29-Dec-2004 -- 6:22 a.m. Getting up.
7:00 a.m. We are leaving our Hotel 'Ambassador'.
7:20 a.m. Breakfast (chickpeas-paste and bread) at the first open restaurant in Ṭarṭūs.
7:50 a.m. Heading off towards the Confluence on a full stomach of food. At that time we are still in the little harbour town Ṭarṭūs. Our GPS indicates a beeline distance of 16.7 km to the confluence point. But nevertheless we intend to hike to it with all our gear on our backs.
We leave Ṭarṭūs heading north, following the Mediterranean coastline. Unfortunately, heavy industry and harbour factories block the access to the coast and we have to follow a heavy traffic road further inland. Hundreds of trucks are waiting on the road to get their loads. In short: it's a very unpleasant stretch.
After hiking 7 km we finally reach the turnoff in the upcountry (at a distance of 11.2 km). From now on the hike is much nicer with less traffic and great views, but a steep climb upwards. We pass through villages and follow a winding road. Shortcuts seem not to be possible due to the lack of footpaths. Anyway, the terrain is quite steep for cross-country hiking.
We spend the whole day hiking and finally reach the village Ba`zrā'īl with a distance of 1.2 km remaining. Still in the village, we find a turnoff towards the Confluence at a distance of 450 m. This nice asphalt road leads us directly to the Confluence. The confluencer coming by car will have no challenge to visit the point: it is located just 6 m from the little road.
Our 30 km hike is honoured with this beautiful Confluence of great views in western direction. Even the Mediterranean Sea can be seen at the horizon. The point is located in a little olive grove. We take the documentation pictures unhurriedly because no local people show up.
We continued our trip by bus and made it to the city of Ḥamā that day. We had an intermediate change in the town Maṣyāf and used the opportunity to visit the town's crusader castle just barely before it got dark.
This visit was done on a one-week vacation to Syria, where we also visited the cities of Damascus and Aleppo.
CP visit details:
- Time at the CP: 15:00 p.m.
- Duration: One complete day
- Distance of the nearest public road: 6 m
- GPS height: 414 m
- Description: Located in a little olive grove surrounded by low traditional stonewalls. Between the Olive trees there is hardly any vegetation, only gravel. The next house is only 15 m away (the location of the point is just at the edge of the village Ba`zrā'īl). It is on a steep grade, as the whole area is mountainous. Olive trees and other plantation can be found all around. Quite densely populated area.
- Given Name: The Long Hike Confluence