17th June 1835

I hired mules & a guide to penetrate a little way in the Cordilleras. A few leagues beyond the Hacienda, the valley of Copiapò is divided into three branches; the Southern one, Mamflas, has a long course skirting the Cordilleras & is inhabited during much of its length; — the other two arms each only have one or two houses. — I entered the one called Jolquera, it was very barren & uninhabited, slept where there was a little pasture.

Captain Fitzroy’s Journal:
At the Post-office I obtained a large packet, directed to our vice-consul, the moment the post-master opened the mail bag; and hastening to the consul's office, I was surprised to find it shut, and to hear that no one would be there for an hour or two. Such apathy — upon such an occasion! Not choosing to break the seals, though I saw by the direction what were the contents (Despatches by Challenger), I went in search of the proper person to open the packet: took the Commodore's letters, and hastened with them to the Blonde. Every doubt was then ended. The Challenger was lost on the night of the 19th of May, at the spot described by the Swede: but all her crew were saved except two; and on the 26th of that month, Captain Seymour, the officers and men were encamped near the wreck, at a place called Molguilla. The Blonde prepared for sea: an offer of such assistance as I could render was accepted by the commodore; and, having arranged the Beagle's affairs, as far as then necessary, I went on board the Blonde, taking with me Mr. Usborne, J. Bennett, and a whaleboat. Lieut. Wickham was to forward the Beagle's duty during my absence, and take her to Copiapo, Iquique, and Callao, before I should rejoin her.

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