18th March 1834

E. Falkland Islands
It rained during nearly the whole day; so that at night it began to be very miserable work. We managed however with our Recado's to keep pretty warm & dry; but the ground on which we slept was every night more or less a bog & there was not a dry spot to sit on after our days work.

The best wood in the island for burning is about the size of large heath it has however the good property of burning when green. It was very surprising to see the Gauchos in the midst of rain, & everything soaking wet, with nothing more than a tinder box & piece of rag immediately make a fire. They seek beneath the bushes for some dry twigs or grass & this they rub into fibres & then (somewhat like a birds nest) surround it with coarser twigs; they put the rag with its spark of fire in the centre & then covering it up with the fibrous matter, hold it up to the wind. When by degrees it smokes more & more & at last burst out into flames. I am sure no other method would have any chance of succeeding with such damp materials.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous photo, but it's certainly no vacation spot. I feel muddy just looking at it!