Personal Narrative Of A Pilgrimage To Al-Madinah & Meccah - Volume 1 of 2 - By Captain Sir Richard F. Burton




























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I had been led to expect at the Well, a pastoral scene, wild flowers,
flocks and flowing waters; so I - Page 330
Personal Narrative Of A Pilgrimage To Al-Madinah & Meccah - Volume 1 of 2 - By Captain Sir Richard F. Burton - Page 330 of 571 - First - Home

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I Had Been Led To Expect At The "Well," A Pastoral Scene, Wild Flowers, Flocks And Flowing Waters; So I

Looked with a jaundiced eye upon a deep hole full of slightly brackish water dug in a tamped hollow-a

Kind of punch-bowl with granite walls, upon whose grim surface a few thorns of exceeding hardihood braved the sun for a season. Not a house was in sight-it was as barren and desolate a spot as the sun ever "viewed in his wide career." But this is what the Arabian traveller must expect. He is to traverse, for instance, the Wady Al-Ward-the Vale of Flowers. He indulges in sweet recollections of Indian lakes beautiful with the Lotus, and Persian plains upon which Narcissus is the meanest of grasses. He sees a plain like swish-work, where knobs of granite act daisies; and where, at every fifty yards, some hapless bud or blossom is dying of inanition among the stones.

The sun scorched our feet as we planted the tent, and, after drinking our breakfast, we passed the usual day of perspiration and semi-lethargy. In discomfort man naturally

[p.252] hails a change, even though it be one from bad to worse. When our enemy began slanting towards the West, we felt ready enough to proceed on our journey. The camels were laden shortly after 3 P.M., July 20th, and we started, with water jars in our hands, through a storm of Samun.

We travelled five hours in a North-Easterly course up a diagonal valley,[FN#18] through a country fantastic in its desolation-a mass of huge hills, barren plains, and desert vales.

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