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Iran's Salt Desert Explored after 100 Years

Tehran, 7 February 2006 (CHN) -- A five-member group from Southern Khorassan's Ecosystem Network with three camels and two camel-drivers explored the Khor-Tabas Route in Salt Desert near Qom after a hundred years since Son Hedin, a Swedish explorer, walked through this desert.

The Khor-Tabas Route which remains useless today was once the juncture of different caravans.

The team started its journey from the Village of Abbas-Abad (12km north of Khor and Biabanak in Isfahan Province) and ended it after 180 km in Halvan (80 km from Tabas and Golshan in Khorassan Razavi Province).

"The route falls in the heart of Iran's Central Desert. We had performed about one-year-long research and exploration programs before starting our journey since there are only two or three weeks in every year that are appropriate times to pass from this part of the desert," said Ahmad Ronaghi, leader of the team and secretary of the South Khorassan Ecosystem Network.

Ronaghi pointed out that the reason for such a long study before the start of the journey is the unfamiliarity of the route and the continuous changes in the region's atmosphere, adding that the even a small rain in this route can create a real swamp which means no return for the explorers! The group passed a distance of about 150 km of the route within five days and nights.

According to the notes of Son Hedin, Swedish desert trekker who explored all deserts of Iran about hundred years ago, due to large amount of black salts in this area, Abbas-Abad-Halvan Route was one of the hardest routes for caravans. This is the reason that almost no caravan or people ever passed from this route. There is a very minimal chance for any vehicle or animal to pass through this desert. In the meantime, there are enormous seemingly dry swamps which may be extremely dangerous to get close to.

Regarding the goals of this journey, Hamid Ealaki-Nejad, another member of the team said, "Promoting the desert tourism attractions, desert trekking sport, exploring the unfamiliar ecotourism potentials of the desert, research operation on different animal and plant species along the route, topography and making documentary films were all among our initial goals which we were able to fulfill successfully."

... Payvand News - 2/8/06 ... --

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