May 2. — We again moved away at dawn, through a country which gradually become more scrubby, hilly, and sandy. The horses crawled on for twenty-one miles, when I halted for an hour to rest, and to have a little tea from our now scanty stock of water. The change which I had noticed yesterday in the vegetation of the country, was greater and more cheering every mile we went, although as yet the country itself was as desolate and inhospitable as ever. The smaller Banksias now abounded, whilst the Banksia grandis, and many other shrubs common at King George’s Sound, were frequently met with. The natives, whose tracks we had so frequently met with, taking the same course as ourselves to the westward, seemed now to be behind us; during the morning we had passed many freshly lit fires, but the people themselves remained concealed; we had now lost all traces of them, and the country seemed untrodden and untenanted. In the course of our journey this morning, we met with many holes in the sheets of limestone, which occasionally coated the surface of the ground; in these holes the natives appeared to procure an abundance of water after rains, but it was so long since any had fallen, that all were dry and empty now. In one deep hole only, did we find the least trace of moisture; this had at the bottom of it, perhaps a couple of wine glasses full of mud and water, and was most carefully blocked up from the birds with huge stones: it had evidently been visited by natives, not an hour before we arrived at it, but I suspect they were as much disappointed as we were, upon rolling away all the stones to find nothing in it.
After our scanty meal, we again moved onwards, but the road became so scrubby and rocky, or so sandy and hilly, that we could make no progress at all by night, and at eight miles from where we dined, we were compelled to halt, after a day’s journey of twenty-nine miles; but without a blade even of withered grass for our horses, which was the more grievous, because for the first time since we left the last water, a very heavy dew fell, and would have enabled them to feed a little, had there been grass. We had now traversed 138 miles of country from the last water, and according to my estimate of the distance we had to go, ought to be within a few miles of the termination of the cliffs of the Great Bight.