26-Sep-2001 -- In summer 2001 we were travelling with our Landcruiser across the hot Sahara desert into the rainy and humid heart of West Africa. This adventurous trip brought us from Tunisia and Algeria to Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali. On Tuesday, September 25 we were passing the border from Algeria to Niger in the late afternoon. We were leaving Assamaka, the small village at the border, in southeastern direction on a direct way to Arlit, the first major city in the North of Niger. After 70 kilometres driving we stopped and spent the night in a peaceful and quiet desert environment with small sand dunes. Sleeping underneath the clear desert sky with millions of stars and the bright Milky Way is one of the most impressive things one could imagine. It was one of these nights. We had a lovely dinner, played guitar and watched the grandiose sky above.
The next day, Wednesday, September 26, we started driving at around 10:00 and after 50 kilometres, we realized that we were not too far away from a confluence point. We were remembering the Degree Confluence Project, we once read about it in a German magazine. Let's drive 10 kilometres north to visit the point, we decided.
So we reached 19N 7E at 11:00 and took a few photos during a small break. The landscape here is mostly flat with no vegetation at all, a typical appearance that could be found everywhere else over the Sahara. There were no symptoms visible that only 200 kilometres south of here, we would be travelling through green valleys with active bird- and wildlife due to intense rainfalls during the summer season. On our further way down south into the beautiful busy and crowded West-Africa it was getting greener and wetter by each kilometre and we became aware that those places of our confluence and the cosy night before were our last desert impressions for a long time.