August 12.—Steering to the N. W. to a low range (the highest summit of which I named Mount North–west,) we just kept far enough in the plains to intercept the watercourses from the hills where they spread into the level country, and by this means we got excellent feed for our horses; generally the same rich succulent herbage I have mentioned before, occasionally mixed with wild oats. It was only in places of this description that we could expect to find anything for our horses. In the plains or on the hills there was not a blade of of anything green; at night we encamped upon a small dry channel with tolerable feed, but no water, and we again gave each horse three gallons from our kegs.
The country we were traversing as yet under–went no alteration, the only difference being, that the hills were getting lower and the watercourses less numerous, and both apparently without water; the sand ridges came more in among the hills, and the dry beds of small salt lakes were often met with; the salsolae were more abundant, but the traces of natives were now less frequent; whilst those we fell in with seemed for the most part to have been left during the wet season. The rock formation still continued the same, quartz, ironstone, slate, and grey limestone, with saline crusts peeping above the ground in many places in the lower levels; the sky was cloudy and threatened rain, but none fell: our stage was 18 miles.