01-Jun-2004 -- I was staying at the Regional Meteorological Training Centre, Alanya, Turkey - which is on the coast some 50 km south of 37N 32E. My hosts could not quite understand why I wanted to visit the Confluence; being city residents they were a bit nervous of sending their guest up into the (to them unknown) mountains - "very aggressive sheep dogs", "bears", "suspicious farmers" and the possibility of coming across military or police patrols who might take a dim view of a foreigner wandering round the back country with a GPS. Concerns notwithstanding and with typical Turkish hospitality, country relatives were phoned, maps were dragged out of filing cabinets, friends and colleagues called in (at 22:00!) to discuss the possibilities: "The roads were still under snow two weeks ago when I took my bees up into the mountains", "There is an asphalt road all the way to Bozkır", "The map-quest map shows roads I know don't exist", "It might be 50 km straight line but allow a day to get there and back".
Maps were a major problem - 1:50,000 topos are not available, ex-Soviet 1:100,000 can be had but my online source let me down. We managed to collect together printouts from Map Quest, a 1:300,000 route planner road map, Expedia and the official government issue "Atlas of Turkey". Best of all: A relief shaded digital terrain model screen grabbed from the web. The problem was that ALL of the maps disagreed with each other - both in the roads shown and in the placement and/or existence of villages. [After my attempted visit I came across a "Map of Ancient Pamphylia and Pisidia" - at 1:250,000 and with 250 m contours and showing more roads and some villages much closer to the Confluence that I had been able to get - this was available at the main archaeological sites around Antalya]
It seemed that there was little chance of me getting to the Confluence on my own - 2600 m is a serious mountain in my books and with no backup and no decent map it would have been stupid to attempt - but I thought I could do a little research to help future confluence hunters. In the end my chosen road ran out 9.5 km short of the Confluence - it was 3:00 p.m. and as I set off walking it started to hail and later there was thunder and lightning - feeling exposed I turned round 8.5 km short of the Confluence.
Time of Year: Don't even think of attempting the Confluence before the start of June - risk road closure due to snow.
Hazards: There is no mountain rescue, no paths, no water above 2000 m apart from snow melt and no decent map. These mountains are not in the national park and do not see walkers or tourists. There are plenty of folks in the summer-villages - tending sheep and goats but as the vegetation runs out at about 2000 m there is little reason for them to visit the tops. I could not see the Confluence but judging by the mountains that I could see there are a lot of loose scree slopes and large crags. Looking at the mountains around me it seemed that the slopes are gentler on the West and the cliffs are on the East side - it is quite possible the Confluence will not be accessible without mountaineering and use of ropes. The beekeepers warned me of bears and the local sheepdogs are ferocious. I saw quite a lot of military/gendarme activity - this was a concern for my hosts - it seems that just wandering off into the hills can be looked at with suspicion.
Travel: The distance from Alanya is 50 km straight line but the drive back from 8 km south of the point back to Alanya took 2 hours 40 minutes - and that was down hill; allow at least 3 hours to reach Pembelik. You will not need 4WD to reach the end of the road at Alibeyler. That is as long as it has not rained heavily - there are a couple of bridges out and some boggy sections. You may wish avail yourself of the services of Mr Arslan, my taxi driver and his daughter Layla (for translation) - as he now knows the way and all about confluence hunting. He provides the regular taxi service for guests at the Meteorological Training Centre and can by contacted via the manager - Mr Şevket Aslan.
Alternatively you may hire a 4WD and make your own way. I strongly recommend you engage the services of a fluent Turkish speaker - a) to find you a reliable 4WD jeep as I certainly would not trust myself in any of the ones I saw for hire on the Alanya 'strip', and to b) smooth your passage through the villages - folks were very friendly once they knew exactly what I was about - but fumbling for the phrasebook when the sheepdog has your throat in its jaws is a bit late... "Now what is the Turkish for 'Air Ambulance', I wonder?" Make sure your guide knows how cold it will be at 2000 m - Miss Arslan ended up wearing most of my spare warm gear...
Attack Point: I tried the Pembelik-Çimi "road" travelling via Gündoğmuş - it looked the closest but enquiring at the tea shop* at the road junction north of Pembelik we were told our taxi would only be able to make it 3 km further north - it was unclear whether the road terminated or with 4WD we could go further. I found that the road dead-ended - there is a trace of a track high up on the west flank of the mountain that follows the route indicated on several of my map sources but I can't see how it would be passable except by mule or quad.
I recommend you stop at the tea-shop armed with my sketch map and ask about getting to the villages of Kalecik and Uzunlar - it seems very likely that the asphalt road goes on to Uzunlar on its way to Bozkır - there was plenty of traffic. An alternative would be to go to Akseki/Çimi and check the route from the Northwest.
* Nice tea and buy yourself a garland of dried figs.
Sketch Map: I have done a sketch map - a best guess based on the maps that seemed most reliable and my limited ground checking - no warranty for accuracy!!!
Please let me know if you are attempting the Confluence (via www.ddwilliams.net).