Note on Topographical Work in Chinese Turkestan
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... AL WORK IN CHINESE TURKESTAN. 409 NOTE ON TOPOGRAPHICAL WORK IN CHINESE TURKESTAN. 409 With regard to the traffic and communication, I fully agree with Colonel Church in what he has said about the impracticability of carrying out any important communication over the Andes from the Pacific. Nobody who has not crossed the Andes can realize the difficulties of traversing those mountains. They are widest in about lat. 20?, and to the northward the ranges are exceedingly steep, and there are no roads. In crossing the Cordillera you have to dodge the two wet seasons, and these do not coincide. The object is to cross the western range at the time the rains are nearly over, and then reach the second range before the rains commence there. Then of course comes the question of getting down the rivers, which is always a very difficult one. I am glad to hear that steamers have actually reached the foot of the Pongo de Manseriche in Peru, because that is the place to which I directed my attention a good many years ago, being anxious to find out whether that obstacle to navigation could be blown up, and if so, how far navigation could be carried beyond it. I quite satisfied myself that on the Maranon, above that fall, there were so many more rapids that, even if the main Pongo were blown up, very little advantage would follow. There is little more to say, except to express my great esteem for Colonel Church's paper. Colonel CHURCH: In view of Mr. Saunders' remarks will you excuse me if I take up one more minute of your time ? [Here Colonel Church gave an outline of the Amazonas lake, the Mojos lake, and Pampean sea as described in his pap(r, pp. 385 and 387.] The CHAIRMAN: More than ever do I echo the sentiments expressed by Mr. Payne of regret at the absence of our President to-night, and deplore my own ignorance of the geography of South America; but I must, however, acknowledge the efforts that have been made by Dr. Moreno on the part of Argentina, ard Senfor Bertrand on the part of Chile, to correct those deficiencies. I hope to know something more about it in time. There is, however, one point on which I can challenge Colonel Church's conclusions. He has spoken of Lake Titicaca as the highest lake in the world. Now, as the self-constituted champion of Asia, I know of one lake which bears the name of our late beloved Queen which is at least a thousand feet higher than Titicaca, and I think I know others that may be higher; but they all bow their heads to Lake Victoria. These, however, are matters of detail, and I think we can all agree to join in a cordial vote of thanils to Colonel Church for the lecture which he has delivered, not only in an interesting, but in a most attractive, manner. I trust that hereafter we shall hear something more of South America from him.