Several Native Huts Were On The Edge Of One Of The Ponds, But
They Had Not Been Recently Inhabited.
- Proceeded forward south-west eleven miles through a most barren
desolate country, the soil a light red sand, literally parched up with
drought, there being no appearance of rain having fallen for several
months. The country through which we passed being a perfect plain
overrun with acacia scrubs, we could not see in any direction above a
quarter of a mile; I therefore halted at two o'clock on purpose to gain
time to find water before sunset, as we had seen no other signs of any
on our route than a few dry pits. It is impossible to imagine a more
desolate region; and the uncertainty we are in, whilst traversing it, of
finding water, adds to the melancholy feelings which the silence and
solitude of such wastes is calculated to inspire.
The search for water was unsuccessful, about three gallons of muddy
liquid being all that could be procured: our horses and dogs, I am
afraid, were the greatest sufferers.
May 21. - The water was so extremely bad that, pressed as we were by
thirst, we could scarcely even by twice boiling it render it drinkable.
After travelling ten or eleven miles through a country equally barren
and destitute with that of yesterday, without meeting with the least
appearance of water, and the horses being completely worn out, I
determined to halt on a small patch of burnt grass; two of the horses
had fallen several times under their loads, and nothing but the
evenness of the road enabled us to reach thus far.
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