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John Gilbert diary entry

25 October 1844 - 26 October 1844

Page 96. Volume 1

change from the monotonous woodland we have so long traversed over, and that we shall soon do so appears probable from the general rise in the elevation of the country remarked to day, at night camped on a small pool of a rivulet in a gully surrounded on one side by a cypress brush, and on the other by an Acacia scrub54. All our efforts to procure a supply of game proved unavailing, and our meals to day in consequence have been gelatine Soup - this system of general soup eating does not at all agree with our English Stomachs, for having a short allow=ance of Damper, and no corresponding increase of animal food, is already telling upon us, we have all visibly lost flesh and with it a great portion of strength, the soups are very nice and palatable at the time of eating, and because it fills the Stomach soon makes one feel for a short time satisfied, but I am convinced, that we will not be enabled to continue it much longer. *see next day. Days Dist 11½ miles

Sat Oct 26 The Drs observation this morning makes our Lat 26-15- (* [note from above]) Mr H α R. rode out from the camp in a S.W. direction, and came upon a creek about a mile distant which they followed in a S α Westerly course for 3 miles they describe it as the longest creek they have seen having Rocky banks, and from its course the rivulet we camped upon is most likely the or one of the heads of it55. Our course this morning N.W. for 4½ miles through a thickly timbered forest and brushes as yesterday the first course brought us upon the flat table land of a Sandstone Range the highest land we have yet been upon and from which we had a clear view as far as the eye could reach to the Northward round to the Westward at the foot of the range was a Brigalo scrub extending in breadth about 6 miles beyond this we saw a second range running parrallel [sic] to that we had been travelling over and beyond this again I saw two Mountains in the distance due N W from us we descended the range and from the many openings in the scrub were induced to enter it in hopes we could push our way through to the opposite range, but in half a mile we were completely checked and obliged to retrace our steps back again, with the loss this time of not more than half a pound of flour, on again ascending the table top, to round the scrub, our course for the first two miles was North, our Bullocks now became hot α restive, it was therefore necessary to find water for a halting place, steering East we followed a slight fall in the land and in two miles came upon a small water holes [sic], evidently the head of a small creek or rivulet where we pitched our tents for the night. our devious course has given us but a short distance on our course in direct distance from yesterdays camp being about 5 miles in a N.N.E. direction56. from what we can see of the course of the range we are upon, the two appear as being connected at the head or eastern extremity of the scrub. Gelatine soup again the order of the day in the absence of any game, in fact the whole party

Note 54

The campsite of October 25th was located by Glen McLaren on Guluguba sheet 8945: GR 109 855; they had travelled a long way west that day, and were well into the foothills of the Great Dividing Range.

Note 55

This was the considerable watercourse which they named Juandah Creek; it is wide at the point that Hodgson and Roper would have seen it.

Note 56

In fact their devious path to avoid the scrub meant that they actually ended up almost due east of the camp of the 25th October. Their campsite on the 26th can be located on Guluguba Sheet 8945: 200 855.