September 23.—Leaving my party to rest, after the fatigue they had endured in forcing a way through the scrub, I set off after breakfast to reconnoitre our position at Refuge Rocks, and to take a series of angles. The granite elevation, under which we were encamped, I found to be one of three small hills, forming a triangle, about a mile apart from each other, and having sheets of granite lying exposed upon their summits, containing deep holes which receive and retain water after rains. The hill we were encamped under, was the highest of the three, and the only one under which there was a spring. [Note 10: This was dried up in October, 1842.] There was also better grass here than around either of the other two; it appeared, too, to be the favourite halting place of the natives, many of whose encampments still remained, and some of which appeared to have been in use not very long ago. The bearings from the hill we were under, of the other two elevations, which, with it, constitute the Refuge Rocks, were N. 15 degrees W. and W. 35 degrees N. Baxter’s range was still visible in the distance, appearing low and wedge–shaped, with the high end towards the east, at a bearing of N. 24 degrees E. In the western extreme it bore N. 22 degrees E. Many other hills and peaks were apparent in various directions, to all of which I took angles, and then returned to the tent to observe the sun’s meridian altitude for latitude. By this observation, I made the latitude 33 degrees 11 minutes 12 seconds S.; but an altitude of Altair at night only gave 33 degrees 10 minutes 6 seconds S.; probably the mean of the two, or 33 degrees 10 minutes 39 seconds S., will be very nearly the true position of the spring. From the summit of the hill I had been upon, many native fires were visible in the scrub, in almost every direction around. At one time I counted eleven different fires from the smokes that were ascending, and some of which were very near us. Judging from these facts, the natives appeared to be numerous in this part of the country, and it would be necessary to be very cautious and vigilant after the instance I had recently met with of their cunning and daring.
- Category: Edward John Eyre - Vol 1 - Ch 8
- Written by Edward John Eyre
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