21st September 1835

My servant & self were landed a few miles to the NE in order that I might examine the district mentioned above as resembling chimney. The comparison would have been more exact if I had said the Iron furnaces near Wolverhampton. — From one point of view I counted 60 of these truncated hillocks, which are only from 50 to 100 ft above the plain of Lava. — The age of the various streams is distinctly marked by the presence & absence of Vegetation; in the latter & more modem nothing can be imagined more rough & horrid. — Such a surface has been aptly compared to a sea petrified in its most boisterous moments. No sea however presents such irregular undulations, — nor such deep & long chasms. The craters are all entirely inert; consisting indeed of nothing more than a ring of cinders. — There are large circular pits, from 30 to 80 ft deep; which might be mistaken for Craters, but are in reality formed by the subsidence of the roofs of great caverns, which probably were produced by a volume of gaz at the time when the Lava was liquid. — The scene was to me novel & full of interest; it is always delightful to behold anything which has been long familiar, but only by description. — In my walk I met two very large Tortoises (circumference of shell about 7 ft). One was eating a Cactus & then quietly walked away. — The other gave a deep & loud hiss & then drew back his head. — They were so heavy, I could scarcely lift them off the ground. — Surrounded by the black Lava, the leafless shrubs & large Cacti, they appeared most old-fashioned antediluvian animals; or rather inhabitants of some other planet.

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