02-Aug-2007 -- Our trip started on 29 July when we arrived in Ouagadougou (flying in from Zurich). Directly after our arrival at Ouagadougou airport at 4 a.m. in the night, we assembled our bicycles that we had taken with us in the plane and started our bicycle trip southwards. On that very first day we cycled all the way down to Manga (116 km). This was the first time I ever saw a cyclist falling asleep on the bike – when Elionora suddenly made a curve and almost fell in the ditch.
Actually we passed by the virgin confluence 12N 1W, but its location in the Nakambe forest would have given that visit an unpredictable space of time that would be required for a successful visit. Not all of us were willing to spend a night in the remote village Gaongo or somewhere in the bush. So we skipped that Confluence.
From Manga the Confluence is 75 km away. On day 2, we reached Pô (25 km from the CP) and on day 3 we came to Tiébélé which is 10 km beeline from the CP. On confluence day we started at 8 a.m. and paid Tangassoko village a visit. Tangassoko is famous for its beautifully painted houses. The Kassena people used to have the custom to paint their houses and built their villages densely and walled like a castle. At the entrance of the gate, we met the village chief – without his permission a visit of the village would not have been possible.
The Confluence is located 4 km further south. After our visit of Tangassoko we rode our bikes a muddy path in direction of the Confluence. Unfortunately, it didn't directly lead us to the Confluence, so we had to follow smaller and muddier paths until we came as close as 517 m to the Confluence. At that moment, a sudden thunderstorm forced us to find shelter under a tree. For one hour we could see the so close-by Confluence, but we couldn't move towards it. Finally, the rain stopped and we walked to the CP.
The Confluence is on a lawn, which is not mowed by a lawn mower but by cattle. A single house can be seen from the Confluence in ca. 100 m distance. While we carried out the documentation of the point, the people living there approached us. From their knowledge of the English language, it became clear that they were Ghanaians. They confirmed that and claimed that we were currently standing on Ghana land. So the discussion about in which country this Confluence is located in, is still an ongoing question.
On our way back we used the same route as we came. This time, after the heavy rain had rained cats and dogs, it felt more like a jawing match than a cycling trip. Although we wanted to continue our tour in Ghana, we decided not to go the direct route into Ghana. We went back to Tangassoko and then officially got our passports stamped at the border post in Gueleoungo.
CP visit details:
- Time at the CP: 12:10 a.m.
- Biking time: 1 hour (from Tangassoko)
- Biking distance: 4 km (beeline)
- Distance to a road: 3.5 km
- Distance to houses: 100 m
- Topography: flat
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 7 m
- GPS height: 200 m
- Vegetation: Short grass with scattered trees. Some maize, cotton and sorghum fields in the area.
- Weather: rain, 18° C (felt temperature)
- Description of the CP: Right at the border between Burkina Faso and Ghana. To our feeling it is actually in Ghana, but I could not find a set WGS84 border coordinates to verify that. There are scattered villages in the area, but the population density is not very high.
- Given Name: The Border Discussion Confluence
Story continues at 9N 1E.