15th January 1933 - climbing down into the Finke, wild fruits and digging a soak

We set off up the gully at about 6 a.m. to go to the next waterhole as we had all had as much as we could stand of the frog water. We climbed up the side of the gully and crossed a ridge of hills before climbing down into another stone watercourse which eventually led us down to the Finke which pierces the Krichauff ranges on its way to the south. The tops of the mountains carry a fair amount of grass and in a few places clumps of a species of eucalyptus something like the mallee country.

On the way down we collected a few wild plums, not quite ripe but still very good considering the nasty taste in our mouths. Also growing in spots were wild passion-fruit trees and what is called a wild cucumber plant which ripens just before winter and is said to taste like an apple.

When we got to the water hole we found it very salty, so we used it as a swimming pool and dug a soak about two feet down in the sandy bed of the Finke. These soaks when first dug were still pretty salty but if left for a time they gradually lost the salty taste. The sand of the Finke not only contained micca crystals but also glistened and sparkled with salt crystals. The porcupine was produced and made an excellent breakfast tasting very rich and nice and tender.

We spent an hour or two shooting at crows of which there are thousands and then arose with our attendant flies and climbed and scrambled a few miles across the ranges through very bizarre and spectacular country to cut into the Finke on another part of its course.

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