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Full text of "Journeys In Persia And Kurdistan ( Vol.Ii)."

LETTER xvi           THE BAZUFT VALLEY                          13

he murmured feebly, when he came to himself in severe
pain.

I have crossed the Gardan-i-Cherri twice, and shall
cross it a third time. It marks a great change in the
scenery, and the first intimation of possible peril from the
tribesmen. The ascent from the east, which is extremely
rugged and steep, is one of 2000 feet in three and a half
miles. Near the top were many Ilyats camping without
their tents, a rough-looking set, with immense flocks, and
on the summit the Agha, who was without his attendants,
met some men who were threatening both in speech and
gesture.

From the top there is a wonderful view into an un-
known land. The ranges are heavily wooded, and much
broken up into spurs and rounded peaks. Between the
great range, crossed at a height of 9550 feet by the
Cherri Pass, and a wall-like range of mighty mountains of
white limestone with snow on them hardly whiter than
themselves, lies the Bazuft valley, 4000 feet below, and
down upon it come sharp forest-covered spurs, often con-
nected by sharp ridges of forest-covered rocks cleft by
dark forest-filled ravines, with glimpses now and then of
a winding peacock-green river, flowing at times through
green lawns and slopes of grain, at others disappearing
into ' gigantic canons—great forest-skirted and snow-
slashed mountains apparently blocking up the valley
at its higher end. At the first crossing all lay glorified
in a golden veil, with indigo shadows in the rifts and
white lights on the heights.

The first part of the descent is fearfully rough, a suc-
cession of ledges of broken rock encumbered here and
there with recently dead horses or mules, and the whole
downward course of 4000 feet is without a break, the
climate getting hotter and hotter as one descends. At
8000 feet the oak forests begin. This oak bears acorns