28th January 1933 cont. - equipment and Haasts Bluff

source icon The country now became more rugged but still remained fairly well covered with vegetation. We had been seeing kangaroo tracks at intervals all day long, and Rock wallabies began to appear up on the cliffs in numbers. Towards evening the valley began to narrow and we came on some very precipitous rocks showing many peculiar formations. We decided to stop here and let Murch do his stuff in the way of painting.

By now the camels had got quite into the swing of things and were hardening up a good deal. A sore which developed on the back of Larnach's animal a few days before responded well to treatment and has now nearly gone. My camel Snowy is a huge beast although a bit rough to ride has a very placid disposition behind all the noises he manages to think up. He tried on a few stunts at first to see if he was able to get away with it. However, I hadn't talked to Bony Bream and Henke for nothing and he has been taught. Murch however is a gentle man and is now well under the control of his mount. Larnach is tied to my tail and just sits, conserving energy.

My mount has two leather saddle bags slung across the front of the saddle each containing fifty pounds of flour. Murch has fifty pounds of sugar and fifty pounds of flour across his. In addition, I have my personal gear (very little), a rifle, a very long barrelled single shot 12 bore of Larnach's with a hell of a kick and tremendous range, a movie camera, one blanket, and a water bag. I also carried a razor, soap, comb, aspirin, potassium permangenate crystals and sundry first aid gear in a chamois bag. I tried not to drink between meal stops but found that I had to in the afternoon, especially if I was going off for fresh meat on foot.

Next morning we again got an early start and were away before six, but we only travelled about ten miles towards a land mark on our course called Haasts Bluff. Most of the way now lay across the edge of the desert plain which carried a little salt bush. But the first part of the trip after passing through a spectacular gorge was through a little fertile valley growing rank grass and many desert orange trees from which we collected quite a feed.

Haasts Bluff stands out as a high precipice with a mountain range leading away to the west of it. A couple of miles from the base we camped beside a creek which had water holes here and there much to the surprise of our boy who thought we would have to dig a soak.

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