months, and Mr. Fetherston expected that the line would be open to Port Darwin in about three months more. I may as well say here that it was in fact opened in the month of August, just nine months after we left Port Augusta.
We travelled over a very miserable country for some weeks. Not a really green thing was to be seen, and water was very scarce and bad. And the heat was excessive, far worse than we found it on any other part of the route; far worse, indeed, than any heat that I have ever endured either in Australia or elsewhere.
But after we had passed Lake Eyre a little way the country and the climate began to improve. And we had pleasant enough travelling until we got far beyond Alice's Springs. We had reached or passed the seventeenth degree of latitude before the water began to get very scarce or the ground very difficult again. There was not much variety in the scenery. We passed through long tracts of wooded country, and again over nearly treeless plains, and again over a succession of low hills, some bald and some covered with forest. Though none of them attained any considerable height, they sometimes assumed very remarkable forms. We met several creeks whose course was in the main dry, with