28-Dec-2004 -- The day before, after we had left the confluence 13N 12E, we joined the rest of our convoy at Geidam (Northern Nigeria) and we all proceeded for Damasak.
Halfway to Damasak our original plan to keep in sight or alternatively keep in touch through radio contact with all our vehicles participating on this expedition started slowly to fade away and eventually failed for the first time. Consequently, all three vehicles in our convoy made their separate ways to Damasak. One of the reasons amongst others for this situation was that the truck could not drive through the villages with their narrow roads and low hanging power cables and therefore had to go around the villages. There was also this other famous reason, which nobody wants to be accountable for. Two vehicles eventually made it this evening to Damasak.
The next morning we all met again at the border to the Republic of Niger. The crossing of the border with all their immigration and customs formalities on both sides of the border posts took us a bit over an hour, which is, considering this part of the world, pleasantly fast.
The first town in Niger we arrived at was Diffa. We followed the road to Nguigmi. The road started to deteriorate the farther we got away from Diffa and many times we had to get off the road and travel next to it for some distances. While travelling under this precarious conditions, our two vehicles the Mercedes G and our 16 ton MAN truck got stuck in the sand for the first time on this trip, which is nothing unusual in this terrain, but that a Puch G was pulling out this big MAN truck was really a pleasure to behold, especially if you are an Austrian and are driving this Puch G.
About half way between Diffa and Nguigmi there is the village Kabélawa and outside this village we turned off and went cross-country the last 4 km without any problems to the Confluence. We were at the confluence 14N 13E around 1:40 p.m. Ludwig managed to drive with the vehicle on the exact position where he got all the zeros lined up without removing the GPS from the car. He was later told to remove the vehicle so that Walter and Michael could get their pictures taken with their own GPS. After we had made all the other compulsory pictures, we continued our way up north to Bilma.
Continued at 19N 13E.