22-Aug-2004 -- This time, we could start a bit late, at 7 am only, our sights were set on Confluence 8N 7E in the vicinity of yet another confluence, where the rivers Niger and Benue join, close to Kogi state's (or Confluence State, as the licence plates read) capital Lokoja.
This is the time where the rainy season is on its peak. The sky over Abuja was covered with dark clouds, and rains were falling since the night before. On our way south, the rains started to decline, and at Koton Karifi, just before the Niger bridge, everything looked rather dry. From here on, we had to take the bikes, and fought our way from village to village over a water-logged bush road approaching 8N 7E.
About 3 km from the Confluence we started to look for a path southward, but to no avail. Two village youths from Uzhona offered to join us on their Chinese made motorbikes, locally nicknamed okadas. So in we went together into the relatively dense forest of shrub and high grass. Since the area is exploited by local loggers, we could follow the occasional tracks for a while, as long as our general direction allowed. But no chance, a deep ravine blocked our way, impossible to cross. We started exploring left and right, to no avail.
Following another track, we got stuck in a dense grass field, where we had to inch our way through meter by meter. It was soon clear; there was no way to continue. Our local guides gave up when we arrived for a second time at the same abandoned village in the midst of thick bush. But shortly after luck struck. A fair wide bush trail opened, the vegetation grew less dense. At the same time the sky cleared up, we saw the first sun of the day. Passing a field of apparently old graves, it took us about 20 minutes to hit 8N 7E in the middle of a meadow of lush green grass at about 1 pm.
After celebrating, we were eager to return and rushed with our bikes along the trail to the bush road to Uzhona and further to Koton Karifi. Exhaustion took its toll; each of us experienced a crash or a near crash in our hurry to return on the washed-out bush roads, but luckily without serious physical or mechanical damage. We arrived at our starting point just after a rain storm had swept Koton Karifi.