20-Nov-2004 -- Babsi, Armin and myself were at the JBN Camp at Gombi, northern Nigeria. We arrived there the day before from Cameroon, where we had already visited 11N 14E.
We all were a bit tired except Armin because of the night before when we had an excellent evening with the resident construction crew. We received a very warm welcome and were spoilt with delicacies like frog legs, Cordon Bleu, home made Austrian Speck (lard), while the beers and gin-and-tonics where flowing at an amazing rate - what a great time we had! It is therefore not surprising that the originally planned departure time of 7 a.m. turned out to be closer to 9 a.m. Our aim was to visit confluence 9N 12E first, and thereafter confluence 10N 12E, and stay overnight at Bauchi.
Armin decided to travel on his BMW. Babsi and myself travelled in the pickup truck driven by our driver Matthew. We went from Gombi to Yola, from there followed the road to Numan for a short while, and took the turnoff to Mayo Belwa. A few kilometres outside Mayo Belwa our GPS indicated that we were only 1.5 km away from our set goal. We stopped the vehicle and offloaded the bikes and continued on our bikes. Not before long we found the Confluence in the middle of a dried out maize field. We made our pictures and went back through the nearby village to our vehicle, loaded the bikes and went back through Mayo Belwa to Numan.
Around 1 p.m. we were at Numan, at first we had difficulties to find the road to Biu, also we realized that there was no way that we will be able to go this way in order to be at Bauchi before dark. There would have been the possibility to take the shorter route through the Muri Mountains to Gombe but this was not possible because there was no sight of Armin. He was ahead of us on his BMW and we had therefore no option but to go towards Biu as originally planned.
The road was in a disastrous stage and we hardly made any progress. Also our road map indicated that before reaching Shellen the road will cross the river Haval. We never found Shellen, nor did we ever cross the river Haval, and therefore were on the wrong side of the river. Eventually we got on this road as close as 4.8 km to the Confluence. We stopped and offloaded our bikes and advanced towards the Confluence. We got to the river and were now 1.9 km from to the confluence 10N 12E. Unfortunately there was no time to cross the river and we returned back to our vehicle and continued travelling towards Biu, which seemed to take ages. We finally reached Biu before 5 p.m. and were back at the JBN Gombi camp after 6 p.m. Just in time to meet our good colleagues again and get these cold beers and gin-and-tonics flowing again.