- Category: John McDouall Stuart - First Expedition
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
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Tuesday, 3rd August, Good Country. It has rained during the whole night, and is likely to do so to-day. Started at 9, on the same course as yesterday, 230 degrees. The first portion of our journey was over six miles of splendid alluvial country, covered with grass--partly spear grass--with a little salt bush intermixed with it, also a few mulga bushes at intervals; no other timber. It is a most beautiful open piece of country, and looks much better than the Adelaide plains did at the commencement of the colony. Four miles further it was not so good; the soil became a little lighter, with more salt bush, and a little scrub. The last eleven miles the soil is good, with grass and salt bush in abundance, but much thicker with mulga and other low scrubs. It seems to be a continuation of the same scrub that we passed over on the 19th ultimo, and I observe that the ants build their habitations in the same style as they did there. They are about one foot in diameter at the base, and formed in the shape of a cone, and are supported by the dead root of a mulga. Others, however, stand from eighteen inches to three feet in height, built of clay, and on the surface. The kangaroo and emu inhabit the country. We have also found a number of places where the natives have been encamped. They seem to be numerous, judging from the number of places where they have had their fires; but we have not seen any of them. We have had it raining nearly all day, and it still looks bad. Our black fellow left us during the night; he seemed to be very much frightened of the other natives. He knows nothing of the country, and if he follows our tracks back, I don't envy him his walk. He was of very little use to us, and I wish I had sent him off before, but I thought he might be useful in conversing with the other natives when we should meet them. He was of no other use than for tracking and assisting in getting the horses in the morning, for I have given them every advantage--they have been seldom hobbled. There are three small valleys on our line in which water seems to have run at some former period. We have crossed no course of rocks of any description since our northern line; from which I am of opinion that the drainage is underneath, so that there ought to be numerous springs near the sea-coast. Camped without water. Distance to-day, twenty miles.