11-Oct-2004 -- Since our first confluence hunt for 40N 34E last week was rather easy, we decided to do another just a week later. Following the same procedure, we located the Confluence on a detailed terrain map, which showed it to be on a small mountain called Gürgenli Dağı to the north of Çerkeş in the province of Ankara. All our maps clearly showed a village road going up the mountain to a village called Taşoğlu, which seemed to pass very near to the confluence point.
So we decided to take our trailie bikes again, ride from Ankara to Çerkeş via Kızılcahamam, and then take the village road on the map which should take us first to Çedime, then to İncuğez villages. From there on, the road climbing the Gürgenli Mountain to Taşoğlu village should start. All seemed in order, there were elevations over 1700 meters along the way, which also promised a good view.
We met early in the morning, started riding northbound towards Kızılcahamam. In an hour we arrived there and turned NE to Çerkeş. What a beautiful road. Perfectly paved with lots of tight bends. All 60 km, a motorcycle rider's dream road. Arriving in Çerkeş with smiles on our faces, we stopped for some morning tea and asked for directions to our first destination village: Çedime. Receiving the directions, I made a waypoint of the confluence on the GPS, and started an off-road GoTo.
There we were riding along the dirt road we had been showed, but the GPS was showing just the opposite direction. This was the first of a series of misfortunes to come. We stopped again to ask for Çedime village, but no one seemed to know. We decided to go back to Çerkeş and ask some more people. As we turned back I realized that I had made an error and had started a GoTo to our last week's Confluence, which was of course irrelevant. Correcting the mistake, our GPS clearly showed that we were on the right track, so we turned back... again. Since the maps we had indicated ONE road going from Çerkeş to Çedime we ignored some small trails that came along on the way and kept on riding north. After riding about half an hour, without seeing any trace of Çedime village, the road started going seriously westbound, so we decided something was wrong.
We turned back again, this time paying attention to the small trail roads, finally we saw a partially rusted, small sign saying "Çedime" and we took the dirt road (almost a pathway) that the sign indicated. Another 15 minutes of riding, finally we passed along Çedime and continued northbound hoping to reach our second point: İncuğez village. Instead, we came to a village called Avşar - not shown on any of our maps! Besides that, the whole village seemed to be deserted. We had to knock a few doors and ride to the other end of the village before finding an old man who told us to go back (again) and find the pathway behind the huge electric company building in the entrance of the village. What a road that was, a narrow, muddy pathway covered with fallen leaves and small streams of water, going downhill. Slipping and sliding our way down, it was past noon when we finally arrived at İncuğez. In the entrance of the village, we were surrounded and forced to stop by four dogs. (I never know why dogs hate motorbikes.) To our luck, the owner of the dogs was also there and he pulled them back. We confirmed that we were in the right village with him, but he told us that he never heard of our next destination, the Taşoğlu village up on the mountain. Nevertheless, we "knew" our way and (realizing that we had spent more than half the day covering the "easy" part of the way and still the climb to the Gürgenli Mountain was ahead of us) went along going downhill to the valley where the Gürgenli Mountain started.
Crossing the bridge over Gerede River, there we were looking unbelievingly to a T-junction where we expected one single road climbing the mountain. There were signs with the names of villages that meant nothing to us, none but of them were on our maps: Dodurga to the right. Since Dodurga was not in our way on our map, we decided to take the road to the left and started climbing the mountain on a road, which was covered with sharp edged rocks. The GPS still showed 10 more km to go, but at least we were heading in the correct direction. After a while there came a Y-junction. So much for a "single road" on our map! To cut a long story short, soon we discovered that the mountain had lots of roads on it, crossing each other, going everywhere. We followed the lead of our GPS, which always indicated the direction of the Confluence, trying every possible way to get closer to our target, with no luck. The roads we took got as close as 3.5 km, then turned the other way. After spending about an hour, I spotted a pathway going in the forest, which seemed to be going exactly the right way. Riding along that path, we got as close as 1.3 km to the Confluence and then, of course, the road went the other way. That was it. We decided to park the bikes there and take the rest of the way on foot. Almost 45 degrees downhill in a dense forest, we walked for 45 minutes and finally arrived at the confluence point at 14:30 hrs, only to see there is a dirt road just 50 meters away coming from and going to God knows where!
We took the pictures very quickly, and started our way back to the bikes. It took us almost two straight hours to climb back that hill that we came down in 45 minutes (mainly because I am an overweight, short-of-breath smoker), and we were both absolutely exhausted and starving to death when we reached our bikes. From Çerkeş to the confluence point it was only 25 km, which took us almost 6 hours to cover, but we managed to storm back to Çerkeş in an hour.
This is the story of our second and most difficult confluence visit. There are six more unvisited Confluences in the vicinity of Ankara at the moment. We plan to do them all; I hope this will have been the hardest one.