01-Dec-2011 -- Back in N’Djamena for another teaching mission on behalf of IIFARMU. Usually the teaching schedule doesn’t leave much time off for tourism but this time it appears that the 1st of December was a national day with no activity in hospitals and schools.
Unfortunately for me, December is the peak touristic season and I could not rent a vehicle in a local travel agency. I had to fall back on a personnal vehicle rented by a friend of the hotel manager. He first told me that he could get me a 4X4 car but that truck soon showed an unreliable gearing. We ultimately were ready to start near noon with a Toyota Corolla and my driver named Abakar.
Considering that I had only 6 hours of daylight left on the start line, I choose to try to reach 13°N 16°E which can be found at approximately 120 km of N’Djamena (bee line). The road to the point runs through Massaguet and Massakory. At that point we would have to turn east on a track leading to a small village named Am Tchokoro and then find our way eastward for 7 km until the point.
And off we went with Abakar. Leaving N’Djamena we drove shortly along the Chari river and I had a chance to see my first hippo confidently grazing on an island in the midst of the river. The trip couldn’t start under a better sign.
The road to Massakory is paved and the trip was uneventful. The village named Am Tchokoro seemed completely unknown to the people of Massakory and we decided to go on the sand track leading to Moussoro and ask the people we could meet on our way. The car appeared quickly unsuitable on the deep sand of the track and we soon found ourselves bogged after 2 km and still 24 km away from our target. According to local people, the sandy plain depicted in the panoramic picture stretches in every direction all over the area and is merely the landscape that could be seen on the point.
One hour of exhausting effort was necessary to get our car back on solid ground. I decided then to give up that try and promise myself to come back on another occasion with a 4X4 vehicle. We celebrated our de-bogging success with a cool soft drink in a small grocery on the Massakory market.
We drove back to N’Djamena in the warm sunset light illuminating the ”Red Talha (Acacia seyal) trees on both sides of the road.