TO RODBAR AND JIRUFT
SECTION i—PAST THE JÂZ-MURIAN DEPRESSION
FOR the journey that was to take us past the marshy depression where the Bampûr river from the east and the Hain Rûd from the west find their termination, two routes offered themselves, one passing north and the other south of the `Haman'. On both sides progress for a large party such as ours was practicable only along a line of wells on which it would be possible to depend with assurance for a sufficient supply of drinkable water. Carefully collected information had shown that quite a series of tumps were to be found all along the northern route, whereas on the one to the south none were known beyond the well of Chah Ahmadi, marked on the Survey of India map with a query to the east of the Jaz-Marian marshes. What finally made me decide on the northern route was the consideration that since it leads along the glacis of hill ranges higher than those to the south of the basin, there was a possibility of their greater drainage having in early times permitted of cultivation at more points than the few at which it could be found now along this route. Nor was the fact to be ignored that the important line of communication connecting Bampûr with Bam and Kerman must always have followed this route, at least for its initial portion.
A journey of about 163 miles brought us in the course of ten marches from Chah Husain"' to Tumbut on the terminal course of the Halil Mid. The ground traversed bore uniformly the character of a scrubby desert of gravel, hard clay, or sand, broken at intervals by shallow drainage beds and narrow strips of jungle along them. Hence no account of the ground passed on each march is called for. Throughout, water was to be obtained only from wells, often difficult to find without local guidance and brackish. Since most of them are at times liable to dry up, others have to be sought in their place by travellers and the Balûch nomads grazing in this area. This will explain why only a few of the local names recorded in the Map, Sheet I, are to be found on the route as marked in the Survey of India maps, Nos. 25. I, IvM, and 31. A, published between 1910 and 1915. The boundary between Persian Balûchistan and the province of Kerman crosses this desert tract about midway, but is ill defined. This helped to increase the constant trouble about obtaining a change of camels for our baggage and for us