A Real Degree Confluence Adventure at 40N 32E

Category: Degree Confluence, Projects | May 23, 2004


40N 32E

On a very sunny and breezy day in Ankara, me and Derya decided to go ahead and find one of the undiscovered intersection points of latitudes and longitudes, and that was of 40N 32E. Our decision was to do this trip on our bikes, as we love biking. The point was within close proximity of Oymaağaç village.

We met early in the morning. Having left the rush of the city traffic behind, we were soon again silently cycling along the tarmac road heading towards the historical town of Beypazarı. On the way, we tackled two major passes totally gaining more that 2000 ft (600 m) of altitude. En route, we run into some more bikers who selected “less” earnest projects than ours. When our bike computers indicated the 101st km of our journey, we were at the junction of Oymaağaç village – the candidate village “supposedly close” to our intersection point. As used to now, we were cycling over rough stabilised terrain and endless ramps started. We thought the road would never go flat to do us a favour. On the other hand, the scenery became much wilder, giving us an opportunity to listen to the absolute silence and look down on hills covered with green grass and bushes.

No way! We had cycled for 108 km so far and gained more than 3000 ft (900 m) of altitude. We had finished all the water and food and were simply struggling. Was it already finished? Not yet, the torture kept on going since the point badly diverted from the road we were following. Therefore, we had to leave the bikes and the road behind and walked a total of 6 km and almost 2 hours through the carrot and grain fields to make it there – a point of utopia. Farmers stared at us with a blank impression of what we were chasing in the midst of nowhere.

Very eventually, it was right there in front of us and we saw nothing but grass and soil surrounded with entirely flat fields and topped up by sheep-like clouds. Than I involuntarily sat down on the ground as being extremely exhausted. Don’t know really what the hell we got out of this activity. But maybe it was something like fun from the perspective of what masochists do. Despite the fact that we didn’t really see there something special like glamorous nude dancers waiting ready to open up cold champagne to celebrate our great achievement, it was a great feeling to know we had another 6 km of hike back to our bikes and 20 km of cycling to Beypazarı town. For the enthusiastic, the point is still there probably being aggravated by some peasants lacking of the idea what important stuff is located in their fields.

We found our bikes intact and carried on all the way to Oymaağaç village. Village people were always smiling, friendly and curious as usually seen in Turkish backcountry. We took some pictures and made it further to our final destination Beypazarı. To be honest, myself was really knackered and simply struggling to spin the pedals, and later realised that so was Derya. Right at the entrance of the town we came across a yogurt factory. Good job! Said, why not go ahead and grab some of that stuff? We ended up in a good local restaurant to have an extra large meal. Well deserved, though, giving you the right of summoning the waiter like “Garçon, bring whatever you have on the table for these two heroes!” Shoulders lifted, take a deep breath, and it felt as if I were the conqueror of the entire world. So much having taken pride in ourselves, we were in a deep and hardly interrupted sleep in our seats on the way back to Ankara. When we got home, the total cycling distance was 131.85 km.

We will keep up with it!

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