprised and stopped me. It started raining cats and dogs and I had no option but to abandon the search for the Confluence.
Now we were at the bridge over the river Gongola just before Duku. We watched the fishermen harvesting their nets. It is amazing how they manage to stay on these calabashes. After this most excitingly interesting stopover, we continued. This time we have no bikes with us. We were test driving a Mercedes G for the next desert trip. At Duku we took a different route as previous and headed for Jamari. A motorcycle (Okada) driver showed us the way out of the village. It is a very remote area with very few villages on the way. During the entire trip from Duku to the Confluence and back to the tarred road, we did not once see a motorised vehicle.
Several times we wondered if we were on the right way, but eventually made it to Jamari. It is a small village which we by-passed and continued our way to the Confluence. We managed to get as close as 380 meters of it with the 4x4. The remaining distance to the confluence 11N 11E we walked almost along a small footpath. It was 11:30 a.m. and already very hot. The Confluence is amongst fields of sorghum, guinea corn, beans, and peanut on a piece of still virgin nature.
We did not spend much time at the Confluence and wanted to take a shorter route back to the main street. This proved to be not such a good idea since we lost the track in very difficult terrain, and after a couple of kilometres we had to turn back and take the same route as we came.
In the late afternoon, very glad that we managed this time to get to the Confluence, we got back to Bauchi too tired to celebrate the visit. The next morning we took a slow drive back to Abuja. Outside Abuja we stopped at one of the fish bars and had one of this deliciously tasty barbequed fish and a couple of Star beers to celebrate the successful visit of confluence 11N 11E. It took several attempts but we finally made it.