31-Jul-2005 -- It is Saturday afternoon and we are leaving Abuja heading for Minna where we spend the night. On a short notice Malte and Heiko had to cancel the trip due to work related matters.
Sunday morning 5.30 a.m. we had an early start and went towards Zungeru, crossed the Kaduna river to Tegina and then to Kontagora. As we entered Kontagora a National Roadsafety vehicle started to follow us. Outside the town on the road to Koton-Kuro we were over-taken and stopped. After the inspection of the documents and the vehicle, where nothing contravening could be found, the trailer was reprimanded for being hazardous to have the bikes on it. A fine of 8,000 Naira (59 US-$/48 €) was imposed, which we managed to reduce to 2800 Naira (21 US-$/17 €) in cash and, of course, no receipt.
A short while after this incident we offloaded the bikes, and continued the remaining 80 km to the Confluence on riding the bikes. The tarred road was not in a good state and full of potholes. The weather was overcast and it looked like it could start to rain anytime. Therefore I requested our driver to follow us till Koton-Koro. Halfway there, we stopped and waited for him in vain, after 20 minutes we decided to carry on.
Outside Koton-Koro we found very quickly a small path leading into the direction of the Confluence. Before we arrived at this area it had been raining and the little streams carried a lot of water. We had to cross one of these heavily flooded and bigger streams over a locally constructed bridge. It was quite an experience to see and cross such a structure with a lot of loss and some partly rotten planks. 400 meters from the Confluence we drove through a village. The last 300 meters we drove through the bush directly to the Confluence 11N 6E. After we managed to get all the zeros in line and made all the necessary pictures, we started the journey back.
Upon arrival at Koton-Koro we inquired if our vehicle with the trailer had been seen, and the same way we inquired several times on the way back with no one we asked neither having seen the vehicle, nor having any clue. We came to the conclusion that our driver and vehicle must be still there for one or the other reason on the same place we had offloaded the bikes. To our surprise and anger that was not so, with most of our money, etc in the missing vehicle. We carried on driving the bikes and wanted to reach Minna, but after a couple of kilometres I got a flat tyre. The tyre was foamed up with quick repair foam and we continued for another 25 km before the tyre was flat again. We stopped next to a roadblock and as I was busy taking the back wheel off, our driver with the car showed up. Till today I never found out where he had been. The rest of our return journey was pleasant. It was on this trip that for the first time we used the GoogleEarth images to assist us in working out the route close to the Confluence and entered afterward all the data to reflect our route to the Confluence 11N 6E.