28th December 1833

Port Desire
The Yawl, under the command of Mr Chaffers with three days provisions, was sent to survey the head of the creek. In the morning we searched for some watering places mentioned in an old Chart of the Spaniards. We found one creek, at the head of which there was a small rill of brackish water. Here the tide compelled us to stay some hours. I, in the interval, walked several miles into the interior.

The plain, as is universally the case, is formed of sandy chalk, & gravel; from the softness of these materials it is worn & cut up by very many vallies. There is not a tree, &, excepting the Guanaco, who stands on some hill top a watchful sentinel over his herd, scarcely an animal or a bird. All is stillness & desolation. One reflects how many centuries it has thus been & how many more it will thus remain. Yet in this scene without one bright object, there is a high pleasure, which I can neither explain or comprehend. In the evening, we sailed a few miles further & then pitched the tents for the night.

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