03-Apr-2005 -- The region between Doma and Benue River was quite sometime on the list of regions to see since I once happened to drive along Mada River on motorbikes. A new bike had to be thoroughly tested after the first few hours of breaking in the engine and getting used to it.
Confluence 8N 8E was close to the southern end of the track between Lafia, Doma and Benue River, through the Doma Forest Reserve. 200 km or so were due on motorbike after the track was blocked by a river on the outskirts of Doma. The risk running out of fuel in the middle of nowhere was cleared, commercial motor-bike riders, here called 'okadas', that plied a part of the track assured me that there was some available since this Sunday was market day at Udeni and Agwashi, the two bigger villages to pass.
Quite surprisingly, the forest reserve was not devastated by loggers and firewood cutters as others seen, the track soon was heavily washed out and very difficult to pass with heavier vehicles. Islands of real forest with big trees and plenty of shadow between rich agricultural land were crossed before arriving after some 3 hours at Udeni on the banks of Benue River.
The dry season is at its maximum here, so most of the river has dried up. People crossed through breast high water to the other side. Here the riverbed was more than 2 km wide, but only some hundred meters or so of water was left. In the middle was an island where nomadic fishermen had built grass huts and dried their catch. But the sand banks were on the opposite side, so no chance to ride in the dunes with the bike.
After finding something cool to drink, the villagers indicated the track leading to Gidan Musa, the hamlet closest to the Confluence. From here it was riding and following the right path through the flat, dried-up silt and mud of the river's flood plain. In the middle of the biggest heat, I finally made it to Confluence 8N 8E.