27-Apr-2005 -- After my visit to 40N 27E, this was going to be my first virgin CP visit, so I was very keen to make this point. I was in Turkey to attend the 90th Anniversary of the landing of the Australian Troops at ANZAC Cove, near Gallipoli (Gelibolu). Before I left I sent out a general email asking if anyone was going to be in the area and would like to join me, and I received a reply from Berkant Atay, a Turkish Doctor from İzmir. Berkant had also been looking at this CP for a while but had not visited it, and decided that it would be nice if we tried this point together.
We left Berkant's house at around 8 a.m. for the drive south. I had hired a car from Istanbul and we decided to take it, which was a good move, as you will later see. We talked all the way during the drive south, Berkant informing me all about the areas we were driving through, he is also a keen cyclist and had cycled parts of the areas we were driving past.
After asking a few of the locals how we should get to Karaçam and being told that there was nothing to see there, we turned left of the main road towards the CP, at 36°54.469'N 28°44.328'E, 24 km from the CP. Anyone doing this CP should fill up a few kilometres along this road toward Beyobası, the station is on the left and we were told it is open 24 hours. It was just past Beyobası that the bitumen ended and we were on dirt village roads. We started to climb quickly and the road was starting to become very windy as we climbed up into the mountains, all the way heading towards the village of Karaçam. We asked a few forestry workers if we were on the right path, and again were told that there was nothing to see in Karaçam, but we pushed on. The road was becoming rougher as we moved closer to the CP, and the country side was steeper where the GPS was pointing, Berkant and I were thinking that it was going to be very difficult to reach.
At a point 2.5 kilometres from the CP we came across a junction and at this junction was a 80 year old woman who was a shepherd, we stopped and asked her about getting to this point, which as we looked was 2.5 km across a valley, and we could see a road close to were we thought the point was. She gave us a little information, which we took, but as we were getting back into the car an official governmental car stopped to ask us if we needed help. Berkant explained why we were in the area, and showed the three men were we wanted to be, these men were locals and one was the village mayor, he said that my car would not make it down the valley and across the river to get to the point, but if we followed him back he would be able to show us a road that would lead us to the area from above. We started to follow the mayor; he said that it was about 5 kilometres back up the track we had just come from. While following him I managed to get a puncture in my front right tyre while going over a few rocks, the mayor was out in front, so we quickly changed the tyre and he was waiting at the point 37°01.515'N 28°57.021'E, which is 5.5 km from the CP. We should have turned right at this point before, it is a lesser track than the one that we were on, and again at the start it is a little rough on the hire car. We followed the mayor's instructions and the GPS to get the car as close to the point as we could, which was at 36°59.275'N 28°59.125'E, 1.56 km from the CP, close to where power lines cross the road. Looking at the area it was going to be a tough walk to the CP as it was down a steep valley. Light was fading as it was now about 17:00 hrs, but we decided to give it a go.
The area was not that bushy, mainly pine trees I think, we had to cross a small valley and headed down at a very steep incline, 1:1 in a few places, just as we thought we could see the CP and the ground levelled off, we came across a new steep decline 1:2, and we were 88 m from the point. We had come this far; 88 m down on all fours was not going to stop us now. We made it to the spot, not a lot to say about the site, it is in the middle of a few pines, we could see the road on the other side of the valley where we met the old lady and decided that we made the right choice by taking the village mayor's directions, took our photos, rested a few minutes and then started what we knew was going to be a hard climb back to the car.
The climb back to the car was very hard, we had to climb up 350 m of the 1.5 km distance, and we also had to make a good pace as the light was fading. It took us an hour to get back to the car. With both Berkant and me feeling very tired, we kept to the contours of the land, and avoided the straight climb back to the car, which was a good thing. Back at the car, we had a quick drink and headed for İzmir, only stopping for petrol and a quick Turkish Pizza on the way. We arrived back at just after 2 a.m. the next morning, tired, dirty, but satisfied that we had been to a difficult virgin CP, and that we had started a friendship that I am sure will continue. With maybe another CP visit together in the future.
Important note: The mayor said that we should have asked for permission before entering this area from his office or the military. He kindly took our details in case we were confronted with enquiries.