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May 30. — In commencing our journey this morning, our route took us over undulating hills, devoid of timber, but having occasionally small patches of very rich land in the valleys and upon some of the slopes. This continued to a salt-water river, broad, and apparently deep near the sea. As I was doubtful whether it would have a bar-mouth to seawards, I thought it more prudent to trace it upwards, for the purpose of crossing. At no very great distance it contracted sufficiently to enable me to get over to the other side. But in doing so the ground proved soft and boggy, and I nearly lost one of the horses. Four miles beyond this river we came to another channel of salt water, but not so large as the last. In valleys sloping down to this watercourse we met, for the first time, clumps of a tree called by the residents of King George’s Sound the cabbage-tree, and not far from which were native wells of fresh water; there were also several patches of rich land bordering upon the watercourse.

Travelling for two miles further, we came to a very pretty fresh-water lake, of moderate size, and surrounded by clumps of tea-tree. It was the first permanent fresh water we had found on the surface since we commenced our journey from Fowler’s Bay — a distance of nearly seven hundred miles. I would gladly have encamped here for the night, but the country surrounding the lake was sandy and barren, and destitute of grass. We had only made good a distance of eleven miles from our last camp, and I felt anxious to get on to Lucky Bay as quickly as I could, in order that I might again give our horses a rest for a few days, which they now began to require. From Captain Flinders’ account of Lucky Bay I knew we should find fresh water and wood in abundance. I hoped there would also be grass, and in this case I had made up my mind to remain a week or ten days, during which I intended to have killed the foal we had with us, now about nine months old, could we procure food in no other way. After leaving Lucky Bay, as we should only be about three hundred miles from the Sound, and our horses would be in comparatively fresh condition, I anticipated we should be able to progress more rapidly. Indeed I fully expected it would be absolutely necessary for us to do so, through a region which, from Flinders’ description as seen from sea, and from his having named three different hills in it Mount Barrens, we should find neither very practicable nor fertile.

Six miles beyond the fresh-water lake we came to another salt-water stream, and finding, upon following up a little way, that it was only brackish, we crossed and halted for the night. Wylie went out to search for food, but got nothing, whilst I unharnessed and attended to the horses, which were a good deal fagged, and then prepared the camp and made the fires for the night: I could get nothing but grass-tree for this purpose, but it was both abundant and dry. Owing to its very resinous nature, this tree burns with great heat and brilliancy, emitting a grateful aromatic odour. It is easily lit up, makes a most cheerful fire, and notwithstanding the fervency with which it burns, does not often require renewing, if the tree be large. Our whole journey to-day had been over undulations of about three hundred feet in elevation; the country rose a little inland, and a few occasional bluffs of granite were observed in the distance, but no timber was seen any where. At night the flies and mosquitoes were very troublesome to us.