Thursday, 1st December, Primrose springs.
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Third Expedition
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Thursday, 1st December, Primrose springs. At daybreak started with Kekwick to find the lake on an easterly course, keeping to south of east, to avoid a soft lagoon. Travelled over a fair salt-bush and grass country, with stones on the surface. In places the grass is abundant, though dry. At seven miles the sand hills commenced; they are low, with broad valleys between, covered with stone. On the sand hills there was plenty of grass, and numerous native and emu tracks going towards the Neale, which is to the south of us. At fourteen miles struck a gum creek with salt water. Searched for springs, but could find none with fresh-water. Continued on a course east over sand hills and stony plain, and at twenty miles crossed the Neale. It is very broad, with numerous channels. In the main one there was plenty of water, but it was very brackish. We scratched a hole on the bank about two feet from the salt water, and found plenty of good water at six inches from the surface, of which our horses drank very readily. This seems to be the mode in which the natives obtain good water in a dry season like this. The emus and other birds also adopt the same plan. An immense quantity of water must come down this creek at times. The drift stuff was upwards of thirteen feet high in the gum-trees. A number of native tracks all about the creek, quite fresh, but we could not see any one. After giving our horses as much water as they would drink, we crossed the creek, which now runs north, and proceeded, still on our easterly course, over stony plains for four miles, then over sand hills, which continued to the lake, which we struck at thirty-five miles. The atmosphere is so thick, it is impossible to say what it is like to-night. Camped without water under a high sand hill, so that I may have a good view of the lake in the morning. I like not the appearance of it to-night; I am afraid we are going to lose it.