The Soil On Which They
Grew Was A Rich Vegetable Mould Covered With Fern Trees [Note:
australis of Brown.] and small shrubs.
We found that this part of the
country was intersected by deep valleys, the sides of which were clothed
with stately trees, but of what kind we were ignorant: creepers and
smaller timber trees, all of species not previously noticed by us, grew so
extremely thick that we found it impossible to penetrate through them.
We therefore continued along the edge of those valleys, our progress
much impeded by the vast trunks of fallen trees in a state of decay,
some of which were upwards of one hundred and fifty feet long, without
a branch, as straight as an arrow, and from three to eight and ten
feet in diameter. The forest through which we travelled appeared to
be an elevated level or plain, and at three o'clock in the afternoon,
after proceeding three or four miles to the westward, we cleared this
truly primeval forest, and descended into a small valley of open
ground, through which ran the stream we had crossed in the morning.
Indeed we were not more than two miles south of the place we had
quitted. Our hope of proceeding without much interruption was thus
disappointed: the gloominess of the weather, and the constant showers
that fell, so impeded our view and distorted its objects, that what
appeared plain and practicable at a distance of two or three miles, when
approached was found impassable.
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