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

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THE KOP DAGH                            387

very deep for walking. After crossing the Euphrates
twice by substantial stone bridges, I halted at Ashkala,
a village of khans, at a clean but unfinished khan on the
bank of the river, and in a room with unglazed windows
and no possibility of making a fire experienced a tempera-
ture of 5 below zero. My dinner froze before I could
finish it, the stock of potatoes for the journey, though
wrapped in a fur cloak inside my yekdan, was totally
spoilt, and my ink froze. The following day was cloudy
and inclined to snow rather than frost, and the crossing
of the much-dreaded Kop Dagh was managed without
difficulty in five hours, in snow three feet deep. There
is a refuge near the summit, but there are no habitations
on the ascent or descent. It is a most dangerous pass,
owing to the suddenness and fury of the storms, and only
last winter sixty fine camels and ten drivers perished
there in a blizzard. My zaptieh was left behind ill at the
refuge, and I made the remainder of the journey without
an escort. The Kop Dagh, 7500 feet in altitude, forms
the watershed between the Euphrates valley and the
Black Sea, and on such an afternoon as that on which I
crossed it, when wild storms swept over successive moun-
tain ranges, and yet wilder gleams lighted up the sinuous
depression which marks the course of the Trat, the view
from its lofty summit is a very striking one.

It was dark when I reached the very miserable hamlet
on the western side of the Kop, and as earlier caravans
had taken up the better accommodation, I had to content
myself with a recess opening out of a camel stable. The
camels sat in circles of ten, and pleasant family parties
they looked, gossiping over their chopped straw, which,
with a ball of barley-meal dough in the morning, con-
stitutes their slender but sufficient diet. Nothing gives
a grander idea of the magnitude and ramifications of
commerce than the traffic on the road from Erzerum to