28th January 1933 cont. - mulga woods and Mount Sonder, Glen Helen mountain, Mount Razorback, Mount Heulin
Macdonnell Range is a term used like The Great Dividing Range. It is composed of a great number of parallel ranges with plains in between and being a full days travel in width.
Rain had evidently fallen here a few days back as the foliage was very luxuriant in spots. We travelled through thick mulga woods which necessitated a continual lookout and much dodging about to avoid being scraped off.
We were still south of the main part of the range, passing during the morning Mount Sonder, Glen Helen mountain, Mount Razorback, Mount Heulin and several other quite large peaks all within a few miles of one another and all in line. Then we crossed mazes of plains and hills some just sand with nothing growing at all and others well grassed with many trees. After about fifteen miles we had a great suprise as we came on a rock pool of beautifully clear fresh water. It not only provided drinking water but a swim, a drink for the camels, washing up water and a subject for Murch to paint. There we made a stay of about two and a half hours before again pushing on.
The slowness of the trip and the fact that we were all coming into pretty hard physical condition but had nothing to do except just sit, led to spirited arguments ranging from birth control to the latest make of car. These we carried on from one camel to another and continued at length for several days. In the course of these arguments, during illustrative digressions, we probably learnt most of what Murch knew and believed about painting, a great deal of Larnach's knowledge of comparative anatomy and the works of Huxley, and also my opinions (based on ignorance) of sport, anatomy and everything else I ever seem to have been interested in.
We discussed the workings of my Bell and Howell movie camera, with many novel ideas of the wave theory of light, the implications of Einstien's theory of relativity, the theories of Plank, and whether it was possible to know everything about anything. At times we became, temporarily, bitter enemies over some debate, until something turned up to break the thread, usually the camel calf.
Murch tended to sulk a bit over not getting enough time to paint. Larnach and I had to cajole him at times when he got huffed. We were continually explaining the need to push on to achieve our objectives of collecting and making native contacts and we began to reach a reasonable modus vivendi.
The country now became more rugged but still remained fairly well covered with vegetation.