Puslapio vaizdai

rounded by a beautiful arcade of marble columns. The mosque itself is one of the noblest in northern Africa.

A certain distance beyond the city walls is the "Mosque of the Barber of the Prophet," which, properly speaking, is not a mosque at all, but a place of pilgrimage, a college for students of the Koran, and at refuge for religious mendicants. After the Alhambra, to portions of which it bears a family resemblance, it is the most perfect thing of its kind in the world.

Outside the mosque, a score of boys, sadly soiled as to clothes and complexion, waited us with petitions to ride in the car. Our guide fiercely dispersed them, but one small Arab managed to elude him and tucked himself most incomprehensively under the car, where later, in the marketplace, he emerged smiling mischievously.

In a dirty inclosed court near the market, we saw the snake-charmers of Kairwan, who form a well-known religious sect, and who treated us to an exhibition of antics and snakes, including the deadly cobra. In the market-place, surrounded by a crowd of Arabs, and accompanied by the same mischievous little imp who had motored uninvited with us from the Mosque of the Barber, and who now was contentedly smoking a cigarette and explaining matters of interest to us in choice Arabic (so at least I took his fluent speech to be), we forgot the unpleasant episode of the snake-charmers and lost ourselves in the contemplation of a bewildering display of Oriental rugs. A week later, under the gold of the stars, with a crescent moon brightly shining, we sailed from the shores of Tunis la Blanche, Tunis l'Odorante.

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N the Andes, half a thousand feet higher than Pike's Peak, is to be found the Peruvian "Garden of the Gods," admired by every traveler fortunate enough to visit it. It is locally called the "Rock Forest," though in no sense of the word is it a forest: it simply resembles one when viewed at a distance of ten miles. The traveler may be forgiven the error of thinking it a forest as he sees it for the first time, and forgets that he is no longer where trees grow, but within half an hour's ride of the highest city in the world, Cerro de Pasco, perched, like a condor, on the high peaks of the Andes.

Geographically the forest is very near the middle of Peru, and on the eastern slope of the Cordillera Real, where it breaks off into the plains of Junin. A more exact location would be, Lat. 11° S., Long. 76° 15' W., but this is definite only to the geographer. To the layman it would be better to define the route of travel as being over the famous Oroya Railroad of Peru, crossing the Andes through the Galera Tunnel, 15,665 feet above the ocean. Turning northward from Oroya, the traveler takes the Cerro de Pasco Railroad, and in less than three hours he sees, far to the westward, beyond the rolling pampas of the upper Andes, the dim outline of what has so far appeared to indicate a great forest.

In riding toward it across the pampa, more than half the distance will be covered before any perceptible change is noted. A closer view discloses a vast area, fully twenty miles long, by five miles wide, thickly covered with grotesquely formed stones of all sizes and shapes. Some stand alone, like factory-chimneys; others like cathedral spires jutting out from great masses of rock; while others, like Cleopatra's Needle and the great obelisks of the prehistoric ruins of Copan, dot the valleys that reach up into the Cordillera as thickly as the limbs that shoot out from the trunk of a tree. One's imagination need not be elastic to see in this Andean "Garden of the Gods" the beautiful façade of a Notre Dame, hundreds of petrified antediluvian reptiles, or myriads of veritable monuments. By their very proximity, the large areas covered with such tall, spire-like stones stand out in sharp contrast to equal areas of low, scattered masses of rock. Again, in any one of these areas may stand groups of colossal columns, rising a hundred feet or more in the air, and not infrequently on their very summits will be seen balanced stones as large as a small cottage. This grouping of tombstones, columns, and cathedral spires is not isolated. So thickly strewn are they over this large area that if one particular stone is lost sight of, hours and


even days would be required to retrace one's steps to the object sought.

Narrow, irregular lanes, like streets walled in by skyscrapers, lead back from the vertical walls that often face the sides of the valleys. These lanes join others just as irregular, and continue their course up the sides of the hills to the backbone of the ridges. Standing on the summit of one of these ridges, the visitor may look down over the edge of a perpendicular cliff into an open court often a full hundred feet below. This court will be almost completely surrounded with stones of every shape and size. Possibly, a break in the wall will permit the visitor to work his way down into the open space. If so, he will find it a wet, boggy piece of champa,1 from which a hundred tiny springs of water bubble up, cold and as clear as crystal, and highly impregnated with lime. The small stream of water finds its way to a larger stream in a broader valley. Out in this open valley, as level as a floor, and possibly a quarter of a mile wide, stand single columns of rock, like sentinels on the outposts of a sleeping army. Not one valley alone, but hundreds, cut this remarkable region into a thousand irregular plots, each vying with its neighbor in the wild beauty of confused and grotesque rock formation. The "Garden of the Gods" in Colorado boasts of a few spectacular rocks; but they are few in number, and the area which they cover is not large. The Andean "Garden" covers nearly a hundred times the ground, and in beauty and interest surpasses its Northern counterpart in the same ratio.

In many places extensive remains of a past civilization are to be found along the lower reaches of these valleys. At the southern end of the forest, through which the Montaro River flows, there is still standing the abutments of what was probably a suspension-bridge. This bridge was crossed by a paved road, which led back to a solid mountain of rock salt, less than a league away. The historic highway from Cuzco to Quito is only a short ride from this bridge.

There is still another interesting feature, though not new, to be found in the lower end of the forest. At some remote

date the Montaro River was many times its present volume. The shrunken river has left long stretches of bare rock that was in past ages the bed of the river. Here the interest centers in the great number of pot-holes bored into the rock by the rotation and grinding of small flint-like boulders. In shape, the holes resemble the old-fashioned stone churn of a generation ago. In size they have a wide range, some being only a few inches in depth, while others are more than twelve feet deep. The larger holes are fully five feet in diameter near the top, and gradually taper down to less than a foot in diameter at the bottom. In all the larger holes there are crevices in the rock, which permitted the escape of the water at the bottom as the grinding process went on. What little is left of the boulder that started this work of drilling by rolling round and round in a small cavity of the bed-rock is interesting, owing to its shape and regularity. All are spheroidal and greatly elongated.

The topography of this region would be an interesting study, and to the geologist, almost a complete laboratory; and if he were skilled in reading the fragmentary records, he would have spread out before him torn leaves from many a volume. There would be a fragmentary volume telling of the quartz that forms the oddshaped stones in the forest; chapters dealing with the limestone strata that have been pushed up, twisted, and bent; paragraphs telling the history of the sandstone ledges and granite walls that are thrown together in utter confusion. A singular geological feature is to be seen in one of the level valleys, and close to a group of columns and spire-like stones. A limestone stratum has been pushed up, and bent into a circle. The long chord of the arc, which is the surface of the ground, is nearly five hundred feet, while the middle ordinate is approximately fifty feet. The stratification is almost vertical, and is the only indication of lime-rock in the valley. Other interesting features multiply as the geologist wanders through this labyrinth of stone figures. Sea-shells are found here at an elevation of 14,000 feet. It almost seems as if Nature had purposely hidden away on top of the highest Andes a library of world history, telling of its making.

1 The Indian name given to the turf, peculiar to the high Andes, in which the roots of
the grass are thickly woven and matted together.

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