14-Aug-2004 -- After loading our enduro bikes, camping equipment and food for two days, Armin, Matthew our driver, and myself managed to get an early start at 5:30 am. I had worked out the routes for three confluence visits in the Kwara and Oyo states. From Abuja we took the road to Suleja and then to Lambata, where we turned off and followed the A124 to Bida and onto the A1 to Mokwa, and made very good progress.
A couple of kilometres before Mokwa, we had to stop because truck drivers had been blockading the road since the previous afternoon. There was a queue of several hundred trucks. Apparently this was a protest action because the police had shot one tanker driver at a roadblock close by. Some truck drivers informed us the strike would be over soon but this could mean any length of time in this part of the world. So we turned around to get out of this hot spot, looked for a nice place in the bush and had brunch.
After one hour or so the blockade was over and the trucks started to move slowly and we followed them. Travelling behind so many trucks to Jebba was slow, tiring and nerve-consuming. 10 km after Jebba we turned off towards Bacita. The tarred road was in a terrible state of disrepair, so we decided after a couple of kilometres to stop, off-load our bikes, and carry on with them. At Bacita we turned off towards a village called Satagi, but unfortunately could not find it. We drove around the area amongst cassava, groundnut, maize, rice fields, and bush, occasionally arriving at some small villages where everybody was friendly but nobody spoke English.
The little tracks were heavily sandy and driving through required some concentration. We managed several times to get as close as 1.5 km to the Confluence but always were stopped by rivers or thick bush. After several attempts and wondering if we ever would find the Confluence, we found a path leading us close to it. The last couple of 100 meters we managed to drive along the edge of a maize field with our bikes and parked 70 meters from the Confluence. We arrived at the Confluence at 2:40 pm, which was lying 15 meters inside the bush. Some locals working in the field were very curious about what we were doing but were too shy to come closer.
After we made some pictures and had a short rest, we went back via Bacita to the turnoff at the A1 where our driver had been waiting with the vehicle. We loaded the bikes and changed into comfortable clothes and carried on driving to Ilorin. We stayed at the Kwara Hotel for the night. We were pleasantly surprised at the nice accommodation and the excellent food, which was served at the restaurant.
Continued at 8N 4E.