July 7.—Towards morning several showers of rain fell, and I found that I had got a severe attack of rheumatism, which proved both troublesome and painful. Pushing on for ten miles we reached the height standing out from the main range which Colonel Gawler named Mount Eyre, from its having been the limit of my first journey to the north in May 1839. This little hill is somewhat detached, of considerable elevation, and with a bold rocky overhanging summit to the southward. Having clambered to the top of it, I had an extensive view, and took several bearings.
The region before us appeared to consist of a low sandy country without either trees or shrubs, save a few stunted bushes. On the east this was backed by high rugged ranges, very barren in appearance, and extending northward as far as the eye could reach, beyond this level country to the West, and stretching far to the north–west, appeared a broad glittering stripe, looking like water, and constituting the bed of Lake Torrens. The lake appeared to be about twenty–five miles off, and of considerable breadth; but at so great distance, it was impossible to say whether there was actually any water in it or not.
Having completed my observations we descended again to the plains steering north–west for the lake. At two miles from Mount Eyre we found a puddle of water in the midst of the plains, and halted at it for the night. Our horses had good grass, but would not touch the water, which was extremely thick and muddy. Upon trying it ourselves we found it was not usable, even after it had been strained twice through a handkerchief, whilst boiling only thickened it; it was a deep red colour, from the soil, and was certainly an extraordinary and unpalatable mixture.