31-Mar-2012 -- Back in N’Djamena for one more teaching mission on behalf of IIFARMU. As usual during these missions my only time-off would be on Saturday afternoon and Sunday. I decided to take my chance for a second try on 13N 15E on Saturday, 31 March and make a try on 11N 16E on Sunday, 1 April.
I learned from my former visit that it would be easy to reach the Elephant Rock (Hadjer el Hamis) since this site is located at the end of a paved road built as a service road to a quarry nearby the Elephant Rocks. From there we would have to drive round the rocks and head northwest for 22 km to hit the CP that should be on the Chad Lake shore. I rented a car with a driver named Hassan and allowed me the entire Saturday afternoon for the round trip.
The trip to the Elephant Rock was uneventful and we drove off the paved road 80 minutes after our departure from N’Djamena. I soon found out that Hassan was (least to say) inexperienced in driving off-road on soft sand and after only 600 m we were stuck in deep sand melting in the afternoon heat (47°C !).
It took us the next 2 hours to walk back to the quarry, find a few workers currently off duty, negotiate their help, and come back to the car to ultimately get the vehicle out of the sand.
Back on solid ground, our time had ran off and we had to give up that try to avoid spending the night in another sand hole. We spent another hour walking around and climbing on the rocks guided by Ali and other Fulu children who’s tribe were camping nearby, on their way to the South to find water and grass for their camel herds.
I really thought that I could make it to the CP this year and I went back to N’Djamena exhausted and frustrated for this “failed again” try. My next chance to describe this Confluence will be in February 2013, so be patient.