config

June 23.—Having got all the party up very early, I broke up the station, and sent one man on horseback into Adelaide with despatches and letters. My overseer and another man were now added to the party, making up our complement in number. Upon re–arranging the loads of the drays yesterday, I had found it inconvenient to have the instruments and tent equipage upon the more heavily loaded drays, and I therefore decided upon taking an extra cart and another horse from the station. This completed our alterations, and the party and equipment stood thus:—

  •     Mr. Eyre.
  •     Mr. Scott, my assistant and companion.
  •     John Baxter, Overseer.
  •     Corporal Coles, R.S. and M.  John Houston, driving a three horse dray.
  •     R. M’Robert, driving a three horse dray.
  •     Neramberein and Cootachah, Aboriginal boys, to drive the sheep, track, etc.
We had with us 13 horses and 40 sheep, and our other stores were calculated for about three months; in addition to which we were to have a further supply forwarded to the head of Spencer’s Gulf by sea, in the WATERWITCH, to await our arrival in that neighbourhood. This would give us the means of remaining out nearly six months, if we found the country practicable, and in that time we might, if no obstacles intervened, easily reach the centre of the Continent and return, or if practicable, cross to Port Essington on the N. W. coast.

About eleven I moved on the party up the Light for 8 miles, and then halted after an easy stage. As the horses were fresh and the men were not yet accustomed to driving them, I was anxious to move quietly on at first, that nothing might be done in a hurry, and every one might gradually settle down to what he had to perform, and that thus by a little care and moderation at first, those evils, which my former travelling had taught me were frequently the result of haste or inexperience, might be avoided. Nothing is more common than to get the withers of horses wrung, or their shoulders and backs galled at the commencement of a journey, and nothing more difficult than to effect a cure of this mischief whilst the animals are in use. By the precaution which I adopted, I succeeded in preventing this, for the present.

As we passed up the valley of the Light, we had some rich and picturesque scenery around us—the fertile vale running nearly north and south, backed to the westward by well wooded irregular ranges grassed to their summits, and to the eastward shut in by a dark looking and more heavily timbered range, beyond which rose two peaks of more distant hills, through the centre of the valley the Light took its course, but at present it was only a chain of large ponds unconnected by any stream; and thus, I believe, it remains the greater part of the year, although occasionally swollen to a broad and rapid current.