Saturday, February 24, 2024

Professional Journeys’ Narrative – 8

(An account of journeys exclusively based on true picture of areas and the people there. No poetic or romantic false expressions are included)

Desert Camping at Sandak was one of the most desolate and dreary experience of my journeys so far. No greenery, no scenery, no sweet water, no warmth against the freezing cold, no milk added tea, no vegetables, no favoring tracks to move around. It cost us life of two team members and a costly powerful and comfortable new vehicle. It also cost us indigestion and subsequently pounds of body weight which we needed so much for consumption during the course of highly difficult professional performance. This camping place was situated at the foot of range of hillocks under which substantial copper reserves were claimed later.

Camel carrying water With the start of month of March, the progress of work had gained some momentum. Teams were moving eastwards accomplishing their assignments inspite of discouraging hardships of the area. Except for a very few members of mediocre temperament, all of them were great persons. I shall always have great respect and appreciation for all of them. Now was the time for me also to shift my camp headquarter eastwards on the Quetta – Taftan highway. The first available site was Nookkundi at a distance of about hundred and thirty kilometers from Sandak. This prominent village or small town served as market for the residents of desert and hills, covering areas of hundreds of kilometers radius. So on a pleasant day we packed up and started our journey in the afternoon. The camp headquarter was established at Nookkundi in the evening. We had a chance to see people other than our own selves, after a number of weeks.

Nokkundi With the passing of each day the weather started becoming hot during noon time but still the nights’ temperature was considerably low. Teams working far from the camp headquarter started facing difficulty in availability of drinking water which had to be carried in containers, by camels, from rain water ponds called NAWARS. Due to hot noons the process of evaporation became swift. Nawars were becoming dry and the areas started becoming CHOL, which is a Baluchi term for waterless areas. If you stand by the bank of a waterless Nawar, you are unable to asses that this is a pond and stores rain water. This is because the length and width of a Nawar may be kilometers long but its depth is very small even at its center. Thin sheet of even a lot of water spread over an area of many kilometers or meters, assists the evaporation process quickly. Dry Nawars have a very smooth and firmly compacted bottom on which a vehicle can run at high speed without any inconvenience. In my observation even an aeroplane can land in a dry Nawar easily and safely in case of emergency. Dry Nawars are easily identifiable by an aeroplane in the air. From above it looks whitish as compared to the adjoining grounds. Slow settlement of highly fine silt makes it look whitish when dry. Residents of deserts and desolate hills have full knowledge about the locations of Nawars around them. They also know which of the Nawars retain water for comparatively longer periods. ——— To be continued…

Source: Part from a book in process.
Copyright: Reserved


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Category: Travel

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