These paper boats of mine are meant to dance on the ripples of hours, and not reach any destination... Rabindranath Tagore

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past...F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby

We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.
On the way to the river are the old dormitories, used for something else now, with their fairy-tale turrets, painted white and gold and blue. When we think of the past it's the beautiful things we pick out. We want to believe it was all like that.
--from Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale

Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another's skin, another's voice, another's soul.
- Joyce Carol Oates

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Journal of an Expedition...

Journal of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia (1848) 
by Sir Thomas Mitchell (1792-1855) - Surveyor-General of New South Wales
Kindle edition

there must be a river to the Gulf

the Darling tribes may be hostile
unlike tribes near the coastal colony

but there must be a river to the Gulf

convicts strengthen my numbers
and drays carry our loads

there must be a river
there must be a river
there must be a river to the Gulf

acacias and
for beauty
melons and

this tropical realm
sultry airs by day
to frosts by night

there is a river
there is a river
falling far and far north west

I verily believed that THIS river would run to Carpentaria, and I called it the Nive...

but he didn't know
couldn't know
the river flows west to Tambo
and then

flows south

The Nive River is a tributary of the Warrego River (south-west Queensland)
which in turn, flows into the Darling River at Bourke in western New South Wales..
The Warrego is the northernmost tributary of the Darling.

 Journal of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical AustraliaJournal of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia by Thomas Mitchell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the mid 19th century, Thomas Mitchell set out on his 4th expedition in Australia. He wanted to find a river that flowed from the inland to the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north; he wanted to find a sound, overland route from Sydney in the south to the Gulf; he wanted a closer connection with shipping and Singapore. Mitchell recorded his experiences from Parramatta in New South Wales to inland Queensland in a journal. He included meticulous details of plants found and changing weather patterns. This is not an exciting read of adventures. It is more an intimate insight into living out a dream day to day. Mesmerising.

View all my reviews

going west...
A journal that details plants, terrain and weather... And shows just how treacherous trying to stay connected with water can be... How valiantly exploring surveyors toiled, with a passion, to open up our knowledge of the unknown. Here too are interesting comments on native people... Their wisdom is highly respected... Convicts find a purpose and a measure of self-worth when they team up with the exploring party. The journal represents an opportunity to see through someone else's eyes and to walk in their shoes.

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