05-Jul-2004 -- On 5 July, we took the ferryboat at 12:30 pm from İstanbul-Yenikapı to Bandırma. We followed the road to get to Manyas, which was quite easy to find, and then tried to get as close to the point as possible with the car. First we followed a path which led us to a marvel quarry about three kilometres away from the point, but ending there. So Waldi asked two workers, how we could get three kilometres to that direction, and pointed to the point. That confused the workers enormously, as they told us where the next villages would be, but of course, would not understand what we wanted to do in the woods in the middle of nowhere. We left them without explaining much and continued our search.
We found another path near Cumhuriyet that lead us closer to the point, so we drove as far as we could, but which was not really far, as the path got worse and we had to stop with our roadster and leave it after about a kilometre, but still 1.7 kilometres away from the point, and continued on foot. It was a very nice landscape and the path led us downhill, so it was nice to walk and if you ever have visited a confluence point, you may understand how excited one gets as one gets closer to the point. When we were only 700 meters away from it, we had to stop, as there was a small stream, which we might have been able to cross. But, on the other side, there was a mountain with a very much uninvitingly looking wall. We had to give up and decided to give that point another try, but from the other side of the mountain.
So we went back to the car and drove back into the next small village to find a better path, which would lead us around that mountain. It was difficult as the village was very small and only a few paths were there. When we came back to a proper road later on, we were immediately stopped by the "Jandarma" and asked several questions (in the countryside they do not have police but Jandarma, which is subordinate to the military). First they (four or five men armed with mp) wanted to see our car papers and our ID, and then they asked us about everything you can think of: What we were doing in that village (travelling around), and where we were from (Istanbul), and if we were on vacation (yes), and where exactly we wanted to go to (just through the country off the tourist ways), and if we were married (no), and whether we travelled on our own (yes) or if there were more to follow (no), and so far and so on. We answered everything but they decided that we had to accompany them to their station in Manyas. So we followed them by car.
They brought us to their boss on the first floor, who offered us tea and had us asked the same questions over and over again by a translator, as he did not speak English himself. It was very funny as he told us that there was nothing to be seen around Manyas, which is not true, as there are two historical Greek places, but he suggested us to visit a National Park for birds instead (which we had seen already a couple of months earlier, but at that time we knew nothing about confluence points). We told him that we had already been there but he ignored this and told us, they could escort us there. But he changed his mind when one of his men there said something about "almost six o'clock" and "end of work", so he offered that they could bring us there, if we came back to their office in the next morning. But we reassured us that we did not need to come back the next morning and could leave to Balıkesir to find ourselves a hotel for the night. Yes, of course, we were free to go wherever we wanted to. We were glad that we were free and were not too keen on going back to that point after our contact with the Jandarma, so we decided to visit confluence point 39N 29E instead.
07-Jul-2004 -- After our successful visit of 39N 29E, we were forced to go back to Istanbul the next day, so we had no chance to get to a further, different point except for the one near Manyas. So we went back, but this time tried our luck via Soğuksu. After about the third try or so we found a path that led in the direction of the point. It was very, very beautiful there. We had to cross a small river again, but this one had a "bridge" at least, rather two tree trunks nailed together than a bridge, but it was possible to cross it without getting wet feet, what was important, as again we had to walk for about 1700 meters to the point and this time uphill! Luckily, it was not too sunny, so we made it.
The fascinating thing about the one holding the GPS is that having it in your hand while walking, even uphill, makes you very fast as you watch the meters disappear and the closer you get to the point, the more excited you get, and the one without GPS gets difficulties keeping up! We came very close to the point and when we were only 11 meters away, we changed the mode from meters to the latitude and longitude one, and saw that we were almost there. This improved our mood a lot because the point was in the middle of bushes, very difficult to cross. We had the five zeros twice or even three times indicated on the GPS but as soon as we got the camera into position as well, it jumped and changed. And then the camera batteries got empty; the new ones were very safe in the car! Can you imagine how we felt? You are there, the way was difficult, you are exhausted, and then machine failure? Worst thing! On our normal camera we had only six or seven pictures left, which we took, but never got five zeros again. And do you know what makes you feel miserable even more? You have the feeling that someone had been there before you!