Friday, 10th May, Sturt Plains.
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Fifth Expedition
- Hits: 1493
Friday, 10th May, Sturt Plains. This morning there are a few birds about. Started at 8.15 a.m., same course; at 10.30 arrived on first top of rising ground seen from the camp of 7th instant, which turns out to be red sand hills covered with thick scrub. Changed our course to north-west, and at 11.15 arrived at the highest point; the view is very discouraging--nothing to be seen all round but sand hills of the same description, their course north-north-east, and south to west. No high hills or range to be seen through the telescope. We can see a long distance, apparently all sand hills with scrub and stunted gums on them. The first ridge is about two hundred feet above Sturt Plains, but further to the west they are much lower, and become seemingly red sandy undulating table land; but further to the west they are much lower. There is no hope of reaching the Victoria on this course. I would have gone on further to-day had I seen the least chance of obtaining water to-night; but during the greater part of yesterday and to-day we have met with no birds that frequent country where water is. Both yesterday and to-day have been excessively hot, and the country very heavy. From this point I can see twenty-five miles without anything like a change. To go on now with such a prospect, and such heavy country before me, would only be sacrificing our horses and our own lives without a hope of success--the horses having already come forty-five miles without a drop of water, and over as heavy a country as was ever travelled on. I have therefore, with reluctance, made up my mind to return to the camp and try it again further north, where I may have a chance of rounding the sand hills; the dip of them from here seems to be south-south-west. Turned back, and at eighteen miles camped on Sturt Plains, where there is green grass for the horses. Wind, south.