May 11. — Upon moving away this morning, I kept behind the sea shore along the borders of the salt swamp, steering for some sand-hills which were seen a-head of us. A hill was now visible in the distance, a little south of west, rising above the level bank behind the shore, — this was the first hill, properly so called, that we had met with for many hundreds of miles, and it tended not a little to cheer us and confirm all previous impressions relative to the change and improvement in the character of the country. Our horses were dreadfully fatigued and moved along with difficulty, and it was as much as we could do to reach the sand-hills we had seen, though only seven miles away. In our approach to them we passed through a fine plain full of grass, and of a much better description than we had met with since leaving Fowler’s Bay. Not only was it long and in the greatest abundance, but there were also mixed with the old grass many stalks of new and green, the whole forming a rich and luxurious feast for our horses, such as they had not enjoyed for many a long day. Nearer to the sand-hills we obtained excellent water by digging, at a depth of five feet, and only half a mile away from the grass. This place was too favourable not to be made the most of, and I determined to halt for a day or two to give our horses the benefit of it, and to enable us to diminish the weight of meat they had to carry. Whilst here I gave Wylie free permission to eat as much as he could, — a privilege which he was not long in turning to account. Between last night’s supper and this morning’s breakfast he had got through six-and-a-half pounds of solid cooked flesh, weighed out and free from bone, and he then complained, that as he had so little water (the well had fallen in and he did not like the trouble of cleaning it out again), he could hardly eat at all. On an average he would consume nine pounds of meat per day. I used myself from two to three when undergoing very great exertions. After dinner I ascended one of the sand-hills, and set the hill I had seen in the morning at W. 17 degrees S.
- Category: Edward John Eyre - Vol 2 - Ch 2
- Written by Edward John Eyre
- Hits: 1344